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September 09, 2011   Email to Friend  Download PDF of this Issue

Cherokee County Chef Wins Cooking Contest

Winners in the 2011 Heritage Cooking Contest were, from left, first place, Dawn East of Cherokee County; second place, Shirley Ezzell of Franklin County and third place, Felicia Dewberry of Clay County. The annual contest is sponsored by the Alabama Farmers Federation Women's Leadership Division as a way to showcase the flavor, versatility and nutritional value of Alabama agricultural products.
Two of Alabama's tastiest crops -- peanuts and pecans-- were ingredients in the winning recipes of the Alabama Farmers Federation's Annual Heritage Cooking Contest in Montgomery Sept. 1.

Dawn East of Cherokee County won first place and $150 with her Butter Pecan Bars, Shirley Ezzell of Franklin County won second place and $100 for her Apricot Sour Cream Tea Cookies, and Felicia Dewberry of Clay County won third place and $50 for her Salted Peanut Chews.

"I was shocked when they called out my name," said East, who is vice chairman of the Cherokee County Federation Women's Leadership Committee. "I found the recipe on my computer several years ago, and I like to make it for my family. I take it to church, and I've actually taken it to some of our county Federation meetings. It's pretty popular."

The annual contest is sponsored by the Federation's Women's Leadership Division as a way to showcase the flavor, versatility and nutritional value of Alabama agricultural products. Dishes were judged on taste, appearance and ease of preparation.

In addition to sampling all 34 recipes entered in the contest, the chefs heard from Patricia Barnes, founder of Sister Schubert's.

Barnes told her life's story of growing up in Troy and using her grandmother's Parker House roll recipe to start her own business, which later became a multi-million dollar industry in Luverne. She and her husband, George, founded the Barnes Family Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to improving the lives of the less fortunate and enhancing the community through education, historical preservation and compassion. The Federation made a contribution to the foundation following her presentation at the contest.

All recipes from the Heritage Cooking Contest are available online at AlfaFarmers.org. A selection of recipes will also be available in the October issue of Neighbors.


New Members Named to Joint Legislative Water Policy Committee

Thirteen House and Senate members have been named to the Alabama Permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Water Policy and Management.

Created for the purpose of developing the Alabama Water Management Plan that addresses the state's short- and long-term water resource challenges, the committee consists of seven senators and six representatives.

Senators include Cam Ward, R-Alabaster; Tom Whatley, R-Auburn; Billy Beasley, D-Clayton; Arthur Orr, R-Decatur; Scott Beason, R-Gardendale; Gerald Dial, R-Lineville; and Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa. Representatives include Mark Tuggle, R-Alexander City; A.J. McCampbell, D-Gallion; Phil Williams, R-Huntsville; Richard Laird, D-Roanoke; Chad Fincher, R-Semmes; and Alan Boothe, R-Troy. Orr was elected as chairman, and Boothe was elected as vice-chairman.

The Committee established two subcommittees during its Aug. 31 meeting: the Water Management, Drought and Water Conservation Strategies Subcommittee and the Economic Development Strategies and Water Resources Information Subcommittee. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Gunter Guy, Department of Agriculture and Industries Commissioner John McMillan, Office of Water Resources Division Chief Brian Atkins, State Geologist Dr. Nick Tew and Department of Environmental Management Director Lance LeFleur will serve as subcommittee members.

The Alabama Farmers Federation will monitor committee proceedings and work to educate its members about the needs of agriculture. The Federation's water policy will guide its positions on matters taken before the committee.


Crenshaw Farmers Discuss Future of Agriculture

From left, Alabama Farmers Federation Wheat and Feed Grains, Cotton and Bee and Honey Divisions Director Buddy Adamson, Federation Area 5 Organization Director Ralph Golden, Crenshaw County Farmers Federation Board member Tony Beck and Crenshaw County Farmers Federation President Augusta Cook discuss commodity prices and input costs following the Aug. 25 meeting in Luverne.
Crenshaw County farmers received updates on commodities, labor and transportation issues during a meeting at the Tom Harbin Ag Center in Luverne Aug. 25. The Crenshaw County Farmers Federation sponsored the meeting.

Alabama Farmers Federation Wheat and Feed Grains, Cotton and Bee and Honey Divisions Director Buddy Adamson updated producers on crop conditions statewide and discussed federal transportation regulation enforcement proposals that were thwarted by the Federation and other farm organizations.

"Had those regulations been interpreted differently, it could have had a negative impact on every farmer," Adamson said. "We will continue to monitor the issue closely."

