December 26, 2017
By Mary Johnson
Federation President Jimmy Parnell, left, presents the Cultivator Award to Horace Horn, vice president of external affairs for PowerSouth.
More than 1,300 farmers and guests descended on the Capital City for the Alabama Farmers Federation 96th annual meeting at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre (MPAC) and the Montgomery Convention Center Dec. 3-4.
Guest and keynote speaker Gov. Kay Ivey reflected on the rural roots she shares with Federation members.
“Alabama’s rural areas are not just about farming, agriculture or timberland," Ivey said. "Like many of you, I call parts of rural Alabama my home, and I’m sure proud of that. I believe the best government is the government that responds to the needs of the people. My cabinet, my staff and I want your input. Responsive government is our goal, and (the Federation) is a key component of that effort.”
In her remarks, Ivey said reducing the tax burden on American families is a priority, and she promised to “do more than give lip service to the needs of our rural Alabamians.”
U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R- Haleyville, was honored during the event’s opening session with the Federation’s highest honor — the Service to Agriculture Award. Federation President Jimmy Parnell praised Aderholt as a tireless supporter of farmers and forest landowners since first being elected to Congress in 1996.
Horace Horn, a champion of rural Alabama, received the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Cultivator Award for fostering relationships to benefit rural families at the organization’s annual meeting. Horn is vice president of external affairs for PowerSouth.
While attendees enjoyed fellowship during the two-day meeting, Henry County Farmers Federation President Johnny Lee said it’s important to participate and be a voice for his county.
“We learn about what’s going on in agriculture and the Farmers Federation, and we can pass it on to our counties,” Lee said. “I enjoy being associated with the Federation and seeing all the people I’ve met over the years. We have a responsibility to protect the future of our farms and agriculture in this state by working to keep farming profitable.”
Outstanding counties were recognized during the meeting for work in commodity, leadership, legislative, Young Farmers and women’s programs.
Live and silent acutions at the meeting raised $16,485 for the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation.