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June 10, 2004   Email to Friend 

Beth Farnsworth
(334) 613-4410
June 10, 2004

Future Alabama leaders visit with Alabama Farmers Federation State Young Farmers Committee Chairman Mike Henry during the 2004 Alfa Youth Leadership Conference. From left, are Brynna Waters of Geneva County, Elizabeth Winfree of Cherokee County, Timothy Butler of Shelby County, Daniel Hipps of Shelby County and Henry.
COLUMBIANA, Ala.-- Leadership, learning, and fun: 75 teens from all across Alabama gathered in Columbiana June 9-11 for the Alabama Farmers Federation Youth Leadership Conference. Held every year, the conference included three days of leadership sessions and workshops dedicated to teaching and inspiring young people to become leaders in every walk of life.

"Leadership is so important," said Brandon Moore, director of the Alabama Farmers Federation Young Farmers division and organizer of this event. "We're doing this to awaken a desire in some of these kids to participate in organizations such as Alfa and to be willing and able to assume leadership roles in the future," he said.

The group of 15- and 17-year-olds (along with their 25 chaperones) heard from motivational speakers and ordinary people who have held leadership positions on the state and community level. They also had some time to relax and take advantage of the Alabama 4-H Youth Center in Columbiana, which offers activities like swimming, obstacle courses and rock climbing.

"We came because we wanted to learn more about farming, agriculture and how to be a leader," said delegate Timothy Butler of Shelby County, a teen who wants to become a wildlife biologist and hopes to benefit from what he learned at the conference.

Elizabeth Winfree of Cherokee County agreed. "I want to learn leadership skills so that I can better fill my position as an officer in the FFA," she said.

While the Federation'sYoung Farmers Division is dedicated to promoting agriculture, most of the youth at the conference are not from an agricultural background. The teens were given an opportunity at the conference to not only learn more about farming and agriculture in Alabama, but were surrounded by other leaders and saw the possibilities that the future can hold for them, Moore said.

To find out more about the Youth Leadership Conference or other leadership opportunities, visit the Young Farmers section on the Alfa Farmers website at www.alfafarmers.org or contact Brandon Moore at 1-800-392-5705 ext. 3153 or bmoore@alfafarmers.org.

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