Young artists and writers from Mobile, Jackson, Houston and Shelby counties took top honors in the Alabama Farm-City poster, essay and multimedia contests at an awards luncheon April 2 in Birmingham.
Jackson County 11th-grader Avery Fairbanks won the 10th- through 12th-grade division of the essay contest, while Mobile County eighth-grader Addy Stringfellow placed first among seventh- through ninth-graders. Second-place honors went to 11th-grader Laurin Bell of Shelby County, 10th- through 12th; and ninth-grader Kinley Bell of Shelby County, seventh- through ninth-grade.
In the multimedia contest, Shelby County senior Nathaniel Ruiz won the top prize. Houston County ninth-graders Olivia Starling and Dara Glass were second-place winners.
Alabama Farmers Cooperative (AFC) awarded $300 to first-place winners in the essay and multimedia contests and $200 for second. The students’ schools received matching awards.
The state’s best posters were illustrated by Houston County third-grader Logan McNiel, who placed first in the kindergarten through third-grade division, and Houston County sixth-grader Makayla DelVecchio, who topped the fourth- through sixth-grade division.
Second-place trophies and cash awards went to Lamar County second-grader Trevor Dale Cunningham, kindergarten through third-grade; and Etowah County fourth-grader Jada Hill, fourth- through sixth-grade.
Ten students received an honorable mention. Their posters will appear alongside the first- and second-place winners in the 2016 Alabama Farm-City calendar. About 28,000 copies of the calendar are sold each year. Honorable mentions were Ashley Tello, Cullman County; Clay Perry, Choctaw County; Daniel Carr, Pickens County; Grace Huett, Dale County; Grace Mills, Talladega County; Eric Samelo, Montgomery County; Madison Garrett, Marshall County; Emma Kate Tittle, Marion County; Nathanael Smitherman, Randolph County; and Lena Whatley, Washington County
“This year’s theme is ‘Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed,’” said Alabama Farm-City Committee Chairman Jeff Helms. “These contests give students the opportunity to learn more about the vital link between urban cities and rural farms and how they both work together to ensure we have the safest, most affordable food source in the world.”
In the poster contest, AFC awarded $200 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for an honorable mention. Schools of the first- and second-place winners received matching awards. Student winners at the Farm-City luncheon qualified for state competition by winning their county contests.
The awards luncheon was held in conjunction with the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Women’s Leadership Conference.
First observed in 1955, Farm-City Week is celebrated the week before Thanksgiving, but volunteers work year-round to foster understanding among farmers and their city neighbors.
Adult county volunteers also were recognized for outstanding Farm-City activities at the awards luncheon (see page 6), and Alabama’s Farm of Distinction was named. Photos of the awards luncheon are on the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Flickr page.