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November 19, 2012   Email to Friend  Download PDF of this Issue

Russell County’s Batcheldor receives Charles Eastin Outstanding Service Award

Alabama Farm-City Committee Chairman Jeff Helms, left, presents the Charles Eastin Outstanding Service Award to 2012 recipient Caroline Batcheldor of Phenix City during a breakfast hosted by the Russell County Farm-City Committee. Batcheldor, a retired dairy farmer, has worked tirelessly for the local Farm-City Committee for more than 50 years.

Phenix City resident Caroline Batcheldor was awarded the second annual Charles Eastin Outstanding Service Award from the National Farm-City® Council Nov. 14 during Russell County’s Farm-City breakfast. The award is presented to an outstanding individual who has contributed to Farm-City activities as an advocate for accurate communications between rural and urban audiences.

Batcheldor, a retired dairy farmer, has been a dedicated advocate for the local Farm-City Committee for more than 50 years, recruiting new members and ensuring veteran members are involved each year.

For the past 25 years, she has been directly responsible for arranging the annual Farm-City breakfast. Working with the local Chamber of Commerce, she has helped build the event to between 150-180 participants every year, bringing together local rural and urban citizens to celebrate the value of agriculture to the community.

Batcheldor also organizes the Farm-City Poster and Essay Contests for the annual breakfast, supervising student and teacher involvement and recognition.

Hugh Whaley, chairman of the National Farm-City Council, said Batcheldor’s selection is a testament to her hard work and dedication to the rural community.

“Caroline Batcheldor has worked quietly behind the scenes to make sure that the Farm-City Week concept is upheld in Russell County,” said Whaley. “This is exactly the sort of active effort the Farm-City Council wants to recognize and support.”

Alabama Farm-City Committee Chairman Jeff Helms echoed Whaley’s remarks, adding he can’t think of someone more deserving of this award.

“Mrs. Batcheldor is the embodiment of the passion, service and dedication that have made Farm-City Week a success,” Helms said. “She and her late husband, Jimmie, understood the importance of sharing the story of farming long before there were programs that taught agricultural advocacy. The Batcheldors were true pioneers in educating the public about the importance of agriculture, and their work has helped make the Russell County Farm-City Committee one of the most active and influential in the country.”

The Charles Eastin Outstanding Service Award is in honor of its namesake, Charles “Charlie” Eastin, DVM, who played a fundamental role in Farm-City activities. A National Farm-City Council board member for many years, Eastin was especially active in planning and initiating Farm-City events in the Lexington, Ky., region.

To nominate candidates for the 2013 Charles Eastin Outstanding Service Award, visit the National Farm-City’s website, FarmCity.org.

To learn more about Alabama’s Farm-City Committee, visit AlfaFarmers.org.

65th International Poultry Expo slated for Jan. 29-31

Poultry farmers and agricultural enthusiasts interested in attending the 65th annual International Poultry Expo in Atlanta Jan. 29-31 have until Dec. 5 to register.

To meet the interests of more producers, the IPE admission also qualifies attendees to participate in The International Feed Expo and International Meat Expo — all under one roof.

Expo attendees will participate in educational workshops and seminars highlighting animal agriculture sustainability, consumer trends, meat and poultry processing, research findings and the future of the U.S. Egg Industry.

Pre-registration is $40 per person, with elective conferences available for additional fees. To register, visit IPE13.org.

The International Poultry Expo is the primary source of funding for the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, the world’s largest and most active poultry organization. Funds earned at the expo are used for research grants, educational programs, communications and technical assistance.

Randolph County Farm Safety Day

The Randolph County Young Farmers Committee hosted a Farm Safety and Extrication Workshop Saturday, Nov. 10, in Wedowee. Members from nine volunteer fire departments, Southern Ambulance Transport and local farmers attended the event at Harold Harmon’s farm, where they learned farm safety tips from Randolph County EMA volunteer Danny Joe McCord. Above, firefighters rescue a “dummy” pinned under an overturned tractor as part of the workshop’s hands-on training session.