Adamson also told producers that the 2012 farm bill is being discussed and that farmers will likely see reduced funding for farm programs because of budget cuts.

Federation Pork, Poultry and Dairy Divisions Director Guy Hall presented photos of storm-damaged poultry houses in the state. He also discussed proposed increases in permit fees for animal feeding operations regulated by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

Federation Beef, Equine and Hay and Forage Divisions Director Nate Jaeger encouraged farmers to consider saving heifers from their herds in anticipation of overall low beef cattle herd numbers that continue to spiral downward.

Jaeger also discussed the state's new animal disease traceability legislation that the Federation's State Beef Committee was instrumental in drafting.

Federation Director of Agricultural Legislation David Cole discussed the 2011 legislative session and the state's new immigration law. He also encouraged all farmers to review their I-9 employment verification forms, which is required by law for every employee.


Peanut Farmers Share Farm Bill Concerns

Nearly 75 peanut growers from Alabama, Florida and Georgia voiced concerns after learning how the 2012 farm bill will affect them during a listening session coordinated by the Alabama Peanut Producers Association in Headland, Sept. 1.

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, who serves on the House Agriculture Committee, and four panel members listened closely to the day's presenters, ranging from peanut growers to economic specialists. Panelists included Carl Sanders, president of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association; Larry Ford, president of the Florida Peanut Producers Association; Armond Morris, president of the Georgia Peanut Commission, and Bob Redding of the Redding Firm in Washington, D.C.

"I'm here to take your comments in regards to the upcoming farm bill," Roby said. "I want to know what's working, what isn't working and how we can reconcile these issues. I need your input so I can go to bat for Alabama farmers."

Roby said action must be taken to protect growers' interests and the peanut industry as a whole. She continues to welcome input on the farm bill.


Entry Deadline for Hay Contest Nears

The 2011 Southeastern Hay Contest will be held in conjunction with the Sunbelt Ag Expo, Oct. 18-20 in Moultrie, Ga. The Southeastern Hay Contest gives hay and forage growers an opportunity to receive detailed forage analyses in a contest format.

Hay and baleage samples will be evaluated in five categories: warm season perennial grass hay; perennial peanut or alfalfa hay; cool season perennial grass hay; mixed, annual grass or other hay; grass baleage; and legume baleage.

Alabama growers are encouraged to participate.

Analyses will be performed by the University of Georgia and will be ranked using the Relative Forage Quality evaluation system, which accounts for protein, energy and fiber digestibility. Applications are available for download from AlabamaForages.com under the "Southeastern Hay Contest" link.

All entries must be received by the Feed and Environmental Water Lab (FEW) by 5 p.m. Sept. 30. Send entries, along with a $15 application fee made payable to UGA FEW Lab, to: Southeastern Hay Contest, Feed and Environmental Water Lab, 2300 College Station Rd., Athens, GA 30602-4356.

For information, call Alabama Cooperative Extension System Agent Don Ball at (334) 844-5491.


Farm-City Council Seeks Nominations

The National Farm-City Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing links between farm families and urban residents, is seeking nominations for the first annual Charles Eastin Outstanding Service Award, paying tribute to an outstanding individual who contributed to Farm-City activities as an advocate for accurate communications between rural and urban audiences.

Nominees can be any person over 25 who has actively supported national, state or local Farm-City initiatives. He or she can be nominated by anyone active in a Farm-City program.

The award will be presented to the recipient at the National Farm-City Symposium and Farm-City Week kickoff luncheon Nov. 17 in Lexington, Ky.

Nomination rules and applications are available online at FarmCity.org. The completed application should be forwarded by Sept. 30 to the state Farm-City contact as identified on the website.


McMillan Provides Insight at Coosa County Meeting
Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan joined Coosa County Farmers Federation members during their annual meeting Aug. 11, where he discussed issues facing farmers, including the state's new immigration law. From left are Blount County Farmers Federation member Paul Beavers; Sen. Jerry Fielding, D-Sylacauga; Coosa County Farmers Federation President Ronnie Brown and McMillan.


Horse Clinic to Bring Resources, Demonstrations to River Region

Demonstrations, training, lectures, veterinary consultations and more will be featured at the first River Region Horse Clinic at the R.H. Kirkpatrick Agricultural Arena in Autaugaville Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission is free, and concessions will be available.

Demonstrations will include cowboy mounted shooting, ground work/showmanship, live shoeing/forging, parade of breeds and reining.

Jim Swanner and Toni Brewster will give training demonstrations. Veterinarians April Andrews, Sean Custard, Heather Edwards and Gary Koepp will be available for questions, and four farriers will also be on hand.

