Young Farmers Reap Rewards Of Hard Work
By Marlee Moore
Young Farmers from three Alabama counties left the Alabama Farmers Federation 101st annual meeting Dec. 5 with extensive prize packages, courtesy of generous sponsors.
After an intense Final Four round of competition, Discussion Meet winner Garrett Dixon of Lee County received a four-wheeler from First South Farm Credit. Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting where contestants discuss pressing agricultural issues. Dixon is a row crop and cattle farmer.
Other finalists, named during the Federation’s Farm & Land Expo this summer, were Landon Marks, Cherokee County; Shelby Windham, Dale County; and Chapman Bodiford, Limestone County.
Additional contest winners named during the Farm & Land Expo also received prizes at annual meeting.
Outstanding Young Farm Family (OYFF) winners Daniel and Carla Trantham of Calhoun County received $40,000 toward a Ford truck courtesy of Alfa Insurance; a John Deere Gator from Alabama Ag Credit and Alabama Farm Credit; and a year’s lease on a John Deere tractor from SunSouth and TriGreen.
The Tranthams have five children — Davis James, Sadie Leigh, Anna Kate, Sawyer Davis and Callie Faye. In addition to raising cattle and row crops, their family owns a feed company and a trucking business, which services poultry integrators across the Southeast.
OYFF competitors must have half their income subject to production risk and compete through an application, interview and on-farm judging.
As the Excellence in Agriculture contest winner, Morgan County’s Josh Melson received a zero-turn lawnmower from Corteva Agriscience. Melson, whose resume includes work across Alabama’s diverse agriculture industry, won the contest based on an application and presentation. Excellence in Agriculture competitors receive less than half their income from production agriculture.
Dixon, Melson and the Tranthams also received a Blackstone griddle package, courtesy of the Federation.
The trio of competitors represented Alabama nationally during American Farm Bureau Federation contests in Puerto Rico in mid-January. (See pages 4-5.)