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October 22, 2012   Email to Friend  Download PDF of this Issue

Alabama shines as Sunbelt Ag Expo’s Spotlight State Oct. 16-18

Alabama Farmers Cooperative Director of Public Relations and Advertising Jim Allen, left, welcomes Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to the Spotlight State tent alongside Alabama Farmers Federation Executive Director Paul Pinyan, Oct. 16. This year marks the fourth time Alabama has been the Spotlight State in the 35-year history of the Sunbelt Ag Expo. From left are Allen, Pinyan and Bentley.
Thousands of visitors to North America’s premiere farm show received a taste of Alabama when they visited the Spotlight State tent at the 35th annual Sunbelt Agriculture Expo in Moultrie, Ga., Oct. 16-18.

“Well Grounded - Alabama Agriculture” was the theme for Alabama’s tent, which featured farm and food products grown and manufactured in the state. Agriculture organizations and agencies from throughout Alabama joined forces to put on what Expo officials said was one of the best spotlight tents in the show’s history.

“The Alabama Spotlight State tent was a big hit,” said Expo Marketing Director Gina McDonald. “Everyone was talking about how beautiful the outside of the tent was with the giant sod display of the state, grown by Beck’s Turf Farm, surrounded by thousands of beautiful flowers grown by Bonnie Plants. All of the plants were grown in Alabama.”

Once inside, visitors found entertainment, as well as an array of giant flat-screen TVs featuring Alabama farm scenes and agricultural facts. One of the most popular attractions at Expo was the green screen photography booth inside Alabama’s tent, where visitors could have their image captured in a variety of agricultural settings.

“The tent was truly a team effort and provided something that was fun, educational and delicious,” said Alabama Farmers Federation Executive Director Paul Pinyan, who served as co-chairman of the Spotlight State tent with Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan. “Nothing says ‘Welcome to Alabama’ like delicious, cold sweet tea that was furnished by Milo’s Tea from Bessemer. We also gave away thousands of samples of food products manufactured in Alabama courtesy of the Alabama Grocers Association.”

McMillan said the Spotlight State tent was a great introduction for people who haven’t visited Alabama, but it even surprised some of the state’s own residents.

“The well-grounded theme focused on Alabama’s history, productivity, stewardship, technology and future,” McMillan said. “Agriculture is our state’s largest industry, and we never want to miss an opportunity to share that fact. The Expo attracts farmers and consumers from throughout the world, and it was great to have the spotlight shining on our state when they arrived.”

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley was among those who visited the Expo. He spoke at a luncheon Tuesday, where Dallas County farmer Sam Givhan was honored as Alabama’s Farmer of the Year.

A farmer for 42 years and decorated Vietnam War veteran, Givhan raises cattle and catfish and grows row crops. He was nominated for the award by Federation Area VI Organizational Director Robert Utsey.

As Alabama’s winner, Givhan received a $2,500 cash award and an expense-paid trip to the Expo from Swisher International of Jacksonville, Fla.; a $500 gift certificate from the Southern States Cooperative and the choice of either $1,000 in PhytoGen Cottonseed or a $500 donation to a designated charity on behalf of Dow AgroSciences.

Givhan and his wife, Lynne, are members of Safford Baptist Church. They have two adult sons: Sam, an attorney in Huntsville, and David, who manages the farm’s hay and cattle production.

To view photos from the three-day Expo, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/84380492@N03/.

Managing risk focus of Nov. 8 workshop

Alabama cattlemen interested in learning how to manage feeder cattle price risk in volatile markets are invited to attend a free workshop Nov. 8 in Montgomery.

Sponsored by the Alabama State Beef Checkoff, the workshop — held at the Alabama Cattlemen’s Building — is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. and adjourn by 4 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

Workshop topics include developing a feeder cattle marketing plan, understanding risk, executing a short hedge, buying options and livestock risk protection insurance.

Early registration is encouraged, as space is limited to 50 applicants. To register, contact Billy Powell at (334) 265-1867 or bpowell@bamabeef.org.

The Alabama Cattlemen’s Building is located at 201 S. Bainbridge St., Montgomery, AL 36102.

Taste Of The Tri-Counties

Restaurants from Coffee, Dale and Geneva counties celebrated Alabama food Sept. 17 during the “Taste of the Tri-Counties” charity cookoff event. Proceeds from the event, which was sponsored by Altrusa International Inc. of Enterprise, will be used for community service projects. Standing from left are Coffee County Farmers Federation members Greg and Pat Schrand and Pat and Dan Presley.

Sibley named department head at Auburn University

Jeff Sibley, an Auburn University alumnus and faculty member, has been named head of the Department of Horticulture at Auburn University, effective Nov. 1.

Sibley, who grew up in northwest Alabama’s Mount Hope community and was a part of a family nursery and turf business in Muscle Shoals, joined the department as a research assistant in 1994. He was hired as assistant professor in 1997, promoted to associate professor in 2001 and became full professor in 2006.

Auburn College of Agriculture Dean Bill Batchelor said Sibley has a deep passion for the Department of Horticulture, its students and the stakeholder industries the department serves.

“I am confident that Dr. Sibley will provide the vision and leadership needed to continue shaping the outstanding teaching, research and outreach programs that the department is known for,” Batchelor said.

Sibley and his wife, Brigitte, have five children, ranging in age from an Auburn University senior to a first-grader.

Animal Ag 101 workshops available in November

Animal control officers, sheriff deputies and others interested in farm animal care are encouraged to attend one of four Animal Agriculture 101 classes held across the state in November.

In addition to farm animal care, Animal Ag 101 provides attendees with a basic understanding of production practices, as well as creates a resource for local animal shelters and officials who deal with animal care complaints. Sessions will include information from experts in the fields of cattle, equine, swine, poultry, sheep and goats.

Qualifying occupations may receive continuing education credits for the course, and all attendees will receive a certificate for five hours of instruction.

Each session is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Session dates and venues are:

  • Nov. 8 – Tuscaloosa
    Law Enforcement Academy, 7601 Robert Cardinal Road
  • Nov. 15 – Madison
    Tennessee Valley Research and Extension Center, 9494 Experimental Loop
  • Nov. 27 – Mobile
    John Archer Agricultural Center, 1070 Schillinger Road N.
  • Nov. 29 – Auburn
    Ham Wilson Arena, 650 S. Donahue Drive

Registration is $15 per person and includes lunch. To register, visit ALVMA.com or call (334) 395-0086.

Animal Ag 101 is sponsored by the Alabama Coalition for Farm Animal Care and Well-Being, of which the Alabama Farmers Federation is a member.

Forestry Field Day Emphasizes Stewardship

More than 200 forestry and wildlife enthusiasts attended the Central Alabama Regional Forestry Field Day, Oct. 4, in Tallapoosa County. During the field day, participants learned about prescribed burning for wildlife and timber, marketing techniques, improving wildlife habitats, and cost-share programs for reforestation. Standing from left are Alabama Forestry Commission Stewardship Forester Allen Varner; Clay County Farmers Federation members Lamar and Felicia Dewberry; forester Bobby Jennings; Tallapoosa County Farmers Federation member Johnny Frank Farrow, who also serves as chairman of the Tallapoosa County Forest Planning Committee; and Alabama Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division Certified Wildlife Biologist Joel Glover.

Auburn’s Mulvaney named 2013 National Beef Ambassador

Chandler Mulvaney of Lee County was named one of five new Beef Ambassadors at the annual National Beef Ambassador Competition, Sept. 28-30, in Sacramento, Calif. He competed against 21 other contestants from across the country.

Mulvaney, a graduate of Beauregard High School in Auburn, said he looks forward to educating consumers in this role.

“Through cattle shows and state conventions, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with my peers and get more involved in the beef industry,” Mulvaney said. “I look forward to sharing my experiences with others as a National Beef Ambassador.”

Ambassadors educate consumers on beef industry messages including nutrition, animal welfare, environmental issues and production. Other ambassadors chosen for the 2013 team include Erin Morrison of Minnesota, Katie Stroud of California, Emma Jumper of Arkansas and Jacquelyn Brown of Oregon.

The 2013 National Beef Ambassadors received $5,000 in cash prizes sponsored by Farm Credit. Five scholarships totalling $5,000 were given by the American National CattleWomen Foundation, Inc., and Monsanto.

The National Beef Ambassador Program (NBAP) is funded in part by the Beef Checkoff Program.

For more information, contact NBAP Manager Sarah Bohnenkamp at (303) 850-3440, or visit NationalBeefAmbassador.org.

Federation Continues To Push For Passage Of 2012 Farm Bill

U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., center, visited with Alabama farmers, legislators and members of the Alabama Farmers Federation staff Oct. 10 at Stone Bridge Farms in Cullman. During the informal luncheon, Lucas addressed farmers’ concerns regarding the stalled 2012 farm bill. From left are Federation Governmental and Agricultural Programs Director Jimmy Carlisle, Lucas and Federation National Legislative Programs Director Mitt Walker.

33rd annual Ag Roundup scheduled for Nov. 3

Auburn University’s 33rd annual Fall Roundup and Taste of Alabama Agriculture (Ag Roundup) event is set for Saturday, Nov. 3, at Ag Heritage Park.

Ag Roundup, which has earned a reputation as Auburn’s largest tailgate party, features food grown or produced in Alabama. In addition, the event offers informative displays, children’s activities, entertainment and auctions that raise money for College of Agriculture scholarships.

The event will begin four hours prior to the Auburn-New Mexico State homecoming football game kickoff. Visit AuburnTigers.com closer to the event for a confirmed kickoff time.

Admission to Ag Roundup is $5, and children under 6 are admitted free.

For more information, call (334) 844-3204 or email rollome@auburn.edu.

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