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January 13, 2005   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
January 13, 2005

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alabama's best farmers have more reason than ever to enter the Alabama Farm of Distinction competition this year. Cash and prizes awarded to the state's top farmer will exceed $10,000 this year thanks to new sponsors of the Farm-City program.

Wire Road Tractor in Auburn, Lawn & Leisure in Montgomery and Henry Farm Center with stores in Abbeville, Brundidge and Dothan will donate a John Deere Gator CX valued at $5,200 to the 2005 Alabama Farm of Distinction.

In addition, the Alabama Farmers Cooperative has agreed to be a major sponsor of this year's award. AFC will present a $1,000 gift certificate to the Alabama Farm of Distinction winner redeemable at any of its member Quality Co-op stores. AFC also will present each of the other five state finalists with a $250 gift certificate.

The Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Health will award the state winner an engraved, mahogany farm sign valued at more than $1,300. The Alabama winner also will receive a $2,500 cash award and an expense-paid trip to the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo from Swisher International of Jacksonville, Fla. The state winner will represent Alabama at the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo Oct. 18-20 in the Southeastern Farmer of the Year competition in Moultrie, Ga. The Sunbelt winner will receive $14,000 plus several prizes.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 15. A panel of judges will interview farmers from five geographic regions along with one at-large contestant later this year. These six farms will then compete for the state title. Farms will be judged on environmental stewardship, overall appearance, accomplishments, efficiency and leadership of the farm owner. Any size farm is eligible for the competition. The winner will be announced during a ceremony April 25 in Birmingham.

"These new prizes are going to add special emphasis to the Farm of Distinction Award," said J. Paul Till, chairman of the Alabama Farm-City Committee. "These sponsors recognize the importance of Alabama agriculture, our state's largest industry. Their support will encourage farmers to compete for the title and will reward them for their hard work, conservation, good management and innovative thinking."

Copies of the application for the 2005 Farm of Distinction are available on the Alfa Farmers' website at www.alfafarmers.org/farm-city. For more information, call 1-800-392-5705, ext. 4410 or email ptill@alfafarmers.org.

The Farm-City Committee of Alabama presents the Farm of Distinction Award annually. Farm-City Week is observed nationally each year the week before Thanksgiving as a way to help bridge the gap between rural and urban residents.

Click here to download an application for Alabama

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