Farmers, business leaders and students across Alabama will honor and strengthen the connections between urban and rural residents this month during Farm-City Week.
Celebrated the week before Thanksgiving each year, Farm-City Week is a chance to recognize the contributions farmers and their city counterparts make in delivering food and fiber to the world.
Alabama Farm-City Chairman Jeff Helms said this year’s theme of “Sustaining Future Generations” speaks to the heart of what farming is all about.
“Farming sustains life by providing food, shelter and clothing,” Helms said. “Without agriculture, everyday life would be like popular survival shows on television. While the idea of making primitive fire, setting traps to catch game and gathering berries for food might sound appealing for a week, with a film crew and safety team nearby, few of us would choose that lifestyle permanently.”
Thousands of students will interpret the theme in posters, essays and multimedia presentations, while adults will highlight the interdependence of farmers and city residents at tours, banquets, festivals and other events.
Helms said the sustainability of farming reaches far beyond the farm gate.
“Farmers play key roles in the sustainability of natural resources. Modern agricultural practices reduce erosion, create wildlife habitats, conserve water resources and preserve wetlands,” Helms said. “Farming also sustains the economy. Agriculture and forestry have a $70 billion-a-year impact on Alabama’s economy, and related industries account for more than 20 percent of all jobs.”
Winning entries of county Farm-City poster, essay and multimedia contests will compete at the state level for $4,700 in cash prizes from the Alabama Farmers Cooperative. State winners, along with outstanding county volunteer efforts, will be recognized at the Alabama Farm-City Awards April 7 in Birmingham. State poster and essay winners will be featured in the 2017 Alabama Farm-City Calendar.
Copies of the 2016 Alabama Farm-City Calendar are available now. To order, send $1.25 each, plus $7 shipping for a minimum order of 20 copies, to: Alabama Farmers Federation, Attn: Paula Culver, P.O. Box 11000, Montgomery, AL 36191.
For more information, visit alabamafarmcity.org.