By Debra Davis
Innovation, history, technology and research all are parts of what farmers will find at the Alabama Farmers Federation Farm and Land Expo in Montgomery Aug. 5-8.
Farm and industry tours, along with educational workshops, await those who attend the meeting based at the Montgomery Convention Center. The expo also will feature a cotton sewing contest, Young Farmers contests and the new Ag Innovation Challenge.
“The tours are always a favorite,” said the Federation’s Brian Hardin, who is the Governmental & Agricultural Programs Department director. “Poultry, cattle, forestry, wildlife, agritourism and research endeavors are all parts of the tour stops. Members enjoy seeing what other farmers are doing, and they like to see research that’s being developed to help them remain sustainable and profitable.”
Saturday’s events will include keynote speaker Steve Robinson, the former chief marketing officer and executive vice president of Chick-fil-A. Other activities celebrate the Federation’s centennial, including an antique tractor show.
Two outstanding Auburn University and Alabama Cooperative Extension System personnel nominated by farmers will be honored at the expo. The Rittenour Award for Production Agriculture & Forestry Research will recognize Auburn University faculty for creative and original research. The winner receives up to $10,000 in program support, which can fund graduate students or research operations. The Duncan Award for Excellence in Production Agriculture & Forestry Extension will honor Alabama Extension staff for developing or implementing solutions to address stakeholder-identified problems. The winner receives up to $5,000 for programming costs.
The conference concludes with Young Farmers contests results, including announcement of the Outstanding Young Farm Family, Excellence in Agriculture winner and four Discussion Meet finalists. The winner of the new Ag Innovation Challenge also will be announced.
At the closing banquet, entertainment will be country music singer Billy Dean.
Registration information is available at AlfaFarmers.org under Events.