The Lee County and Walker County Farmers Federations were among 24 county Farm Bureaus nationwide to receive the County Activities of Excellence (CAE) Awards from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). The winners were highlighted during AFBF’s 95th annual convention, Jan. 12-15, in San Antonio.
Both counties provided information about their CAE events at the convention’s trade show — Lee County for its Agricultural Fair, and Walker County for its Sharing Agriculture in Education: Books, Red Barns and Blue Jackets.
“I’m proud of my county for being here and the work it’s done to increase agricultural awareness and grow membership,” said Lee County Farmers Federation President Tom Ingram.
Walker County Farmers Federation President Dorman Grace said it was a wonderful experience to share his county’s program with hundreds of other Farm Bureau leaders.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with folks from all over the country asking about where we got the bookshelves, the books we used and project funding,” Grace said.
AFBF President Bob Stallman said CAE winners exemplify county-level grassroots members who are the heart and soul of Farm Bureau.
“The innovative ways they reach out in their communities with information about today’s food and farming shows they are eager to engage and share their stories of agriculture,” Stallman said.
In addition to the trade show, more than 100 Alabama farmers joined 7,000 farmers nationwide for educational seminars, voting delegate sessions and Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) competitions.
Alabama YF&R contestants were: Stewart McGill of Madison County, who was a semi-finalist in the National Discussion Meet; Stan and Kayla Usery of Limestone County in the Achievement Award contest; and Zac Burns of Marshall County in the Excellence in Agriculture competition.
Tuscaloosa farmer Clyde Leavelle said he was impressed by Farm Bureau taking the lead on national farming issues.
“I was particularly interested in the battle over EPA’s efforts to expand its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act,” Leavelle said. “It’s encouraging that Farm Bureau has made progress in opposing the unreasonable decisions made by EPA and the unreasonable control it’s trying to exert.”
The Alabama Farmers Federation was recognized at the convention with Excellence Awards in Education & Outreach, Leadership Development, Member Services, Policy Development & Implementation and Public Relations & Communications. Federation President Jimmy Parnell was re-elected to a two-year term on the AFBF Board of Directors during the meeting.