By Jeff Helms
This month marks 100 years since farmers gathered in Auburn to organize what is now the Alabama Farmers Federation.
To commemorate the centennial, the Federation kicked off a yearlong celebration at its annual meeting in December.
“A century ago, our founders came together around shared values to provide a unified voice for Alabama agriculture,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “A hundred years later, our organization is among the most influential farm groups in America. Federation leaders are at the forefront of public policy discussions, agricultural education, promotion and marketing. During this centennial, we are embracing the opportunities ahead with renewed vision to strengthen farming, forestry and our rural communities.”
Throughout 2021, the Federation will honor the past as it prepares for the future. Centennial activities are being planned for events including the Young Farmers Conference, Women’s Leadership Conference, Alabama Farm and Land Expo and annual meeting.
In addition, the Federation and its economic development partners expect to break ground on the Alabama Farm Center at Alfa Centennial Park in Chilton County. The 500-acre complex will be home to arenas and multi-use spaces for hosting state, regional and national events including livestock exhibitions, trade shows and entertainment.
During the year, Neighbors magazine will include special features about the Federation’s heritage.
“Each month, we will highlight the people, programs and past accomplishments which have defined the Federation’s first 100 years,” said Publications Director Debra Davis. “We have upgraded the cover of all 2021 issues and are planning a special, commemorative edition of Neighbors in December as a historical keepsake.”
While the Federation is reflecting on a century of service, Alfa Insurance will celebrate its 75th anniversary. Founded in 1946 by Federation members who needed affordable fire insurance for their homes and farms, Alfa is now a $4-billion company with more than a million policies across three states.
“Alfa draws strength from its roots in the Alabama Farmers Federation,” said Parnell, who also is president of the insurance company. “Our core values of faith, family, community and integrity were cultivated in the fields and forests of our founders. Today, we are guided by those same values as we serve our policyholders, respond to claims and demonstrate how Alfa Cares.”
Alfa’s diamond celebration will include special activities at its home office in Montgomery and recognition during programs for agents, customer service representatives, claims adjusters and managers.
Follow the Federation and Alfa on social media for details about anniversary observances.
Look for centennial and diamond editorial content in upcoming issues of Neighbors magazine.