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February 09, 2004   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
February 09, 2004

State commodity leaders who rotated off their respective state committees were honored during the Commodity Organizational Conference Feb. 2-4.

TOP PHOTO: From left, Alfa Farmers Commodity Director and Dairy Division Director Jim Cravey presents a plaque to retiring Dairy Committee Member Joel Bearden of Shelby County, Alfa Farmers President Jerry Newby, center, and Beef Division Director Perry Mobley, right, present retiring Beef Committee Member Ray Bean of Calhoun County with a plaque.

BOTTOM PHOTO: Alfa Farmers President Jerry Newby, left, presents a plaque to retiring State Forestry Committee Member Florian Toulmin of Montgomery County, center, with the help of Forestry Division Director Steve Guy.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- More than 650 farmers gathered in Montgomery Feb. 2-4 for the Alabama Farmers Federation's Commodity Organizational Conference. Producers representing 15 commodities met to chart the direction for their respective state committees and to elect committee members. Much of the focus turned to politics, however, as the Legislature began its regular session that same week.

Sen. Zeb Little, D-Cullman, who serves as chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee, spoke to farmers at the Feb. 4 meeting and offered encouragement about the passage of the Family Farm Preservation Act. "We will pass the Family Farm Preservation Act," Little said. "I'm going to sponsor it in the Senate, and I will do everything I can to see that it passes." Little encouraged Federation members to personally contact their legislators regarding that bill and other proposed legislation, saying their voice carries the most weight. "That's where your strength really lies as a grassroots organization," Little said. Rep. Thomas Jackson, D-Thomasville, serves as chairman of the House Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Committee. He spoke to farmers during the Feb. 2 session where he promised to seek more trade opportunities for Alabama farmers.

During breakout sessions, the farmers discussed topics at the forefront of their respective commodities and elected state committee members for the coming year.

Commodity leaders elected to the state committees are listed below.
*Denotes re-elected committee members.

BEE & HONEY: Bobby Howard, Blount*; Elbert Butler, DeKalb*; Jimmy Carmack, Jefferson*; and Cecil Tanner, Mobile*.

BEEF: Tommy Maples, Limestone; Calvin Freeland, Mobile*; Dean Wysner, Randolph; and Leo Hollinger*, Wilcox.

CATFISH: John Goodson Jr., Bibb*; Merrell Bishop, Coosa; Brad Brady, Perry*; and Ralph Martin, Wilcox*.

COTTON: Neal Isbell, Colbert*; Jeff Peek, Limestone*; Mike Tate, Madison*; and Eddie Nall, Monroe*.

DAIRY: Jan DeJong, Geneva; David Gilmer, Lamar; David Wallace, Perry*; Randy Bearden, Shelby; and James White Jr., Talladega*.

FORESTRY: Frank Grant, Barbour; Dan James, Bibb, Dorothy Reynolds, Macon*; and Emory Mosley, Washington.

GREENHOUSE, NURSERY & SOD: Jason Powell, Chilton; Bill Cook, Montgomery*; Lance Byrd, Shelby*; and Richard Smith, St. Clair.

HAY & FORAGE CROPS: Winford Parmer, Autauga; Steve Bradley, Jefferson; Bill Collier, Lee*; W.D. Flowers, Montgomery*; and Garry Rowland, Walker*.

HORTICULTURE: Jimmie Harrison, Chilton*; Jesse Scott, Geneva; Michael Jenkins, Jefferson*; and Joe Smith, Shelby.

MEAT GOAT & SHEEP: Franklin McAliley, Dale; Edith Grover, Elmore; Tom Burnside, Randolph*; and Charles Merrell, Shelby*.

PORK: Jon Petree, Franklin*; Stanley Morris, St. Clair*; Johnny Williams, Cherokee*; and Wallace Norwood, Greene.

POULTRY: Dennis Maze, Blount*; Kenneth Neal, Cullman*; Donald Ray Wilks, Geneva; and Hal Lee, Morgan*.

SOYBEAN: John Eckl, Lauderdale; Jeff Webster, Madison; Ted Grantland, Morgan; and John Walker III, Tuscaloosa*.

WHEAT & FEED GRAINS: Ron Brumley, Colbert*; Bill Godwin, Covington; Mack Hughes, Jackson; David Sessions, Mobile*; and John E. Walker IV, Tuscaloosa.

WILDLIFE RESOURCES: Kenny Childree, Barbour*; Leo Allen, Choctaw*; Trey Montgomery, Greene*; and Monty Gordon, Montgomery*.

Click here for an overview of Commodity Committee activities.

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