By Marlee Jackson
Four hundred sixty-two farmers from the Gulf Coast to the Tennessee Valley gathered in Montgomery Dec. 4 to conduct business for the state’s largest farm organization.
Agenda items included voting on policy recommendations and electing nine leaders to the Alabama Farmers Federation state board.
Steve Dunn was one leader elected during the group’s 102nd annual meeting. The Conecuh County row crop and cattle farmer was reelected to his 13th two-year term as secretary-treasurer of the 353,000-member-strong Federation.
Meanwhile, Jon Hegeman and Jake Harper were chosen to serve two more years as vice presidents.
This is the third term for Hegeman, a Calhoun County greenhouse owner. His Central Area includes Autauga, Bibb, Calhoun, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Fayette, Greene, Jefferson, Lamar, Pickens, Randolph, Shelby, St. Clair, Talladega, Tuscaloosa and Walker counties.
Harper of Wilcox County now begins his 11th term serving the Southwest Area, which covers Baldwin, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Escambia, Hale, Lowndes, Marengo, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Sumter, Washington and Wilcox counties. Harper manages a timber and cattle farm.
Additionally, farmer-delegates elected four peers to three-year terms as district directors.
David Bailey of DeKalb County was chosen to serve District 3, which includes Cherokee, DeKalb, Etowah and Jackson counties. Bailey is a poultry farmer and replaces board member John Bert East of Cherokee County.
Shelby County’s Phillip Hunter is beginning his third term serving District 6 farmers. That territory covers Calhoun, Clay, Cleburne, Randolph, Shelby, St. Clair and Talladega counties. Hunter owns and manages a tree farm.
Bill Cook of Montgomery County was reelected to represent District 9, which covers Autauga, Butler, Chilton, Lowndes, Montgomery and Wilcox counties. Now in his third term, Cook grows timber and operates a lawn care business.
Serving District 12 is newly elected Jerry Peak, a poultry and cattle farmer from Geneva County. His district includes Dale, Geneva, Henry and Houston counties. Peek replaces Thomas Adams of Henry County.
During the business session, delegates approved nominations for Debra Dunn and Dillon Turk to lead the State Women’s Leadership Committee and State Young Farmers Committee, respectively. Geneva County’s Dunn lives on a row crop and cattle farm, while Turk of Mobile County manages his family’s ornamental nursery. Dunn and Turk will also serve one-year, ex-officio terms on the state board, where they’ll gain deeper understanding of Federation business and the organization’s connection with Alfa Insurance.