News Miss Auburn University: Rooted in Agriculture

Miss Auburn University: Rooted in Agriculture

Miss Auburn University: Rooted in Agriculture
March 1, 2024 |

By Maggie Edwards 

Farm life paved the road to the crown for Miss Auburn University (AU) Mary-Coker Green. 

“A farmer works hard to put seeds in the ground they aren’t guaranteed will grow,” said Green, the daughter and granddaughter of Mobile County farmers Danny and Monica Green and Charles Turner. “There is a blind faith of being willing to put in the work that the Lord has called you to do without knowing if you are going to reap any benefits.” 

Green cultivated that understanding on her family’s cattle, vegetable and cut-flower farm in Citronelle, with stops in her childhood including Hoover and Pensacola, Florida. 

“I spent a lot of time in the garden,” said Green, 20. “I would build fences, feed animals, get eggs in the morning. I’ve even pulled a few calves. There is a multitude of ways farm life has impacted me, but my work ethic is the main thing.” 

Green’s grit and gumption doesn’t stop on the farm. 

As Miss AU, she will represent the university in the Miss Alabama scholarship competition this summer. Last year, Green placed in the Top 13. Contest categories include fitness, interview, red carpet walk, talent (Green plays the fiddle) and a social impact initiative. The latter highlights Green’s nonprofit, Engage: Building Healthy and Resilient Minds. 

Double majoring in agricultural business & economics and public relations, Green aspires to represent organizations and companies larger than herself. 

“Public relations stood out because the ability to take someone’s mission and goals and spread it to the world is important,” Green said. “The audience that piqued my interest was the agricultural industry.”

Miss Auburn University Mary-Coker Green has had a hand in agriculture since an early age.

At age 13, Green’s life shifted as she began competing in the Miss America Organization’s teen program. More changes came when she experienced a life-altering car wreck her senior year of high school.

Through that, she learned to approach trauma with grief and gratitude. 

She credits the Miss America Organization with giving her skills — like confidence — to face her fears, start her nonprofit and write a book, “The Girl Who Grew A Garden.”

“The book focuses on a little girl who grew up on a farm, much like me,” said Green while flipping through the book’s colorful pages. “She is given a sunflower seed, watches it grow and falls in love with it, but as all flowers do, it wilts away. Toward the end, she sees that the head is filled with other seeds and gets to choose the act of grieving or spreading joy.” 

“The Girl Who Grew A Garden” (available on Amazon) ties in with her nonprofit, which educates and engages citizens about trauma recovery and mental health.

Miss Auburn University Mary-Coker Green finds joy in telling her life’s story, including a rich childhood on her family’s Mobile County farm. Her book, “The Girl Who Grew A Garden,” is available on Amazon. Green will compete in Miss Alabama this summer.

Green’s goal is to help younger girls understand it’s possible to choose a future beyond present circumstances. Competing in Miss Alabama gave her that opportunity. 

“Because of this organization, I have been able to interview and write resumes for scholarships,” Green said. “I have also received the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation (AFAF) scholarship from the Alabama Farmers Federation. More than just financial funds, it has given me the ability to pursue the life I want.” 

Green is a great example of the caliber of students who receive AFAF scholarships, said the Federation’s Matthew Durdin, who oversees the scholarship selection process. 

“The Federation is proud to award scholarships to students who give back to the community,” Durdin said. “Mary-Coker has served many leadership roles at AU. She represents the mission of our organization and the agricultural industry. It’s inspiring to see young people with her work ethic.” 

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