By Marlee Moore
Exemplary Young Farmers and statewide contest winners from Cherokee, Cullman and Dale counties received extensive prize packages during the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 100th annual meeting in Montgomery Dec. 5.
Winners include Discussion Meet champion Kyle Morris of Cullman County, who earned a four-wheeler from First South Farm Credit.
The contest simulates a committee meeting where participants discuss solutions to current agricultural issues. Morris was one of four finalists chosen after preliminary competitions during the Federation’s Farm & Land Expo this summer. The finals were held during the annual meeting. Other finalists were Leah Mitchell, DeKalb County; Matthew Johnson, Etowah County; and Levi Noles, Randolph County.
Outstanding Young Farm Family (OYFF) winners Josh and Savannah McCoy were also honored. The Dale County farmers have three sons, Fields, Sutton and Shep, and grow peanuts and cotton. They also operate a state-of-the-art peanut shelling facility, buying point and seed treatment business, which serves farmers nationwide. As the OYFF, the McCoys received $35,000 toward a Ford truck courtesy of Alfa Insurance; a John Deere Gator from Alabama Ag Credit and Alabama Farm Credit; and a lease on a John Deere tractor from AgPro, SunSouth and TriGreen.
OYFF contestants receive the bulk of their income from production agriculture and are chosen through an intense application, interview and on-farm judging process.
Cherokee County’s Lauren and Landon Marks won the Excellence in Agriculture contest earlier this year and received their prize at the annual meeting. The respective veterinarian and Extension agent received a zero-turn mower from Corteva Agriscience and a computer package from Valcom/CCS Wireless.
Excellence in Agriculture contestants first chronicle their passion for agriculture, Farm Bureau involvement and analysis of industry issues through an application before presenting in front of a panel of judges.
The McCoys and Markses won their respective contests at the Farm & Land Expo. All winners will represent Alabama in American Farm Bureau Federation contests in Atlanta in January and received Red Land Cotton gift certificates courtesy of the Federation.
For more information on contests, visit AlfaYoungFarmers.org.