News Tuscaloosa County Farmers Federation Gets Word Out

Tuscaloosa County Farmers Federation Gets Word Out

Tuscaloosa County Farmers Federation Gets Word Out
December 15, 2010 |

It was a banner idea, one that
Peggy Walker of the Tuscaloosa
County Farmers Federation
hopes will spread across Alabama
much like the old black-and-white
“See Rock City” barns of yesteryear.”The idea came to me
when I saw how beautiful
Pike County’s billboard was,”
she said, referring to a bright
yellow-and-green “Farming
Feeds Alabama” billboard the
Pike County Farmers Federation
erected along U.S. 231
last summer. “It just carries
such a friendly message with
eye appeal.”It’s a message that she
believes can be delivered
throughout the state by placing
large vinyl banners on
barns, outbuildings, grain bins
— anything and everything
that motorists may see whenever
they pass a farm.After all, the 14-foot
by 20-foot banner wrapped
around the grain bin on the
Walker farm just off Highway
43 between Northport and
Fayette is certainly drawing
attention. “Farming Feeds Alabama,”
the banner proclaims. “Alabama’s
No. 1 Industry.” Also
clearly visible is the familiar
red Alabama Farmers Federation
logo.The banner was placed
there after Peggy, who chairs
the county’s Women’s Leadership
Committee, asked her husband,
John, to present the idea to the
county Federation’s board of directors.
The board quickly approved
the idea, and decided to place it on
the Walkers’ grain bin.”We started two years ago doing
some billboards in Tuscaloosa during
Farm-City Week,” said John
Walker, president of the Tuscaloosa
County Farmers Federation. “We’d
spend $2,500 each year. That’s
pretty expensive, and it only stays
up there one month. We got some
good publicity out of it, but we got
to thinking — actually Peggy was
the one who came up with it —
that we could put it on these things
out here in the country or wherever
farmers and Federation members
had land and without charge. The
boy installing this one said, ‘You’re
renting that to Alfa aren’t you?’ I
said, ‘No, I’m not renting that to
Alfa. We’re trying to get something
started. We’re trying to stimulate
some interest so we can promote
agriculture.'”The banner, which is expected
to last five years, cost the Tuscaloosa
County Farmers Federation
$537 — installation included. It
was such a good deal (and idea),
the board of directors figured, that
they got 25 smaller banners to place
around the county as well.”We didn’t want ‘Tuscaloosa
County’ on the banner
because this is not about
Tuscaloosa County — this is
about farmers feeding Alabama,”
said Peggy. “Agriculture
is something that not
everybody understands, and
you don’t want people to take
it for granted because agriculture
is such a challenge today.
Even though a farmer farms
because he has the ability and
has the calling and the desire
to do this for his livelihood,
it’s a constant challenge.”John Walker said the message
is two-fold. “The first
thought, the first idea you
want to get across is ‘Farming
Feeds Alabama.’ Without
the farmer, you wouldn’t have
food,” he said. “The second
thought is about all the jobs
farming produces in this state
— it’s the No. 1 industry.”Peggy, meanwhile, has
high hopes for the banner
and would like to see all 67
county Federations utilizing
their farms to get out the message.”We hope this will be a
statewide campaign and will
be recognized from county to
county,” she said. “As the idea is
shown to people, they will come up
with more ways to promote it or
present it. … I’d like for others to
pick up on this and see how beautiful
it can be for their counties.”
“It’s a good idea,” said John as
he smiles at Peggy.

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