Outstanding Young Farm Families in 10 commodity divisions were recognized Feb. 5 when more than 300 Alabama Farmers Federation members gathered in Pine Mountain, Ga., for the organization’s Young Farmers Leadership Conference.Up-and-coming farmers from throughout Alabama competed in the Outstanding Young Farm Family (OYFF) program during the two-day conference that was held at Callaway Gardens. Six finalists, chosen from among the 10 division winners, will now compete for the overall OYFF title, which will be announced in December at the Federation’s 84th Annual Meeting in Mobile.The commodity division winners were: Beef Division, Mike and Denise Henry of Montgomery County; Cotton Division, Chad and Marie Henderson of Limestone County; Forestry Division, Robb and Casey Brannan of Mobile County; Greenhouse, Nursery and Sod Division, Harmie Hubbard of Etowah County; Hay and Forage Division, Brad and Jennifer Bradley of Jefferson County; Peanut Division, Jay and Julia Anne Minter of Dallas County; Pork Division, Reggie and Amanda Blair of Clay County; Poultry Division, Jonathan and Laura Burge of Randolph County; Soybean Division, Benjamin and Miranda Looney of Limestone County; and Wheat and Feed Grain Division, Jessie and Amanda Hobbs of Limestone County.The six finalists were the Henrys, Minters, Blairs, Hendersons, Hobbses and Hubbard.Each commodity winner received an engraved, wooden plaque and a $200 cash prize. Those winners also will serve as ex-officio members of their respective state commodity committees during 2005. The overall winner, which will be selected by a panel of judges that will visit each farm, will receive a personal computer and one year’s use of a new vehicle.The OYFF competition was the highlight of the Young Farmers Leadership Conference, which is designed to prepare farmers ages 17-35 for leadership positions in agriculture and their communities. The theme for this year’s conference was “Farming at Nature’s Pace.” Federation Young Farmers Director Brandon Moore said workshops conducted during the conference should help farmers make the most of the natural beauty and wildlife resources on their land.”The land is a farmer’s greatest asset,” Moore said. “Our goal is to help young farmers maximize the environmental, aesthetic and financial benefits of this resource by showing them ways to improve wildlife habitat, diversify their farm operations and market their farm to a public that’s hungry for natural experiences.”For more information about the Young Farmers program, visit www.alfayoungfarmers.org.
Outstanding Young Farm Families Honored