Nearly 400 young farmers representing 54 counties headed to the Capital City March 2-3 to network and learn from the best in the business during farm tours.
The Young Farmers Conference kicked off with a welcome from Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell and entertainment from Fun Pianos by 176 Keys, a dueling piano show.
Buses departed for central and southeast Alabama farms early March 3, a feature back for its second year.
Tour A in Dallas County visited Pearce Catfish Farm, the Orrville Farmers Market and Bell Place Farms.
Tour B began at Robertson/Lanier & McKay Cattle Co. in Chambers County before heading to Auburn University’s National Poultry Technology Center. The tour ended at Young’s Plant Farm in Lee County.
“It’s not easy to get away from our farms throughout the year, so this conference is a great way to catch up with friends,” said Bibb County Young Farmers Chair Ashton Cottingham, who attended Tour B. “The tours help us learn from more experienced farmers so we can better our operations.”
Parkman Land & Cattle Co. in Montgomery County kicked off Tour C, followed by a stop at Gene and Jana Renfroe’s TREASURE Forest in Pike County. Steve Stroud’s poultry and hay farm wrapped up the tour.
Saturday evening, a live auction raised $10,830 for the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation, and 2018 Outstanding Young Farm Family finalists were announced. They are Chad and Heather Grant of Butler County, Gannon and Kristin Nunley of Franklin County and Chris and Jordyn Upchurch of Clay County.
Learn more in the April Neighbors and on the Federation's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels.