February 27, 2017
By Debra Davis
U.S. Senator Luther Stranger, second from right, spoke at the Federation's Commodity Organizational Meeting the day before his appointment, Feb. 9. From left are Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell, Cullman County farmer Ben Haynes, Strange and Federation Executive Director Paul Pinyan.
Nearly 700 farmers representing every major commodity grown in Alabama elected state committee members Feb. 7-9 to help chart the course for the state’s largest farm organization.
The Alabama Farmers Federation’s three-day Commodity Organizational Meeting was held at the Embassy Suites in Montgomery. The Alabama Peanut Producers Association (APPA) met in Dothan Feb. 9.
The Federation’s Brian Hardin said farmers at the meetings determined goals for their respective commodities and helped set the organization’s policy, in addition to electing committee leaders.
“The state committee structure is a great way for our farmers to choose what the organization will focus on,” said Hardin, the Federation’s Governmental and Agricultural Programs director. “In addition to elections for the 17 commodities our organization represents, farmers can learn about research and discuss governmental regulations and production practices.”
Hardin said the Federation’s Commodity Organizational Meeting exemplifies grassroots structure.
Lowndes County farmer Thomas Ellis along with his son, Stinson, attended the Equine Committee meeting Feb. 8. Ellis, who also raises pecans and cattle, said the meeting provides networking and educational opportunities.
“I can always learn something new from hearing what others are doing on their farms,” Ellis said, “and the speakers and programs present new ideas to consider and possibly use on our farm.”
Feb. 7, farmers attended the Federation’s State Bee & Honey; Beef; Catfish; Pork; Soybean; and Wheat & Feed Grains meetings.
The Feb. 8 meetings were for Cotton; Equine; Horticulture; Meat Goat & Sheep; Poultry; and Wildlife Resources committees.
The Feb. 9 meeting wrapped up the Montgomery meetings with Dairy; Forestry; Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod; and Hay & Forage divisions and an Alabama TREASURE Forest Association meeting.
In addition to electing new commodity leaders, outgoing commodity committee members were honored during lunch each day. They were:
Bee & Honey — Barry Banks, Walker County; and Hobson Hite, Cullman County
Beef — Mike Henry, Montgomery County
Cotton — Sammy Gibbs, Escambia County
Dairy — Mike Ryan, Tuscaloosa County; and David Wright, Calhoun County
Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod — Ed Dennis, Dallas County; and Bethany O’Rear, Blount County
Hay & Forage — Joe Potter, Colbert County
Horticulture — John Neighbors, Tallapoosa County
Meat Goat & Sheep — Drexel Johnson, Coffee County; and Charlie Thompson, Lauderdale County
Soybean — Rickey Cornutt, Marshall County
Wheat & Feed Grains — Stanley Walters, Marengo County; and Andy Wendland, Autauga County
Wildlife Resources — Will Ainsworth, Marshall County; Jimmy Jimmerson, Cleburne County; and Mike Parmer, Autauga County.
For APPA election results, visit ALPeanuts.com.
2017 COMMODITY COMMITTEES
Bee & Honey — Phillip Garrison, Cullman; Patty Lambrecht, Elmore; Troy Latham, Mobile; and Lindsey Trousdale, Morgan.
Beef — Mahlon Richburg, Lee; Anthony Faggard, Mobile; Billy Hixon, Pike; and David Evans, St. Clair.
Catfish — Butch Wilson, Dallas and Kent Houlditch, Greene.
Cotton — Cody Young, Barbour; Neal Isbell, Colbert; Ricky Wiggins, Covington; and Sammy Roney, Houston.
Dairy — Thomas Payton, DeKalb and Matt Green, Russell.
Equine — Jim Roulaine, Bibb; Jack Wallace, Colbert; Sammy Hindman, Fayette; and Tina Hammonds, Lowndes.
Forestry — Brian Agnew, Bullock; Chris Langley, Chambers; Billy Joe Johnson, Cherokee; Norphlett McCollum, Clay; and Philip Hardee, Monroe.
Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod —Jason Powell, Chilton; Heather Wright, Dallas; Charles Tew, Elmore; and Jason Lazenby, Lee.
Hay & Forage — Winford Parmer, Autauga; Jack Robertson, Chambers; Jeff Lassiter, Choctaw; and Mark Landers, Tuscaloosa.
Horticulture — John Aplin, Geneva; Beth Hornsby, Lee; Art Sessions, Mobile; and Mike Reeves, Morgan.
Meat Goat & Sheep — Jimmy Parker, Cullman; Kirk Smith, Cullman; Stacey Nestor, Montgomery; and Travis Nelson, Randolph.
Pork — Jon Petree, Franklin; Joe Bradley, Randolph; and Roland St. John, St. Clair.
Poultry — Dennis Maze, Blount; Chris Upchurch, Clay; Mark Byrd, Morgan; and Greg Edwards, Russell.
Soybeans — Tommy Sewell, Etowah; John Tucker, Lawrence; David Ellis, Marshall; Jeremy Wilson, Talladega; and John E. Walker III, Tuscaloosa.
Wheat & Feed Grains — Nick McMichen, Cherokee; Ron Brumley, Colbert; Don Glenn, Lawrence; and John Bevel, Marshall.
Wildlife — Leo Allen, Choctaw; Bob Plaster, Elmore; Charlie Clark, Escambia; and Trey Montgomery, Greene.