November 28, 2018
By Debra Davis
Terrie Channell made her final tally for the Alabama Farmers Federation (AFF) Nov. 30, when she retired as chief financial officer (CFO) for the state’s largest farm organization.
Channell, 57, began her career with the Federation as a bookkeeper in 1984 and later was promoted to assistant controller of Alfa Services and the Federation before being named CFO in 2000.
“My grandfather raised cotton and dairy cattle, but it wasn’t until I came to work at the Federation that I realized the important role this organization has in improving the lives of farmers and all Alabamians,” said Channell, an Autauga County native and Auburn University at Montgomery graduate. “I had never connected how the decisions made by our elected officials impact farmers and other small businesses.”
As CFO, Channell directed all accounting functions for the Federation, Alfa Services, ELECT, Creative Consultants Inc. and FarmPAC. She also supervised accounting for seven commodity checkoff funds; the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation; Alabama Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association; and the Alabama TREASURE Forest Association.
Channell said she especially enjoyed working with Alabama Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC), where she was on the trustees and steering committees.
She is also secretary-treasurer for the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation. Additionally, Channell is an executive committee member and finance committee chair of the River Region United Way.
Federation President Jimmy Parnell said Channell has a reputation for running one of the best accounting departments among associations.
“Terrie makes sure the management team is in compliance, and we have a long history of clean audits,” Parnell said. “Our auditors are amazed by her ability to keep track of more than a dozen sets of books and to recall details about the financial operations of the Federation spanning three decades. We will miss her work ethic, knowledge and commitment to accuracy in everything she does.”
Personal relationships with her coworkers and farmers across the state are among Channell’s fondest career memories.
“Most of all, I’ve enjoyed the relationships with my coworkers, particularly those in the accounting and membership departments. They work hard every day to help make the Federation run smoothly, and they never forget the work they do is for our members.”
Throughout her life, Channell said her faith has guided her.
“The most important thing to me is I know the Lord is my savior because all through my career I could see His hand in my life,” she said. “Through challenges of life and work, He always guided me.”
Channell, who lives in Deatsville, said she’s looking forward to a new chapter in her life, including volunteer work and spending more time with her dogs — two English Field Cockers and a rambunctious golden retriever.
“My career has been an amazing journey,” she said. “I’ve been able to travel and see a lot of things, and I’ve met a lot of wonderful people. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”