The halls of Congress are a stark contrast to Alabama farmland, but it’s where many decisions are made which determine the success of farmers throughout the country.
For 21 years, state farmers have had a friend and a voice in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt. Public service and dedication to farmers and all Alabamians earned him the Alabama Farmers Federation’s highest honor, the Service To Agriculture Award. He’ll receive the award at the organization’s 96th annual meeting in Montgomery Dec. 3.
“While I try to keep my head down and just do as good of a job as I can for Alabama, I have been fortunate enough to receive awards throughout my career,” Aderholt said. “This one, however, is different as it comes from the people I truly admire and try to keep at the forefront of my thoughts in Washington.”
Aderholt said his wife, Caroline, grew up in the Federation, adding the organization was especially important to his late father-in-law Albert McDonald, who was a farmer and active in the farming community. McDonald, a former Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, received the Service To Agriculture Award in 1987, which Aderholt said makes his award extra special.
“I always like to say that agriculture is one of the few issues that touches everyone,” he said. “So, the subcommittee that I chair impacts everyone in America. I don’t know many people who don’t eat.”
First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for Alabama’s Fourth Congressional District in 1996, Aderholt has been a strong supporter of Alabama farmers and forest landowners. He’s a member of the House Committee on Appropriations and chairman of the subcommittee on agricultural appropriations.
“Throughout his tenure, Rep. Aderholt has maintained close relationships with farmers in the district and seeks their guidance on issues impacting agriculture,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “He’s an advocate of fiscal responsibility, truth in budgeting and a federal government that operates within its means.”
Prior to his election to Congress, Aderholt was assistant legal advisor to Gov. Fob James and was a municipal judge for his hometown of Haleyville. Educated through Alabama’s public school system, he received his B.A. from Birmingham Southern College and a law degree from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. The Aderholts have two children, Mary Elliott and Robert Hayes.