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Tuscaloosa County Farmers Federation President John E. Walker III has "always considered farming to be a noble occupation."

-- Photo by Wayne Ford

Name:
John E. Walker III

Age:
64

Residence:
New Lexington, Tuscaloosa County

Alfa Member Since:
1972

Current Office or Board:
  • President, Tuscaloosa County Farmers Federation
  • Director, District 5, Alabama Farmers Federation


Previous Office(s) or Board:
  • Vice-President and Board of Directors, Tuscaloosa County Farmers Federation (38 years)
  • Past Member, State Wheat & Feed Grains Committee (3 years)
  • Past Member, State Cotton Committee (5 years)
  • Past Member & Chairman, State Soybean Committee (9 years)


Other Activities:
  • Past President and Board Member, Tuscaloosa County Cattlemen's Association (24 years)
  • Regional Board of Directors, First South Farm Credit Association
  • Supervisor, Tuscaloosa County Soil & Water Conservation District, ASCS Farm Committee (9 years)


My Farm:
J.E. Walker & Son Farm is a 50-50 joint venture operation with John Walker IV, and produces about 750 acres of soybeans, 550 acres of corn and 200 acres of wheat. They also have a 110-head cow-calf operation, and have about 75 acres of hay, 200 acres of pasture and 200 acres of timber.

What I Like About Agriculture:
"I have always considered farming to be a noble occupation, and I am proud to call myself a farmer," says Walker. "The possibilities of planting a few bags of seed and have a part in turning them into many truckloads was always exciting for me. Also, the opportunity of doing many different types of jobs on the farm relieves a person from the boredom of doing the same job day after day."

The Biggest Challenges Facing Agriculture:
"Continuing to feed, clothe and fuel the world's population, which is forecasted to double in a few decades with a shrinking farm acreage, an aging farm workforce, increasing regulations and a government moving away from assisting farmers in accomplishing this monumental task is the biggest challenge facing agriculture," says Walker.

I'm Proud Of:
"At an early age, I desired to be a farmer," says Walker. "I have farmed fulltime for 40 years as an adult. To survive and still be a going concern through all of the ups and downs and struggle of the past four decades in a not-so-conducive farming areas for a row cropper has given me satisfaction."

My Family:
Walker and his wife, Peggy, were high school sweethearts, and have been married for 44 years. In addition to son John IV, the Walkers also have a daughter, Tara (who is married to Mitchell Odom) and two grandchildren, Avery Odom (6) and Ella Odom (3).

My Faith
Walker has been a member of Salem Baptist Church for 52 years. He is a deacon and former Sunday school teacher and superintendant.

Education/Major:
Walker, who majored in physical education and minored in history, holds a a bachelor's of science degree from Livingston University.

My Farming Philosophy
"I attempt to look at the bigger picture," says Walker. "One must make the best out of each day. Weather and price situations change during the course of a crop year, and you can't know what the result will be at the end. So, you must press on and continue to work. Hope for the best, and don't get overly excited when conditions look bad. Wait and be patient, and then adjust to the outcome with plans and preparation for the next crop year."

You May Not Know This About Me:
"I have never had time for hobbies or many vacations during my lifetimes, says Walker. "I have always had much work that needed doing. I was basically a cotton farmer through 2001. Along with my father, I owned and operated a cotton gin for 24 years. I owned and ran an aerial applicator service for 10 years, but I am not a pilot. I was a cotton broker in west central Alabama for 30 years. Along with my wife Peggy, we have always done all of our accounting."


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