By Maggie Edwards
The Alabama Farmers Federation cultivated future leaders as it awarded more than $140,000 in scholarships to students pursuing degrees in agriculture, forestry and related fields at Auburn University (AU).
Eighty-two students were recognized during the organization’s annual scholarship reception Sept. 26 at Lazenby Farms in Auburn, where Federation President Jimmy Parnell praised the students’ achievements.
“We are committed to the next generation,” Parnell said. “We believe these students are the future of this state, this nation and this organization.”
During the reception, Parnell charged the students to work hard, think deeply and make connections — advice given to him during his time as an AU College of Agriculture student in the ‘80s.
A special partnership between the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation (AFAF) and county Farmers Federations helps provide $1,750 scholarships to land-grant university students.
County Farmers Federations honored separate scholarship recipients during the reception, while three other students were awarded special scholarships honoring individuals or organizations integral to Alabama agriculture. Maggie Holloway of Cullman County received the R.W. Donaldson Memorial Scholarship, and Will Jordan of Clay County won the Mike Henry Memorial Scholarship. Will Cowan of Lee County was awarded the Alabama Catfish Producers Scholarship.
AU sophomore Kameria Doss of Pickens County spoke on behalf of fellow honorees during the reception. Doss thanked the Federation for its financial support throughout her college career.
Doss is a biosystems engineering major who plans to focus on environmental issues and design equipment to aid agriculture.
“I desire to discover and improve upon new ways to sustain our natural resources,” Doss said. “Growing up, I would spend summers with my grandparents on their farm. I want their farm, and farms across Alabama, to be a place generations can enjoy.”
Chambers County Farmers Federation President Chris Langley congratulated recipients on their success and encouraged them to think boldly — and make a plan.
“My goal is for y’all to see through a crystal ball and look out to your future,” Langley said. “You have to have faith in the Lord and your family. That will carry you through.”
Scholarships from the Federation have been awarded to AU students since 1983. AFAF was founded in 2009 as a platform to support agricultural education and is funded through Ag Tag sales.
The 2023 scholarship application opens Nov. 1 and is available at AlfaFarmers.org/scholarships.
View county group and individual recipient photos on the Federation’s Facebook and Flickr pages.