Blake Thaxton joined the Alabama Farmers Federation as a commodity director Nov. 1, bringing nearly a decade of horticulture industry expertise to his new role.
Thaxton said he looks forward to growing his relationships with specialty crop farmers as director of the Federation’s Bee & Honey and Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod divisions. He’s also executive director of the Alabama Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (AFVGA).
“Alabama agriculture is greatly accomplished, and I am thrilled to join this team in supporting Federation members,” Thaxton said. “I have been eager to work with my home state’s agriculture industry and am excited to see Alabama lead the way in horticulture and beekeeping.”
In the Federation’s Governmental and Agricultural Programs (GAP) Department, Thaxton will help advocate, monitor policy and coordinate educational activities for his commodity divisions, in addition to organizing the annual AFVGA Conference and Trade Show.
Thaxton was most recently a Southeast sales representative for Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Previously, he was a horticultural manager for Produce R&D after a stint as a commercial horticulture Extension agent in Florida.
The Madison County native has two degrees from Auburn University, a bachelor’s in ornamental horticulture and a Master of Science, earned in 2009 and 2011.
Federation GAP Department Director Brian Hardin said Thaxton’s experience working with Alabama farmers — many of whom are Federation members and leaders — is a boon for the organization.
“Blake brings to the Federation an in-depth understanding of the issues farmers face each day,” Hardin said. “We’re excited to see how his experience and expertise benefit Alabama farmers, our organization and our team.”
Thaxton and his wife, Katherine, have been married 12 years. They have three children, Caroline, Sullivan and Amelia, and live in Auburn. They attend Grace Auburn Church.