YOUNG FARMERS GATHER FOR 50TH ANNIVERSARY
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- About 400 young farmers from throughout the state began gathering in Huntsville today for this weekend's Alabama Farmers Federation's Young Farmers Leadership Conference at Embassy Suites.
The event, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Young Farmers program, will feature speakers addressing environmentalism, ideas for agro-tourism and the Ag In The Classroom program and seminars on the importance of agricultural activism.
In addition, there'll be orientation and judging for Outstanding Young Farm Family contestants, a collegiate discussion meet Keith Gray, director of the Federation's Department of National Affairs, will also update farmers on the status of the 2007 Farm Bill.
Bruce Vincent, a third-generation Montana timber grower, will address the opening banquet tonight, urging Alabama's young farmers to help shape a new environmental vision for agriculture. Business manager of Vincent Logging, Vincent will also hold a Saturday seminar on "Activism 101" in which he stresses the importance of fighting for agriculture.
Shelaine Wise of the Mississippi Agro-Tourism Association will cover different aspects of coordinating agro-tourism into farming operations as well as activities for county Young Farmer Committees.
"This year's conference is certain to inspire and educate," said Brandon Moore, director of the Federation's Young Farmers program. "As we observe the 50th year of the Young Farmers program, it's clear that the challenges facing tomorrow's farmers are very real and something that none of us should take for granted. We've got to keep growing agricultural leaders who'll stand up for farming in Alabama and the nation."