CHAMBERS COUNTY FARM NAMED BEST IN ALABAMA
"MONTGOMERY, Ala." Burton Farms near Lafayette in Chambers County was named Alabama's 2002 Farm of Distinction during the annual Farm-City Awards Program in Birmingham April 8.
|Alabama Farmers Federation President Jerry Newby, left, presents the 2002 Alabama Farm of Distinction sign to Charles and Lynda Burton of Chambers County. The Burtons will represent Alabama in the Lancaster/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year competition in October in Moultrie, Ga.|
Charles and Lynda Burton bought their first farmland in 1953 just before Charles returned home from the Navy. Over the years, they have acquired other farms and now have a total of 1,700 acres, including 1,100 acres of forestland and a 260-cow commercial beef herd. Burton said hard work and a genuine passion for agriculture contributed to his success.
"It's something different everyday. I have told my wife several times that it's a pleasure to get up and not dread going to work," Burton said. "I'm sure a lot of people do that--in fact, I've heard them say that--but I've never gotten up with that feeling."
The Burtons said theirs is a family-oriented farm. Burton Farms includes land where Burton's father, Jake, operated a dairy and another parcel where Lynda's father planted pine trees in 1943. The Burton's children also worked on the farm while growing up, and today their son, Charles, has his own business, Burton Logging.
"As I ride from farm to farm, I often think of just how good Burton Farms has been for our family," Burton said. "It has provided us with a comfortable and wholesome lifestyle, and it has instilled in our children a work ethic that has enabled them to become successful, productive citizens. Perhaps one day, Jake (Burton's grandson) will drive his own John Deere over these same fields."
Burton Farms was selected from a field of five district nominees in the Farm of Distinction competition, all of whom were honored during the awards program. The program was held in conjunction with the Alabama Farmers Federation Women's Conference at the Wynfrey Hotel.
Other nominees included Martin and Jeanette Moates of Coffee County, Andy King of Black & King Farms in Limestone County, Jimmy and Catherine Bassett of Beck's Turf Farm in Macon County and Annie Dee of Dee River Ranch in Pickens County.
As the winner of the Farm of Distinction, the Burtons will receive $1,500 and a customized farm sign. They will compete in the Lancaster/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Competition in October in Moultrie, Ga.
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.