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A member of the Alabama Farmers Federation for 53 years, Earl Saxon, shown here with "Gus," now enjoys his retirement by operating the Leisure Acres Quail Hunting Preserve.

-- Photo by Kyle Hayes

Name:
Earl Saxon

Age:
75

Residence:
Attalla, Etowah County

Alfa Member Since:
1958

Current Office or Board:
Vice President, Etowah County Farmers Federation

Chairman, Etowah County Farmers Federation Wildlife Committee

FarmPAC Advisory Trustee

Previous Office(s) or Board:
President, Etowah County Farmers Federation

State Board Member, Alabama Farmers Federation

Other Farming Activities:
Alabama Cattlemen's Association

Retired Chairman, Big Wills Water Board

Chairman, Cave Springs Cemetery.

Through the sale of lots, Earl has developed the Cave Springs Cemetery into a perpetual care cemetery -- an oddity for a small rural cemetery. "He's one of those guys who wears a white hat all the time," says Virginia. "I would say that even if he wasn't my husband. He is just a good man and a good husband."

My Farm:
While he has retired from raising hay and cattle, today he operates a 60-acre quail hunting preserve called Leisure Acres. Opened three years ago, the preserve originally hatched its own quail but now goes with flight-ready birds only. He tries to keep 100 quail on hand at all times. According to Earl's wife, Virginia, he opened Leisure Acres for two reasons: 1. He loves hunting , and wanted a nice leisurely hunt (hence, the preserve's name) that people with impaired mobility can still get out and enjoy; and 2. Earl wanted to leave something for their 12-year-old grandson, Justin. Interested hunters should call him at (256) 490-0621.

Earl has nine bird dogs, including German short-hair, pointers and setters.

The Biggest Challenge Facing Agriculture:
"Making it profitable to attract young people," says Mr. Saxon.

I'm Proud Of:
"I'm proud of building a positive relationship with elected officials," he says. "And I'm proud of being placed on the Alabama FFA Wall of Honor (in 2006)."

My Family:
Earl met Virginia, his wife of 53 years, through a mutual friend one day when he stopped at a drive-in restaurant for a cup of coffee before work. Virginia was just 17 at the time, and the two got married in 1957 -- four days after she graduated high school.

The Saxons have two sons, Earl III and Cliff, and one grandson, Justin.

My Faith:
Earl is a member and deacon of Cave Springs Baptist Church. He is also a retired Sunday school teacher and retired church treasurer.

A Good Day/Bad Day Is...
"A good day is when I do something to help someone," says Earl. "A bad day is when everything breaks."

You May Not Know This About Me:
"I was quiet and shy until age 35," he says.

"He was very quiet," Virginia agrees. "Then, I don't know what happened."

-- Compiled by Darryal Ray


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