September 14, 2017
MONTGOMERY, Ala., Sept. 14 — Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance® President Jimmy Parnell joined farmers throughout the state today in expressing sympathy to the family of former state board member Milborn Chesser.
“Mr. Chesser was a visionary leader in business, his community and the Alabama Farmers Federation,” Parnell said. “He served as secretary-treasurer for more than two decades and helped grow the membership, influence and effectiveness of this organization. He was a great man and dear friend. We will truly miss him.”
Chesser, 84, passed away Wednesday evening following a period of declining health.
A DeKalb County native, Chesser enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard at age 14 and, three years later, was deployed to Korea. After returning home with the rank of master sergeant, Chesser enrolled in what is now Auburn University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and a master’s in poultry husbandry.
While still an undergraduate at Auburn, Chesser sold his car and used the money as a down payment on a small poultry farm in Fyffe. At its peak, his Circle C Farms encompassed 200 acres and 17 poultry houses.
Parnell said Chesser is remembered as a civic leader dedicated to serving others and helping improve lives. In 1973, concerned by the lack of financing available to existing and would-be poultry farmers, Chesser and a small group of investors established the Bank of Fyffe, which enabled countless farmers in northeast Alabama to stay in business.
Chesser served as Federation secretary-treasurer from 1979-2000 and was a district director on the state board from 1976-1978. Chesser also served long tenures on the DeKalb County Board of Education, the Farmers Telephone Cooperative board of directors and DeKalb County Farmers Federation board of directors. In 2015, Chesser was inducted into the Alabama Agriculture Hall of Honor.
Chesser’s family will receive friends Sunday, Sept. 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at W.T. Wilson Funeral Chapel in Rainsville. Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. in the chapel, with burial to follow at Corinth Cemetery in Fyffe.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Anne Whitmire Chesser. Survivors include daughters Elesia (Danny) Thrash and Susan (Tom) Nettleman; four grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.