For the seventh consecutive year, Cullman County volunteers headed home with some serious hardware as the Overall Best Farm-City Committee following the Alabama Farm-City Awards Luncheon in Birmingham April 4.
Cullman County was also named Best Farm-City Committee in Division 1 (counties with larger populations), held the Best Farm-City Dinner and received the Innovative Idea Award. County volunteers found new ways to communicate the importance of agriculture by partnering with the North Alabama Agriplex to host Power of Produce programs at the farmers market. Recipes were prepared with fresh produce, and children were given $2 gift certificates for produce if they tried the dish.
Altogether, about 200 volunteers invested more than 5,000 hours to reach 100,000 people in Cullman and surrounding areas with the Farm-City message, including the 2018 theme of “200 Years of Alabama Agriculture.”
Coffee County was awarded Division 1 Best Farm-City Committee Runner-up. A special Press Day allowing media to visit with county honorees earned Coffee County the Best Media Coverage / Proclamation. For their work chronicling the year, Coffee County also received the Scrapbook Award.
A close second for the overall prize, Pike County received the Best Farm-City Committee for Division 2 (counties with smaller populations). Farm tours, events and award programs impacted community members of all ages, from elementary schoolers to adults. Pike County also won the Target Award and had the Best Media Coverage / Proclamation.
Randolph County was named Division 2 Best Farm City-Committee Runner-up. Its new Farm Photo Contest also earned the county the Innovative Idea Award.
After more than 35 years fulfilling the Farm-City mission, Houston County’s Janice Shepard took home the Service Award. Alabama Farm-City Committee Chairman Jeff Helms said Shepard understands the interdependence of farmers and townspeople, while her nomination stated, “Some people do great work, but attitude and a desire to help the agricultural community set her apart.”
The Volunteer of the Year was Vicky Yarbrough of Lee County. Yarbrough’s organizational skills, work ethic, creativity, servant’s heart and passion for Farm-City caused her to rack up 275 hours of volunteer work during 2018 alone. Nominators called Yarbrough the “reason why our Farm-City committee has prospered” and said, “Without her, we would be in a world of hurt.”
Other committees notching wins in Division 1 were:
- DeKalb County — National Ag Day Promotion
- Mobile County — Target Award
- Lauderdale County — Best Farm-City Tour
- Lee County — Best Special Activities
- Marshall County — Best Civic Club Activities
In Division 2, other winners were:
- Crenshaw County — National Ag Day Promotion
- Lawrence County — Best Farm-City Tour
- Fayette County — Best Farm-City Dinner
- Geneva County — Best Civic Club Activities
- Chambers County — Best Special Activities, Scrapbook Award