The law is his profession, but Paul Pinyan says agriculture and politics are his passions — passions he intends to bring into his new position as director of the Department of Governmental Affairs with the Alabama Farmers Federation.The 42-year-old Cullman County native was promoted to the directorship after serving as assistant director since 2004 under Freddie Patterson, who retires Dec. 1.”Paul is a very capable young man who has served our organization and the needs of our members well as assistant director of Governmental Affairs,” said Federation Executive Director Mike Kilgore. “He brings a wealth of experience, energy and training with him into his new responsibilities. He will do a great job as director of the department.”Pinyan, who graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in animal and dairy science and a master’s degree from Alabama A&M in agribusiness education, worked 10 years with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System before joining the Federation in 1998 as an area organization director for six northwest Alabama counties.In 2000, he moved to the Department of Governmental Affairs as director of agriculture and environmental legislation while simultaneously pursuing a law degree. He earned his juris doctorate from Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law in 2004, the same year he was named assistant director of the department.In stepping into the position, Pinyan credited Patterson with helping prepare him for the challenges ahead. “He was a great mentor,” said Pinyan, who worked closely with Patterson on scores of issues ranging from agriculture to taxes to insurance.”To work side by side, for the last seven years, with someone who had the experience and contacts with not only elected officials but state agencies, has been a great asset in preparing me to fill these duties.”Furthermore, Pinyan hopes his background as the son of a farm family that still raises poultry and cattle in Holly Pond will complement his law training.”The combination of agriculture and a legal background will, I hope, help all of Alabama agriculture,” said Pinyan whose sons — Andrew, 14, and Will, 13 — are now showing cattle in 4-H and FFA events. “It’s imperative that government officials understand agriculture, and don’t pass laws, rules or regulations that deter future generations from farming.”Pinyan and wife Kristie, who works at Ogletree Elementary School, reside in Auburn where they attend Farmville Baptist Church.
Pinyan New Director of Department of Governmental Affairs