The bounty and diversity of Alabama agriculture was in the spotlight Dec. 8-9 during the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 81st annual meeting in Mobile.”Goodness Grows in Alabama” was the theme for this year’s event, which included Federation President Jerry Newby’s annual report to members, the Outstanding Young Farm Family presentation and the Miss Alabama Agriculture pageant. During the first general session, about 2,000 Federation members filled the theater of the Mobile Civic Center to hear from Governor-elect Bob Riley.”You won’t have to come into the governor’s office and explain to me what problems you face,” said Riley, a cattle and timber farmer. “But I’m going to ask you to have a degree of flexibility like you’ve never had before. … I’m going to need you to keep an open mind about all the policies we’re about to discuss. I won’t be successful without you.”Newby praised Riley’s integrity and plan to move Alabama forward, but he reminded the governor-elect that many Alabama families are facing tough economic times.”I know the state is having funding problems,” said Newby. “But I want to remind you that the folks back home are having funding problems, too. They can’t stand much of a tax increase. I know there will be lots of pressure on you … but I know you’ll stick to your conservative roots.”Later that evening, Cherokee County farmers David and Wendy Rogers were named the Outstanding Young Farm Family for 2002.During the second general session, Newby presented the Service to Agriculture award–the organization’s highest honor–to Congressman Terry Everett. And, The Daily Sentinel of Scottsboro received the Communications Award.Newby was elected to his third-term as president of the Federation during the voting delegate session Dec. 9. The annual meeting concluded that evening with Melissa Lynn McCord of Covington County being crowned Miss Alabama Agriculture. Kristian Crowe of Calhoun County took top honors in the Talent Find.
Riley Addresses Alfa Farmers Annual Meeting