February 20, 2019
By Debra Davis
Gov. Kay Ivey led the inaugural parade through downtown Montgomery.
Gov. Kay Ivey’s inaugural theme of “Keep Alabama Growing” was encouraging to Alabama Farmers Federation members who supported her campaign for governor and were on hand to witness her oath of office Jan. 14.
“Today, I follow in Gov. Lurleen Wallace’s footsteps in many ways and make the same ask to the Alabama Legislature,” Ivey said. “After all, if we want to compete in a 21st century global economy, we must improve our infrastructure by investing more in our roads, our bridges and our ports.”
Ivey, 75, grew up in rural Wilcox County. She said back then, little girls didn’t dream of being governor. Ivey’s support of rural Alabama was recognized by the Federation in 2015 when the organization presented her the Service to Agriculture Award, its highest honor.
“Gov. Ivey has always been a friend to Alabama farmers and this organization,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “She is a qualified, capable leader who understands rural Alabama and has pledged her continued support to farmers.”
Ivey, along with other statewide elected leaders, took the oath of office on the Capitol steps during a 10 a.m. ceremony.
The day’s events began earlier that morning at a welcome breakfast for Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate, where he thanked members of the agriculture community for their support.
“We are thrilled to be here,” Pate told supporters. “We’ve worked long and hard for this day, and it would not have been possible without the help and support of the people in this room and others like you throughout the state. I’m looking forward to going to work immediately and helping make our state the best it can be.”
Following the swearing-in ceremonies, farmers and agribusiness leaders gathered at a meeting facility downtown along the inaugural parade route near the Capitol.
The parade included a float sponsored by agricultural partners across Alabama. Pate and his family were on the float, which featured the inaugural theme and focused on Alabama’s bicentennial celebration.
Federation Executive Director Paul Pinyan said inaugural events are a special celebration for Federation members, who recognize the importance of electing good leaders who understand agriculture.
“In addition to Gov. Ivey, our new Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, State Treasurer John McMillan and Ag Commissioner Rick Pate all come from rural Alabama and understand the importance of a strong rural economy,” Pinyan said. “As we begin this new quadrennium, we’re fortunate to have leaders who genuinely want to ‘Keep Alabama Growing.’”
Click here for inaugual photos.