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April 10, 2002   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
April 10, 2002

The Russell County Farm-City Committee took home top honors at the annual Farm-City Awards Luncheon April 8, in Birmingham. From left are State Farm City Committee Chairman Paul Till, Russell County Farm-City Committee Members Ben Bowden, Caroline Batcheldor, Charles Mason, Jo Anne Laney, Kelvin Perkins, Suzy Gunnels, John Rudd, Mary Ann Bowden and Jimmie Batcheldor, and Farmers Federation President Jerry Newby.
"MONTGOMERY, Ala" County volunteers who help bridge the gap between farmers and urban residents were honored at the annual Farm-City Awards Program April 8, at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham. The awards program was held in conjunction with the Alabama Farmers Federation State Women's Committee Conference.

Russell County was named Best Farm-City Committee in Alabama after qualifying for the award by earning top honors in Division I, which includes counties with populations greater than 35,600. Lee County was the runner-up for that division. Among counties with populations of less than 35,600 (Division II), Pike County took top honors while Pickens County was runner-up.

Counties throughout the state submitted applications for the awards based on projects they completed during the past year to promote Farm-City Week. In Division I, Russell County won awards for Best Media Coverage, Best Civic Club Activities and Best Special Activities. Lee County was honored for Best Farm-City Tour; Coffee County had the Best Farm-City Dinner; and Talladega County won the Proclamation Award.

In Division II, Pike County was recognized for Best Media Coverage, Best Special Activities and for having local governments sign proclamations celebrating Farm-City Week. Pickens County took home trophies for Best Farm-City Dinner and Best Civic Club Activities while Bibb County was honored for having the Best Farm-City Tour.

Young authors and artists also were honored at the State Farm-City Committee Awards Program. The theme for both the poster and essay contests was "Agriculture--We Can't Live Without It."

Christine Chamblee of Cullman County won first place in the poster contest for K-3rd graders, and Chandler Mulvaney of Lee County won second in that division. Will Dorriety of Baldwin County won first place in the poster contest for students in the 4th-6th grade while Kellie Smith of Calhoun County placed second. Poster contest winners each received a $200 savings bond for first place while their schools received $200 cash. Second-place winners each received a $100 savings bond, and their schools received $100 cash awards.

James E. Cooper III of Macon County took first place in the essay contest for students in the 7th-9th grade, while Skylar Moore of Jackson County placed second. Jennifer Stannard of Shelby County won first place in the essay contest for students in the 10th-12th grade, and Heather Parker of Calhoun County placed second. First-place winners in the essay contest each received a $500 savings bond while their schools received a check for $250. Second-place winners each received a $300 savings bond, and their schools received checks for $150.

Contestants qualified for the state awards by winning top honors in their home county. Some of the posters will be reprinted in the 2002 Farm-City calendars.

Burton Farms of Chambers County was named Alabama's 2002 Farm of Distinction during the annual awards program. Charles Burton and his wife, Lynda, operate the 1,700-acre farm which includes 1,100 acres of forestland and a 260-cow commercial beef herd. As this year's winner, the Burtons will receive $1,500 and a customized farm sign. They will compete in the Lancaster/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year 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.

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