OYFF: Shelly Family Takes Soybean Division
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.No matter what the size or condition of his farm, Gaylan Shelly says there’s nothing else he’d rather do.”My heart and desires are in farming,” said Gaylan who got his start with his dad on his land, then rented some of his own. He currently farms about 700 acres of corn and soybeans. Together, with his father, they farm about 2,100 acres.The Shellys rely on accuracy to help them plant their crops, purchasing tractors with GPS guidance so that they can no-till and strip-till year after year.Gaylan double crops his wheat with soybeans.
Gaylan and wife Angie enjoy participating in leadership positions in the Atmore area, where Gaylan serves as Young Farmers chairman and is becoming more involved with the Escambia County Farmers Federation.”We look forward to our involvement with the Young Farmers and the many opportunities it provides to be a positive influence on young farmers in our area,” Gaylan said.Gaylan says that he feels blessed to have an occupation he completely enjoys. “Thankfully, God has continued to open doors, allowing me the opportunity to farm,” he said.