Despite hot, muggy conditions, farmers turned out in droves to participate in agricultural tours during the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 30th Annual Commodity Producers Conference.The tours of more than 30 farms, research facilities and agribusinesses in the Tennessee Valley offered insight on different farming methods. It was especially interesting to farmers from south Alabama, said Glen Walters of Covington County.”It’s good to see practices used on other farms in different areas of the state,” he said. “Because of the different crops and soil types, we may not be able to use all of the ideas here in south Alabama, but it was interesting and informative.”The goat field day was a big hit among Commodity Conference attendees, drawing a crowd of nearly 300 people from Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.”We had several people at our meeting who had never attended an Alfa Farmers’ function,” said James “Dewit” Griffin, chairman of the Federation’s State Meat Goat and Sheep Committee. “I think we picked up several new members through this meeting, and we are all more convinced than ever that the meat goat market in Alabama has tremendous potential.”Ronnie Joe Jordan of Monroe County attended the cotton and beef tours. He said he gained valuable information from both, adding that he hopes to put that information to work back on his farm.”On the cotton tour, we visited the research center where they are developing all sorts of new ideas and technology,” Jordan said. “We also visited some really good cotton farms, and it was good to see what other growers are doing to try to make money.”Jordan had similar praise for the beef tour. “In a lot of cases, the (north Alabama) producers are putting loads of calves together to sell and getting more money for them. We need to try to do that in our area of the state. I think it will work here, too.”More than 1,000 farmers attended the conference, including about 75 who earned continuing education credit during a concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) seminar and tour.
Commodity Conference Tours Allow Farmers To Share Ideas