Annual Ag Hall of Honor Banquet set for Jan. 31

Auburn University’s Agricultural Alumni Association will host its annual Hall of Honor Banquet Jan. 31 at The Hotel at Auburn University. The banquet is scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m.

Five distinguished individuals who have made positive impacts on Alabama agriculture will be honored during the event. Honorees include Robert N. Brewer of Auburn, Philip Martin of Enterprise and Tommy Paulk of Decatur, as well as the late Everett C. Easter of Limestone County and the late Samuel I. Hinote of Baldwin County.

Banquet tickets are $50 per person. To purchase tickets, contact Elaine Rollo at (334) 844-3204 or rollome@auburn.edu. For more information, visit ag.auburn.edu.

Auburn University’s new poultry feed mill comes to roost

Top Photo: From left, Auburn University Poultry Department Head Dr. Don Conner; AU Poultry Research Unit Director Mitchell Pate; and Alabama Farmers Federation Poultry Division Director Guy Hall tour the university’s new $7-million feed mill. The mill is phase one of a three-part process to relocate Auburn’s poultry farm to the north campus.

Bottom Photo: Auburn University’s new Poultry and Animal Nutrition Center will be used for research to assist agribusiness companies and provide students with hands-on training in feed manufacturing and science.

Auburn University is taking advantage of its strategic location in the U.S. Broiler Belt by offering a program unlike any other in the region. The university held a ribbon cutting ceremony at its new Poultry and Animal Nutrition Center Nov. 16.

Poultry contributes more than $10 billion annually to Alabama’s economy and is the leading agriculture revenue segment in the state. The state ranks third nationally in broiler production and 14th in eggs. All those chickens have one thing in common — they eat… a lot.

“If you look at the cost of raising an animal and producing protein from it, 60-70 percent of the cost is really the feed that goes into that animal,” said Dr. Don Conner, Auburn’s Poultry Department head. “It’s imperative we are cost-effective when it comes to that feed, and a lot is achieved through quality control.”

The $7-million feed mill is located north of Auburn, just off Auburn Lakes Road. Ground was broken in May 2010, but the idea for the feed mill hatched two years earlier when an AU staffer saw video of an academic feed mill from California Polytechnic State University at the International Poultry Expo/International Feed Expo.

Auburn graduate Mitchell Pate, director of the AU Poultry Research Unit, returned to the university in 2006 to head up Auburn’s Poultry Research and Extension Center. One of his primary duties was to spearhead relocation of the university’s poultry farm to the north Auburn campus. The move is set to be accomplished in three phases: first, the feed mill; second, broiler houses; and third, a processing plant.

While phase two and three are still in the planning stages, it’s obvious Pate is excited about what the new feed mill can bring to the future of the poultry industry and to Auburn students.

“This facility will provide hands-on training, and we hope it will be run by students,” he said. “There is no other place in the Southeast that can offer that experience.”

Alabama Farmers Federation Poultry Division Director Guy Hall said improving feed efficiency and industry profitability by training feed mill personnel and students with state-of-the-art feed mill technology will help secure the poultry industry as an economic engine for Southern agriculture.

Pate said he expects grain farmers to benefit from the new mill, too. He said by touring the facility, farmers see how what they’ve grown is converted into a complete feed.

“We are hopeful that students will start using the Poultry and Animal Nutrition Center for course work in the spring semester of 2013,” Pate said.

For more information on the university’s feed mill, visit ag.auburn.edu.

Columbus to host Young Farmers Conference Feb. 22-24

The Alabama Farmers Federation’s Young Farmers Division will host the 2013 Young Farmers Leadership Conference and Outstanding Young Farm Family (OYFF) program at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center in Columbus, Ga., Feb. 22-24.

