Auburn University (AU) and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System celebrated the Alabama Farmers Federation’s recent centennial by unveiling a historical marker Feb. 17. The marker was erected at the Alfa Pavilion at Auburn’s Ag Heritage Park.
Federation and Alfa Insurance President Jimmy Parnell said the marker also honors the men and women who, a century ago, came together to provide a unified voice for rural Alabama in public policy.
“These farmers partnered with Extension and the College of Agriculture to create one of America’s most influential farm organizations,” Parnell said. “We are proud to continue that partnership today as Federation members provide grassroots input and support for agricultural education, research, outreach and advocacy.”
The historical marker also recognizes the late Luther Duncan, an early director of Alabama Extension and later Auburn president. He was instrumental in founding Alabama Farm Bureau, now the Federation, in 1921.
Alabama Cooperative Extension System Director Mike Phillips lauded the marker and its challenge to current generations.
“A century ago, our nation had just emerged from a world war, the Great Depression was looming, and life on the farm was rewarding but hard,” Phillips said. “Our forefathers understood that if their children were to have a bright future, they needed to avail themselves of opportunities to learn and insist that their vision and hard work would make the world a better place. This historical marker is a testament to their commitment to future generations and a challenge to us all to follow in their footsteps.”
Officials at the unveiling stressed the importance of Auburn’s land-grant mission to serve Alabamians.
“Auburn’s College of Agriculture and the Alabama Farmers Federation have very similar missions in serving the farmers and agricultural communities of our state, so we have been close partners over the past century,” said Paul Patterson, dean of AU’s College of Agriculture. “Throughout its history, Alfa has been vital to this state through its support, outreach and advocacy for farms, farming families and rural communities. We are proud to celebrate this historic occasion with them.”
View the marker in person at 620-A S. Donahue Drive, Auburn University, AL 36849.