Activities designed to build bridges between rural and urban residents earned Coffee and Pike counties top honors during the Alabama Farm-City Awards May 12. The event was held via livestream after COVID-19 restrictions forced the cancellation of an April 2 luncheon in Birmingham.
“Coronavirus highlighted what Farm-City volunteers have always known — we are dependent on one another to get food and fiber from farms to our families,” said Alabama Farm-City Committee Chair Jeff Helms. “From farmers and forest owners to truckers and manufacturers to grocers and chefs, we all ‘Keep Alabama Growing.’”
Counties were split in population-based divisions. Coffee County was named Best Farm-City Committee in Division 1 (for larger counties), while Pike County won the top award in Division 2 (for less populated counties).
Coffee County’s Farm-City activities included a tour of farms and agribusinesses; a banquet with 350 attendees; the Real McCoy’s Luncheon to honor older farmers; and a petting zoo for 1,000 preschoolers. Coffee County also won Division 1 awards for Best Media Coverage and Proclamation and Best Scrapbook.
In addition to a tour and banquet, Pike County activities included a photography exhibit of old barns; a tree giveaway; peanut donation to educators; a third-grade farm day; and a job swap between a farmer and the probate judge. They also won Division 2 awards for Best Media Coverage and Proclamation, Best Civic Club Activities and Best Special Activities.
Runners-up were Cullman County, Division 1, and Cherokee County, Division 2. Cullman County also won the Innovative Idea Award and had Best Civic Club Activities in Division 1. Cherokee County’s Division 2 honors included the Innovative Idea Award and Target Award for staying on theme.
Bob Harris was named Volunteer of the Year for stepping up as Lee County chair when unforeseen circumstances left the seat vacant. During Harris’s two-year tenure, the committee increased participation in programs and initiated new projects. He was praised for enthusiasm and creativity.
Houston County’s Phillip Carter won the Service Award for going the extra mile as an employee of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System in service to the county committee. He was described as one of Farm-City’s most vocal advocates.
Farm-City Week 2020 is Nov. 20-26. The theme is “Sweet Grown Alabama.”
Other Division 1 Winners
- Lee County — Best Farm-City Tour
- Colbert County — Best Farm-City Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
- Houston County — Best Special Activities
- Dale County — Target Award
Other Division 2 Winners
- Chambers County — Best Farm-City Tour and Best Scrapbook
- Fayette County — Best Farm-City Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
- Barbour County — Innovative Idea Honorable Mention
- Lawrence County – Innovative Idea Honorable Mention