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OYFF Winners: Burges Win Poultry Division

OYFF Winners: Burges Win Poultry Division
July 31, 2007 |

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 2007. The winner will be named at the Federation’s
86th annual meeting in December. This month, Neighbors profiles five commodity division winners. Look for features on the six finalists in the coming months.The three signs sitting on a hill near Jonathan and Laura Burge’s poultry houses leave little doubt that they are farmers.But what the signs that read — Crimson Tide Farm, Circle B Farm and About the Farm — don’t tell you is just how diverse the Burge farm really is.There are five 400-foot breeder hen houses with 8,800 hens and 900 roosters in each, 10 Kiko and Boer goats, three Quarter horses, a Shetland pony, 3.5 acres of corn, another acre of mixed vegetables, 12 head of cattle, a pond stocked with bass and crappie and a drought-ravaged hay field. There are also scores of meetings to attend as Jonathan stays busy with the Randolph County Farmers Federation, the Young Farmers program, the Cattlemen’s Association and active on just about any issue that affects farmers.”The difference between us and a lot of other farmers is that we do it all,” Jonathan said. “I’ve got one guy helping me now, but most of the time it’s just us.”When we first bought this place, all this was woods and broom sage fields. We came in here and cut the trees down and pushed ’em up. We built fences. I built the cow lot, the gazebo. I can pretty much do what I need to do around here.”Laura, of course, helps when she’s not working at the bank. And Jonathan says 6-year-old Jade is “coming along” as a good egg picker-upper. More help’s on the way as their 20-month-old son, Colt, waits in the wings along with the Burges’ third son, due to arrive this month.

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