Registration for the Young Farmers Leadership Conference is due by Jan. 28. Cost for registration is $230.50 per adult and $35 per child. All children must be registered. Conference registration will be available in the coming weeks at AlfaFarmers.org.

A feature of the annual conference, the OYFF program recognizes young farmers and farm families between the ages of 18 and 35 who do an outstanding job in their farm, home and commodity activities and promote a better understanding of agriculture with the urban populace.

Alabama’s 2013 Outstanding Young Farm Family will receive a prize package worth more than $50,000, including a new GM-model truck valued at $35,000, courtesy of Alfa Insurance; a John Deere Gator 825i, courtesy of Alabama Ag Credit and Alabama Farm Credit; a computer package, courtesy of CCS Technology/Valcom Wireless; lease of a John Deere Tractor, courtesy of TriGreen, SunSouth and Snead Ag; and an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting, courtesy of the Alabama Farmers Federation.

Winners will be announced during the Federation’s 92nd Annual Meeting in Montgomery, December 2013.

The deadline to apply for the OYFF competition is Jan. 15, 2013. Applications and rules can be found online at AlfaYoungFarmers.org/events/outstanding_family.phtml.

The Alabama Farmers Federation’s Young Farmers Division helps young producers prepare for their future with leadership development and personal growth. Leadership conferences prepare young agricultural leaders to serve in the industry and build their skills.

For more information, contact Young Farmers Director Jennifer Himburg at (334) 612-5159.

Federation’s Commodity Organizational Conference moves to Montgomery

Montgomery’s Embassy Suites Hotel is the 2013 host of the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 2013 Commodity Organizational Conference, Feb. 12-14.

Registration will open at 8:30 each morning, and commodity meetings will end by 3:30 p.m.

Pre-registration is $25 per day and must be received by Jan. 11. After this date, registrants should expect a $25 late fee.

For a detailed commodity agenda, hotel directions or to register for the conference, visit http://events.SignUp4.com/commodityorg.

Donations Needed for Young Farmers’ Silent Auction

The Alabama Farmers Federation’s Young Farmers Division is seeking donations for its annual silent auction. Proceeds from the auction benefit the Agricultural Foundation.

County Federations are asked to donate a minimum of two items valued at $50 or more each. Items may be delivered Dec. 2 near the registration area of the Montgomery Performing Arts Center Atrium from 1-4 p.m.

For more information, contact Young Farmers Director Jennifer Himburg at JHimburg@alfafarmers.org or (334) 612-5159.


Jimmie Batcheldor, a member of the Russell County Farmers Federation board of directors, died Oct. 24. He was 90.

A World War II veteran, Batcheldor owned and operated Jersey Island Farm in Phenix City. Away from the farm, he helped establish the Water Authority of Russell County and served as chairman and co-chairman of its board for more than 35 years. He also served as a member of the county Soil and Water Conservation Service, the Russell County Rotary Club, the Phenix City-Russell County Chamber of Commerce and the Russell County Cattlemen’s Association.

Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Caroline; sisters Barbara Huganir and Alice Smurthwaite; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the following organizations: Columbus Hospice, 7020 Moon Road, Columbus, GA 31909 or Seale United Methodist Church, 6 Chapel Street, Seale, AL 36875.

Joel Bearden, president of the Shelby County Farmers Federation for nearly three decades, died Nov. 8. He was 81.

A longtime member and elder of Pelham Church of Christ, he was raised on Bearden Farms and worked for most of his life as a dairy farmer. Bearden also served as Shelby County Commissioner, president of the Shelby County Cattlemen’s Association and past president of the Dairy Herd Improvement Association.

Survivors include his daughters, Mikey Finn, Kim Dudley and Staci Ballard; sisters Kathleen Perkins, Frances Lewis and Shirley Genry; brother Ralph Bearden; 11 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pelham Church of Christ, 3405 Pelham Parkway, Pelham, AL 35124.

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