Around 750 Alabama farmers gathered in Chattanooga Aug. 1-3 for farm tours and seminars — and to recognize outstanding producers and industry experts.
The goal of the 47th annual Commodity Producers Conference was to help farmers improve their operations back home, said the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Brian Hardin.
“Our tours and speakers helped showcase the agricultural diversity of farms in northeast Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee,” said Hardin, the Federation’s Governmental & Agricultural Programs Department Director. “We hope we were able to expand farmers’ horizons and, ultimately, affect their bottom line.”
Seminars focused on a wide range of topics, including hemp, highway regulations, state branding projects, social media marketing, beef cattle and innovative uses of forest products.
Extension professionals were also awarded for work tangibly affecting farmers. Dr. Kim Mullenix received the Alfa Award For Production Agriculture & Forestry Research, while Dr. Ayanava Majumdar earned the Alfa Award For Production Agriculture & Forestry Extension.
During the closing banquet, Young Farmers contest winners were named. Luke Smelley of Hale County won the Outstanding Young Farm Family contest, while Kim and Daniel Mullenix of Lee County scored the Excellence in Agriculture title. Four Discussion Meet finalists — Ellie Watson, Lee County; Adam Wilson, Calhoun County; Kyle Morris, Cullman County; and Brad Cox, Fayette County — will compete in the final round of competition in December.
Other conference events included a welcome from Tennessee Farm Bureau President Jeff Aiken; a $5,000 donation to North Jackson High School for help after a near-tragic grain bin accident in Stevenson; a concert by the Geneva FFA String Band; and entertainment by The Heart Behind The Music, featuring Linda Davis and Lenny LeBlanc.
The 2020 Commodity Producers Conference will be in Mobile.