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Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686

MONTGOMERY Hamilton Farms in Lawrence County was named Alabama's 2000 Farm of Distinction during the annual Farm-City Awards Program held in Birmingham today, while the Lee County Farm-City Committee was named Overall Best Farm-City Committee in the state.

G.T. Hamilton and his family farm 6,000 acres in Lawrence, Morgan and Colbert counties where they grow cotton, corn and soybeans. The Hamiltons were selected from a field of 11 district nominees in the Farm of Distinction competition, who also were honored during the Farm-City Awards Program. The program was held in conjunction with the Alabama Farmers Federation Women's Conference at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham.

The Farm-City Awards Program is sponsored each year by the Alabama Farm-City Committee. The program's mission is to promote better understanding and relationships between rural and urban residents.

Farm-City Committees are divided into separate divisions: population of more than 35,600 (Division I) and those with less than 35,600 (Division II). In Division I, Lee County was named the Best Farm-City Committee, while Coffee County was runner-up in that division. Chambers County was the Best Farm-City Committee for Division II, while Pike County was named runner-up.

Other winners in Division I were, Best Farm-City Tour, Lee County; Proclamation Award, Calhoun County; Best Farm-City Dinner, Lee County; Best Media Coverage, Coffee County; Best Civic Club Activities, Coffee County; Best Special Activities, Lee County; and Most Improved, Jackson County. In Division II, the winners were Best Farm-City Tour, Chambers County; Proclamation Award, Chambers County; Best Farm-City Dinner, Pike County; Best Media Coverage, Lamar County; Best Civic Club Activities, Chambers County; Best Special Activities, Pike County; and Most Improved, Lamar County.

Winners in the Farm-City Poster Contest also were recognized during the program. In the K-3rd Grade Division, first place went to Nathan Davis of Jefferson County, and second place went to Casey Carpenter of Randolph County. In the 4th-6th Grade Division, first place went to Skylar Lindsay Moore of Jackson County, and second place went to Justin Malek of Blount County. Winners were awarded a $200 savings bond, while runners up each received a $100 savings bond. Each of the winners' schools received a cash award.

Winners were announced in the first-ever Farm-City Essay Contest during the state program Monday. The winner in the 7th-9th Grade Division was Martin Landry of St. Clair County, and Crystal Nix of Blount County won second place in that division. Jamie D. Moore of Mobile County was the winner in the essay contest for 10th-12th graders, and Sarah Sawyer of Monroe County won second place in that division. Winners in the essay contest each will receive a savings bond and their schools will receive a cash award.

As the winners of the Farm of Distinction, the Hamiltons will receive a $1,500 cash award and a customized farm sign. They will compete in the Lancaster/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year in October.

The Farm of Distinction Award is presented annually by the Farm-City Committee of Alabama to the farm that exhibits outstanding management and productivity as well as exceptional appearance and conservation practices.

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