By Marlee Moore
The Alabama Farmers Federation is welcoming a familiar face as director of its Young Farmers Division. Hunter McBrayer, a commodity director whose roots run deep in the Young Farmers program, will begin his new role Aug. 23.
McBrayer said he is eager to travel the state, meet with members on their farms, increase engagement and help Young Farmers be more successful.
“I am excited to begin the next chapter of my Federation career,” said McBrayer, 32. “Working for the Federation’s Governmental and Agricultural Programs Department allowed me to see the deep purpose of our policy and how it drives our organization from the ground up. It involves all farmers, young or experienced.”
McBrayer joined the Federation three years ago, serving as director of the Bee & Honey and Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod divisions. He also was executive director of the Alabama Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association.
The Blount County native and former Alabama Cooperative Extension System agent has earned the respect and appreciation of members for his work on projects ranging from Sweet Grown Alabama and hemp production to developing new transplant suppliers for the state’s strawberry growers.
An alumnus of the Agricultural Leaders For Alabama (A.L.F.A. Leaders) program, McBrayer was an avid competitor in Young Farmers contests, including Discussion Meet, where he was a three-time finalist.
“The Young Farmers program opened the door for me to learn more about the vital role the Federation can play in improving the lives of our farmers and rural Alabama,” McBrayer said. “I look forward to forging new relationships with Young Farmers across the state and working alongside staff in bringing in the next crop of Federation leaders.”
Federation Executive Director Paul Pinyan said he’s excited about the future as the Federation celebrates its centennial.
“Hunter has a passion for leadership development and already has strong relationships with many of our Young Farmers through the Leaders program and the Federation’s commodity divisions,” Pinyan said. “I’m excited about the development of our next generation of leaders.”
A graduate of the University of Alabama with a degree in biology, McBrayer is finishing his master’s degree with Auburn University. He and wife Brooke, who is Communications Department assistant for the Federation, have a 15-month-old son, Mason. They live in Deatsville.
McBrayer replaces Young Farmers Division Director Jennifer Christenberry. The 9-year Federation veteran is transitioning to a new, part-time role with the Alabama FFA Foundation and leadership development, including the A.L.F.A. Leaders program.
Pinyan said Christenberry is a natural fit for the FFA Foundation, having served as a state and national FFA officer.
Christenberry said she is excited to continue her work with Leaders while having more time with her husband, John, and son, John David. The Christenberrys reside in Montgomery.