Outstanding Alabama farms have until Jan. 30 to apply for more than $12,000 in cash and prizes as part of the Alabama Farm of Distinction contest.
Alabama Farm-City Committee Chairman Jeff Helms said the contest recognizes sustainable farm businesses that exhibit sound management, environmental stewardship and innovation.
“Alabama’s Farm of Distinction is the highest honor an agricultural operation can receive,” Helms said. “The Farm-City Committee created the award to showcase exceptional farms as it seeks to improve understanding and cooperation between farmers and their urban or suburban neighbors.”
Up to five finalists for the award will be selected based on applications, and each will receive a $250 gift certificate from Alabama Farmers Cooperative. Judges will travel to the farms of each finalist, and the overall winner will be announced at the Alabama Farm-City Awards Luncheon April 2 in Birmingham.
Alabama’s Farm of Distinction will receive a John Deere Gator from SunSouth, TriGreen and Snead Ag dealers; a $1,000 gift certificate from Alabama Farmers Cooperative (AFC); $2,500 from Swisher International and an engraved farm sign from Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance. The overall winner will represent Alabama in the Swisher Sweets / Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year contest at the Sunbelt Ag Expo Oct. 20-22.
“The 2014 Alabama Farm of Distinction was Hunter Trees, a landscape tree nursery in Alpine,” Helms said. “Phillip Hunter and his family do an outstanding job representing Alabama agriculture. Like all Farm of Distinction winners, the Hunters are the cream of the crop. Their commitment to high-quality products, community involvement and conservation of natural resources helps achieve Farm-City’s mission.”
Farm-City Week started in 1955 and is officially observed the week before Thanksgiving, however, many county Farm-City committees sponsor educational activities throughout the year. Farm-City volunteers will help celebrate National Agriculture Day March 18.
Farm of Distinction applications are available under documents at AlabamaFarmCity.org. For more information about National Agriculture Day, visit AgDay.org.