May 26, 2017
By Marlee Moore
Brandon and Angela Sewell of Etowah County and their daughter, Kalee Ann, examine satsuma trees on a tour at last year's Commodity Producers Conference.
Educational tours, exceptional speakers and the inaugural Alabama Farm Expo are on the agenda for the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 45th annual Commodity Producers Conference in Birmingham Aug. 3-5.
The Federation’s Brian Hardin encouraged conference attendees to explore the expo, which is also open to the public free of charge.
“Farmers can network with lenders, equipment dealers and other agriculture- and forestry-related businesses during our first-ever farm expo,” said Hardin, the Federation’s Governmental and Agricultural Programs Department director. “We’ll also be collecting donations to benefit Children’s Hospital of Alabama.”
The conference begins Thursday with registration and a welcome banquet featuring entertainment by the Alabama FFA champion string band.
Tours crisscrossing north-central Alabama depart early Friday morning. These educational excursions cover livestock, wineries, nurseries, forestry, row crops and Magic City history.
University of Florida horticulture professor Kevin Folta headlines Saturday’s general session and will discuss farmers' effective communication strategies with the public about advanced agriculture technology. Commodity seminars fill Saturday morning, running the gamut from forage management to drought effects to an economic outlook and everything in between.
During the Women’s Leadership Division luncheon, winners in the tablescapes, quilts and Christmas tree skirts contests will be announced.
The Alabama Farm Expo rounds out Saturday afternoon activities.
At the closing banquet, Young Farmers contest winners will be announced, including the Discussion Meet final four, Excellence in Agriculture winners and the 2017 Outstanding Young Farm Family.
Christian singer Michael English will provide the evening’s entertainment.
Register at AlfaFarmers.org.