February 20, 2019
By Marlee Moore
Above: Farmers heard industry and checkoff updates during the Commodity Organization Meeting. Below: Macon County Farmers Federation President Shep Morris, left, discussed the 2019 growing season with the Federation’s Carla Hornady and Preston Roberts.
Discovering new ideas, visiting longtime friends and hearing the latest in agricultural industry updates were features of the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Commodity Organization Meeting in Montgomery Feb. 5-7.
During the annual conference, over 600 farmers learned about technological advancements and research to enhance their operations during commodity breakout sessions.
“Farming practices are constantly evolving and advancing, and our farmers need up-to-date information to help increase their bottom line,” said Brian Hardin, the Federation’s Governmental and Agricultural Programs Department director. “This meeting also creates opportunities for farmers to talk with each other and glean information to take home to the farm.”
It’s a sentiment Macon County Farmers Federation President Shep Morris echoed.
“I come to this meeting to catch up on trends, hear industry updates and learn ways we can pull together to enhance our business,” he said.
Commodity committee members and leaders were also elected during the meeting, and outgoing committee members who served the maximum three full terms were honored each day. Morris, an outgoing State Wheat & Feed Grain Committee member, highlighted the importance of serving on the state level.
“We want to give back and help the farming industry,” he said. “Committee members help manage checkoff funds and promote our industry. For example, as a group, we can help market corn much better than we can as individuals. Working together is critical in today’s farm economy.”
Divisions represented at this meeting included Bee & Honey; Beef; Cotton; Dairy; Equine; Forestry; Hay & Forage; Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod; Meat Goat & Sheep; Pork; Poultry; Soybean; Wheat & Feed Grain; and Wildlife.
Click here for a list of new and re-elected Committee Members.
Additionally, the Horticulture Division held its final meeting Feb. 6. During the Federation’s annual meeting in December, delegates voted to merge the Horticulture Division with the Alabama Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, a partner organization of the Federation.
The Alabama Peanut Producers Association also held its annual meeting and tradeshow Feb. 7 in Dothan, while the Alabama TREASURE Forest Association board of directors met Feb. 5 in Montgomery. The Alabama Catfish Producers met in December for its organizational session.
Agriculture & Industries Commissioner Rick Pate joined farmers for lunch all three days, outlining his goals for the next four years and thanking the Federation for its support.