U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R- Ala., has been a champion for farmers since she was first elected to Congress in 2010. Whether fighting for fairness in the farm bills of 2014 and 2018 or battling budget cuts in farm programs, it was clear she was in agriculture’s corner.
Her grit and determination ensured farmers weren’t forgotten by other leaders in Washington and earned her the respect of agricultural leaders at home and in Congress. These qualities also earned her the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Service to Agriculture Award, the highest honor given by the state’s largest farm organization.
Roby will receive the award at the Federation’s 98th annual meeting Dec. 8-9 in Montgomery.
“Rep. Roby enjoys a reputation as an outspoken proponent of conservative, Christian values that mirror those of her constituents in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “Her work as a former member of the House Committee on Agriculture played a pivotal role in passing the 2014 and 2018 farm bills.
“More recently, as a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, her efforts helped fund important farm programs and keep our national defense strong,” he said.
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Roby helped preserve important military bases in Alabama, and she worked to bring the F-35 fighter jet to Montgomery.
Roby exposed abuses in the Veteran Affairs health system and worked tirelessly to improve care for veterans, both locally and nationally.
Federation National Affairs Director Mitt Walker said Roby and her staff have always valued the organization’s input on agricultural issues.
“In working on two farm bills, Congressman Roby was a strong advocate for the peanut program, seed cotton and catfish inspection,” Walker said. “She was also a staunch supporter of eliminating rules and regulations that hampered farmers and landowners in her district and across the state.
“After her district was ravaged by Hurricane Michael, she insisted that Alabama be treated the same as neighboring states, making sure U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue saw the damage in her district firsthand,” he added. “On a personal note, Rep. Roby is one of the most genuine and compassionate people I have ever had the privilege to work with.”
Roby, who also is chairman of the Congressional Peanut Caucus, said she is humbled and honored to have been chosen for the award.
“Alfa has been a true friend to me during my time in Congress,” Roby said. “We have developed a strong relationship. Since agriculture and forestry are the largest employers in the district and in our state, I take the role as the farmers’ advocate very seriously. I have prioritized spending time with farmers over the years. Whether it was standing in a peanut field or meeting with farmers after a disaster, what they have to say is important to me.”
Roby has announced she will not seek re-election to a sixth term and plans to return to the district. She has not announced future political plans.
Roby and husband Riley have two children, Margaret and George. They are members of Trinity Presbyterian Church, where they were married, their children were baptized, and where they are involved in various ministries.