Training, nutrition, parasites, lameness, weight estimation and body condition score will be addressed during lectures throughout the day.

More than 50 organizations and companies will have booths for attendees to browse. Other activities include 4-H drill team performances, a silent auction and door prizes.

For more information or directions, call (334) 850-0335 or email riverregionhorsecouncil@hotmail.com. The R.H. Kirkpatrick Agricultural Arena is located at 2224 Highway 14, Autaugaville, AL 36003.


Constitutional Revision Commission Convenes

The 16-member commission charged with suggesting article-by-article changes to much of the Alabama Constitution over the next three years held its first meeting Aug. 31 in Montgomery. Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, who sponsored the resolution to establish the Constitutional Revision Commission, said reforming Alabama's Constitution has been discussed for years, with little progress made.

Former Gov. Albert Brewer was elected chairman of the commission, and State Rep. Paul DeMarco, R-Homewood, was elected vice chairman.

For the next three years, the commission will report suggested changes to the Legislature prior to the start of the each annual legislative session. Any proposed changes accepted by the Legislature must be approved by Alabama voters before taking effect.

Home rule is expected to be discussed in meetings this fall when the commission reviews the powers of the Legislature in Article IV. The Alabama Farmers Federation believes rights and freedoms of Alabamians are protected when the state does not give up its responsibility or powers to local government.

Other commission members include Gov. Robert Bentley; House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn; Sens. Ben Brooks, R-Mobile; Bryan Taylor, R-Prattville; Reps. Randy Davis, R-Daphne; Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham and Carolyn McKinstry; Jim Pratt; John Anzalone; Greg Butrus; Becky Gerritson and Vicki Drummond.

The Federation recommends that any revisions done to Alabama's Constitution should be done on an article-by-article basis.

Future Constitutional Revision Commission meetings are scheduled for Sept. 21, Oct. 5 and Oct. 26, all in Montgomery.


Vaughn Named to Tornado Recovery Council

Rex Vaughn
Madison County Farmers Federation President Rex Vaughn was one of 19 community, corporate and non-profit leaders across the state appointed by Gov. Robert Bentley to the Tornado Recovery Action Council of Alabama (TRAC), Aug. 29.

TRAC, an independent non-profit organization funded through donations from Alabama's corporate community, will gather insight from residents, business leaders, non-profit groups and state agencies on how to strengthen emergency response. The council will also develop a report documenting the April 27 tornado outbreak.

"Alabamians responded to the tornadoes with incredible resolve to rebuild and recover. Our state and local officials were instrumental in the quick and thorough response following the storms," said Bentley. "Now, I've asked the private sector to reach out and learn how we can build an even stronger Alabama."

The governor named Johnny Johns, president and CEO of Protective Life Corp., and Pam Siddall, president and publisher of The Birmingham News Multimedia, co-chairs of TRAC. Ron Gray, a recently retired aerospace executive from the Huntsville area, has been tapped as TRAC executive director.

Other appointments include Suzanne Durham, YWCA of Central Alabama, Birmingham; Dallas Fanning, Urban Development, Huntsville; Grayson Hall, Regions Financial Corp., Birmingham; David Hannah, Crossville; Evelyn Mauldin, Bank Independent, Sheffield; Dr. Max Michael, UAB School of Public Health, Birmingham; Dr. Keith Morrow, Hackleburg Medical Clinic, Hackleburg; Brenda Parker, Alberta Elementary School, Tuscaloosa; Dr. Malcolm Portera, University of Alabama System, Tuscaloosa; Dr. Cathy Randall, Pettus Randall Holdings, Tuscaloosa; Isabel Rubio, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, Birmingham; Guice Slawson, Southeast Wood Treating, Montgomery; Zeke Smith, Alabama Power Co., Birmingham; Finis St. John IV, St. John and St. John, Cullman; and W. Michael Warren, Children's Health System, Birmingham.


Obituary

James Barney Hood, former president of the Etowah County Farmers Federation, died Sept. 3. He was 101.

Hood was an active member of Southside Baptist Church. A former teacher and coach, he returned to the family farm in Southside after his retirement, where he ran a dairy operation. He served as president of Etowah County Farmers Federation for 18 years. He also was a member of the Alabama Cattlemen's Association.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Rosettie Ross Hood; brothers, George Dwight Hood, Adolphus Jackson Hood Jr. and Ezell Hood; sisters, Otis Hood Baugh, Lois Hood Phillips, Maude Hood Thompson, Willie Hood Routon, Roselle Hood and Jennie Hood.



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