February 15, 2017
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, right, and Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell, center, sample goose sausage served by Elmore County’s Bob Plaster at the Federation’s annual Taste of Alabama legislative reception.
Alabama-grown food, flavors and political philosophies spiced up the Alabama Farmers Federation Taste of Alabama reception for around 250 legislators and farmers at the Montgomery Federation home office Feb. 15.
Legislators mingled with constituents and sampled down-home Southern staples from the Heart of Dixie. Federation President Jimmy Parnell said the annual reception highlights agriculture’s importance to Alabama.
“This is an opportunity for our leaders to come and spend a little time with elected officials from the state and get to know each other better,” Parnell said. “It’s about building those relationships that help when you have issues you need to talk about further down the road.”
Macon County farmer Jimmy Bassett said he appreciated getting to thank legislators for their work on behalf of Alabamians.
“They meet with us one on one, and we get to talk to them about our concerns,” Bassett said. “We also get to see products from other farmers around the state.”
Alabama Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey and new Attorney General Steve Marshall joined senators and representatives, like Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark), at the reception.
“Being a legislator, one thing we depend on a lot is hearing from our constituents and then also having a relationship with the community, whether through civic clubs or organizations like the Federation,” said Clouse, who called the Taste of Alabama one of his favorite events. “At this reception, we get to talk about issues that affect farmers and the farming community. It’s always good for me to hear their opinions.”
Reception food included beef tips and rice from Trinity Farms in Hope Hull; grits from Oakview Farms Granary in Wetumpka; shrimp from Odom Farms in Boligee; smoked goose sausage and biscuits from Bob and Betty Plaster of Elmore County; tomatoes from Slay Farms in Five Points; pork barbecue from Bishop’s Barbecue in Cherokee; and honey from Bill’s Honey Farm in Meridianville.
Attendees also savored the flavors of fried catfish, turnip greens, sweet potatoes, chicken tenders, ice cream, fried green tomatoes, lamb kabobs, fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and more.
For more photos, visit the Federation Facebook page or view the video from the event here.