News Federation Delegates Vote to Join American Farm Bureau

Federation Delegates Vote to Join American Farm Bureau

Federation Delegates Vote to Join American Farm Bureau
December 29, 2005 |

Voting delegates to the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 84th Annual Meeting in Mobile voted overwhelmingly Dec. 5 to apply for membership in the American Farm Bureau Federation — a move approved Dec. 12 by the AFBF’s board of directors in Washington, D.C.”We’re delighted AFBF accepted our application,” said Federation President Jerry A. Newby. “Our members are looking forward to the mutual benefits of affiliating with the nation’s largest farmers’ organization. This will greatly increase our voice in Washington, strengthen our position internationally, and provide more opportunities for Alabama farmers.”The move also means that the American Farm Bureau Federation, with 5.5 million members, is now represented in each of the 50 states and Puerto Rico. The Alabama Farmers Federation has more than 460,000 members.Newby said the affiliation with AFBF “ultimately increases our ability to fulfill our mission to ensure unlimited opportunities for Alabama’s rural and agricultural communities. With fewer and fewer farmers, it becomes even more important for us to speak with one voice.”AFBF President Bob Stallman echoed similar sentiments, saying that the Alabama Farmers Federation’s leadership in Alabama’s agriculture sector further strengthens AFBF’s position as the nation’s leading and most influential general farm organization.”The American Farm Bureau takes a lot of pride in being affiliated with the top farm organization in every state, and this move ensures we will continue with that tradition,” Stallman said. “The Alabama Farmers Federation has long been a force for agriculture in that state, and we are excited about extending the full rights of Farm Bureau membership to them, their county (organizations) and their individual members.” Stallman said the Alabama Farmers Federation membership’s full participation takes effect immediately following the AFBF’s annual meeting this month in Nashville.The Alabama Farmers Federation’s decision to vote on the Farm Bureau affiliation was unanimously recommended by the group’s Long Range Planning Committee, led by Ricky Wiggins of Covington County. Wiggins is the Federation’s southeast vice president. “Alabama Farmers Federation members have enjoyed the benefits of belonging to the state’s largest farmers’ organization,” Wiggins said. “These benefits will be greatly enhanced by our affiliation with the nation’s largest farmers’ organization.”The Federation has a long relationship with Farm Bureau, having been founded by farmers in 1921 as the Alabama Farm Bureau.
About 1,500 members from across the state attended the annual meeting at the Mobile Civic Center and Mobile Convention Center.The vote underscored the “Building From the Ground Up” theme selected for the annual meeting. Newby said the optimistic theme reflected on “our future with agriculture and our grassroots membership providing a strong foundation for building an even better organization in the years ahead.”Also at the annual meeting, voting delegates re-elected Steve Dunn from Conecuh County as the Federation’s secretary/treasurer, Dean Wysner of Randolph County as central region vice president and Jake Harper of Wilcox County as southwest region vice president. Elections were also held for four district board positions for the statewide organization. Etowah County farmer Earl Saxon was elected to represent District 3, which includes Cherokee, DeKalb, Etowah and Jackson counties. Clay County farmer Doyle Phillips was elected to represent District 6, which includes Calhoun, Clay, Cleburne, Randolph, St. Clair, Shelby and Talladega counties. Chilton County farmer Jimmy Parnell was re-elected to represent District 9, which includes Autauga, Butler, Chilton, Lowndes, Montgomery and Wilcox counties. Dale County farmer Jerry Byrd was elected to represent District 12, which includes Dale, Geneva, Henry and Houston counties. Each board member will serve a three-year term.Elected to one year, ex-officio terms on the state board were Women’s Committee Chairman Ronnie Mobley of Winston County and State Young Farmers Chairman Townsend Kyser of Hale County.Other new Young Farmers Committee officers include Mitch Lazenby of Lee County, vice-chairman, and Greg Kaiser of Baldwin County, secretary.New Young Farmers committee members elected were: Colby Willoughby, Houston County, South Alabama at-large; Webb Holmes, Perry County, District 5; Steve Stroud, Pike County, District 7; and Jessie Hobbs, Limestone County, District 1.
Dianne Nall of Monroe was elected vice chairman, and Sharon Turner of Geneva was elected secretary of the Women’s Division.Also elected were Virginia Abercrombie of Morgan County, who will represent Region 1, Sara Lazzari of Baldwin County as Region 3 representative, and Delle Bean of Calhoun County, who was elected as the at-large state committee member. Dr. Walter Hill, dean of Tuskegee University’s College of Agricultural, Environmental and Natural Sciences, was presented with the Service to Agriculture Award, the Federation’s highest honor. Hill is co-editor of 15 books and numerous journal articles on agriculture, the environment and rural development. The Communications Award was presented to The Pickens County Herald for its coverage of agricultural events and issues.

View Related Articles