Contests, benevolence and a town-hall-style meeting will give farmers new ways to participate at the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Commodity Producers Conference July 28-31 in Mobile.
“Our goal is to increase engagement among Federation members and guests in order to better serve their needs,” said Governmental and Agricultural Programs Department Director Brian Hardin. “The Commodity Producers Conference was started 44 years ago to provide farmers an opportunity to discover new opportunities, discuss challenges and exchange ideas. By encouraging more participation, we hope to increase feedback and communication not only during the conference, but year-round.”
A highlight of the event will be the “Let’s Talk” discussion panel Saturday, July 30, at 2:30 p.m. The general session will feature the deans of agriculture and forestry at Auburn University, Alabama A&M University and Tuskegee University, as well as the director of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Federation President Jimmy Parnell will facilitate the discussion, which will be directed by questions from conference attendees.
“Rather than having these leaders present prepared remarks and slide presentations, we’re encouraging farmers to ask questions from the floor,” Hardin said. “This is an opportunity for our land grant university leaders to hear from stakeholders about research, education and outreach needs.”
To jumpstart participation, the session will feature a live, electronic survey using Poll Everywhere. Attendees are encouraged to download the Poll Everywhere app for their smartphones so they’re ready to participate during the conference.
Other opportunities for involvement include a competitive fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House during registration. Attendees from different areas of the state will have a chance to demonstrate regional pride and generosity by giving to the worthwhile cause.
The Women’s Leadership Division will give members a chance to vote for the People’s Choice Award in the Tablescapes contest. Tour participants will be able to win valuable prizes by snapping photos along the route and posting them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #alfafarmers16 and tour color. Select photos from the contest will be featured at the banquet Saturday night.
For an agenda and information about the Commodity Conference, visit http://tinyurl.com/AFFCC2016.