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September 14, 2009   Email to Friend 

Tuscaloosa Donation Helps Student Drivers
Debra Davis

Student drivers throughout Alabama may soon have a better appreciation for farmers and will be safer behind the wheel, thanks to a contribution by the Tuscaloosa County Farmers Federation.

The Tuscaloosa County Farmers Federation volunteered to pay for public service videos to be sent to 355 public high school drivers education teachers around the state. The videos were produced as part of the Alabama Farmers Federation's "Farmer At Work" safety campaign.

The Alabama Farmers Federation, in cooperation with the Alabama Department of Public Safety and Alabama Department of Transportation, developed the "Farmer At Work" campaign to educate drivers that Alabama's roadways are often shared by slow-moving vehicles, such as farm tractors and farm machinery.

"Our county actually approved spending the money for a safety campaign with drivers education teachers a couple years ago, and when this program was announced, it seemed like a good way to get our message out," said Tuscaloosa County Farmers Federation President John E. Walker III.

Walker, who also serves as the District 5 representative on the Alabama Farmers Federation State Board of Directors, grows corn, soybeans and wheat and raises cattle on his farm. He said he often moves equipment from field to field and has had several close calls with motorists.

Walker said while the drivers education program will target younger drivers, some older drivers also don't know what the sign means.

Federation Communications Department Director Jeff Helms praised the Tuscaloosa group for sponsoring the videos that will be viewed by thousands of young drivers this fall.

"By introducing the safety campaign to so many young drivers, it not only protects our farmers who may be moving equipment along the road, it could save a young life," Helms said. "We appreciate Tuscaloosa County for reaching out to drivers all across the state, not just those in Tuscaloosa County."

The Tuscaloosa County Farmers Federation and Federations in Lowndes, Morgan and Elmore counties have purchased several slow-moving-vehicle signs to distribute to farmers.


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