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OYFF: Parmer Family Captures Wildlife Division

OYFF: Parmer Family Captures Wildlife Division
July 21, 2008 |

Sponsored each year by the Alabama Farmers Federation, the Outstanding Young Farm Family Awards Program recognizes young farmers between the ages of 17 and 35 who do an outstanding job in farm, home and community activities. Division winners representing 11 commodities were selected in February. Of those, six finalists will compete for the title of overall Outstanding Young Farm Family for 2008. The winner, who will be named at the Federation’s 87th Annual Meeting in December, will receive $500 cash from Dodge, the use of a new vehicle and other prizes and will go on to compete at the national level for a 2009 Dodge Ram 3500. This month, Neighbors profiles five commodity division winners. Look for features on the six finalists in the coming months.Ever since he was old enough, Mike Parmer has been learning about ranching.Take that, plus two bachelor’s degrees from Auburn — one in animal and dairy sciences and the other in wildlife sciences — and you’ve got yourself a pretty good wildlife manager.”I enjoy every aspect of my job,” Mike said. “God has given me the responsibility of being a caretaker of the land and animals he created.”
Mike’s family has been managing Grey Rocks Ranch in Selma since before he was born. He now manages roughly 7,000 acres containing wildlife ranging from Bobwhite quail to deer. He also grows corn and soybeans.”Last year, the drought just put a hindrance on everything we tried to do,” Mike said. “Quail numbers diminished because of it. Not greatly, but some. We had been increasing, but this year seems to be back on schedule.”The Parmers — Mike, Julie and daughters Faith (5), Ellen (3) and Mary (9 months) — all share a love for the outdoors.Mike met Julie at Auburn where she, too, was studying to be a wildlife biologist. He says that their girls are already developing an interest in wildlife.”They always want to ride around with me and see everything,” Mike said.

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