The addition of a new Equine Division is expected to produce a record turnout Feb. 5-7 when the Alabama Farmers Federation holds its annual Commodity Organization Conference at Birmingham’s Cahaba Grand Conference Center.”We are especially excited about this year’s conference because we’ll be officially organizing the Equine Division,” said Commodity Director Jimmy Carlisle, noting that organization of the new commodity group will be complete with the election of state committee members and officers Feb. 6. “We continue to set attendance records at this meeting, and this year, we hope will be no exception with the addition of our 17th commodity.”At least 33 county Federations have expressed an interest in the addition of an Equine Division which will address issues facing Alabama’s horse industry and its annual economic impact of $573 million. A 12-member State Equine Committee will be formed at the organizational conference with four members elected to serve three years, four for two years and four for one year.Fifteen other commodity groups also will be electing new members and officers during the conference, which Carlisle says is an opportunity for leaders to review the past year’s activities and select goals and set priorities for the coming year. “The three-day format is an excellent educational opportunity for our members,” he said. “The commodity staff has done an excellent job of putting together speakers.”To oversee the equine division, Carlisle has named Perry Mobley, a former Auburn University rodeo team roper, its first director. Carlisle also appointed Guy Hall to assume directorship of the Dairy Division previously directed by Mobley.”The continued growth of our commodity department causes us to constantly evaluate and assess what we’re doing so that all of our commodities get the attention they need,” said Carlisle. “We’re fortunate to have knowledgeable, capable staff such as Perry and Guy already on board. I’m confident both will give their best effort for these important commodities.”Carlisle said Hall’s training in regulations governing Confined Animal Feeding Operations will be a “huge asset” in assisting livestock producers on compliance issues relating to CAFO regulations and waste management.The meeting date for each commodity is listed below. Registration for all meetings begins at 9 a.m. with commodity meetings beginning at 10 a.m. and concluding around 3:30 p.m.Tuesday, Feb. 5Bee & Honey, Beef, Catfish, Dairy, Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod and WildlifeWednesday, Feb. 6Cotton, Equine, Forestry, Meat Goat & Sheep and PorkThursday, Feb. 7Hay & Forage, Horticulture, Poultry, Soybean and Wheat & Feed GrainsWhile most of the Federation’s commodity groups gather in Birmingham, the state’s peanut growers will gather in Dothan as the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, a division of the Alabama Farmers Federation, holds its annual meeting Feb. 7. The APPA meeting is held in conjunction with its annual Alabama-Florida Peanut Trade Show at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds in Dothan. Registration for that meeting opens at 8:30 a.m.For more information about the organization conference, contact the Commodity Department at 1-800-392-5705, ext. 4293 or email GMullins@AlfaFarmers.org.
Commodity Organization Conference May Set Record With Equine