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June 06, 2008   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
June 06, 2008

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A Chilton County native who says he inherited his passion for farming from a grandfather who once directed the Farmers Market Authority has been named the director of the Alabama Farmers Federation's Horticulture and Greenhouse, Nursery and Sod Divisions.

Mac Higginbotham, 30, began his duties June 2 and fills the position formerly held by Brian Hardin, who is now director of agricultural legislation.

A graduate of Auburn University with a bachelor's degree in agronomy and soils and a major in turf management, Higginbotham comes to the Federation from Landscape Workshop, Inc., in Foley, where he served as project manager over commercial and residential landscaping projects.

Prior to that, Higginbotham served as assistant superintendent at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Oxmoor Valley 54-hole facility in Birmingham and at Vestavia Hills' Old Overton Club.

"Mac comes to the Federation at a time when our producers are facing major challenges in labor, fuel and fertilizer," said Commodity Director Jimmy Carlisle. "Mac understands those issues -- and scores of other challenges that our farmers face -- and is well-suited to the task ahead. Not only is he knowledgeable, but also keenly interested in helping our farmers become better, more efficient producers. He will be a great asset to the Federation."

Higginbotham grew up in Maplesville, but spent most of his time on the family's 1,000-acre farm in Dallas County where he often worked side-by-side with his grandfather, Bill Arrington -- Alabama's first administrator of the Farmers Market Authority from 1965-1988.

"My grandfather really enjoyed his personal relationships with individual farmers," said Higginbotham. "He took great pride in, as he has told me many times, 'helping farmers help themselves become more efficient and successful.'

"I spent a lot of time growing up with him, and that's why I say he blazed the trail for me to follow. I have a lot of respect for him, and want to help our farmers the way he did because I believe we're all put here to help each other out in some form or fashion."

Higginbotham, a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Stanton, is to wed Janie Elizabeth Sykes of Trussville on Nov. 8 in Dallas County. They plan to make their home in Auburn, where she will teach at Cary Woods Elementary School.

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