OYFF Contestants Take First Step At Young Farmers Leadership Event
More than 300 young farm families from throughout the state will gather Feb. 27-March 1 at Montgomery’s Renaissance Hotel for the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 2009 Young Farmers Leadership Conference, an event that not only serves to develop tomorrow’s agricultural leaders but also is the first step in the Outstanding Young Farm Family competition as 17 state commodity winners are selected.The OYFF program, now entering its 52nd year, seeks to recognize young farm families and farmers between the ages of 18 and 35 who are doing an outstanding job in their farm, home and community activities, and promoting a better understanding of agriculture with the urban populace.Each commodity winner receives a plaque and $200 cash award. From the 17 commodity divisions, the top six finalists will be chosen. An overall winner is then selected from the six finalists, and will be named at the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 88th Annual Meeting in Mobile in December 2009.The overall winner receives a John Deere Gator, courtesy of the Federal Land Bank Association of Alabama, the use of a Dodge Nitro courtesy of the 67 county Farmers Federations, $500 cash from Dodge Trucks, $250 voucher for Valvoline Oil products and a computer package sponsored by the Valcom Business Centers of Alabama.The state winner also receives an all-expense-paid trip to the 2010 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Seattle where he/she will compete for the American Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award. The winner of the 2010 Achievement Award receives a nicely equipped 2010 Dodge Ram Quad Cab pickup.Activities for the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Young Farmers Leadership Conference begin Friday, Feb. 27, 5:45-6:30 p.m., with an invitation-only reception for county Young Farmers chairmen, followed by the opening banquet.Saturday activities include orientation for OYFF contestants at 7:45 a.m., followed at 8 by leadership development training and a seminar presented by Ag in the Classroom. OYFF judging begins at 8:30 a.m.Damian Mason, a farmer from Indiana will give a humorous presentation titled “Humor for the Heart of Agriculture.” Other workshops planned include training certification sessions for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO), an information session on the H2A immigrant guest worker labor program, followed by presentation of the 2008 Outstanding Young Farm Family.Other activities include a Pedal Tractor Pull, county photos and the highlight of the conference, the 2008 OYFF Awards banquet.For an OYFF application, visit www.AlfaYoungFarmers.org/ events and locate the Outstanding Young Farm Family page. Deadline for receiving OYFF contestant applications is Jan. 15.For more information or to register for the conference, contact your county Young Farmers chairman or secretary or Brandon Moore, director of the Young Farmers program, at (334) 451-2867 or BMoore@AlfaFarmers.org.
Registration deadline for the conference is Jan. 15, but space is limited. To download an agenda, visit www.AlfaYoungFarmers.org and look for the link to the Young Farmers Conference.