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November 13, 2008   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
November 13, 2008

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The national radio show AgriTalk will broadcast live from Birmingham's Wynfrey Hotel at 10 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 20, as National Farm-City Week launches its annual observance of America's food producers with a symposium on "Combating Hunger in America."

The luncheon marks the first time Alabama has hosted this national event, which serves to commemorate farmers and ranchers and seeks to recognize their efforts among the nation's urban citizens.

National Farm-City Week, which always begins the Friday before Thanksgiving and ends on Thanksgiving, is organized by the National Farm-City Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing links between farm families and urban residents. The Council provides local organizations with educational programs about people who grow their food.

"This is a great honor for Alabama agriculture," said Jeff Helms, communications director of the Alabama Farmers Federation who serves on the board of the National Farm-City Council. "Our state has always been a strong supporter of National Farm-City Week, and to launch the observance right here in Alabama underscores the important role our state's farmers play in feeding America."

AgriTalk host Mike Adams will moderate the panel discussion featuring leaders from industry, academia and non-profit organizations during the first hour of the kickoff luncheon. The discussion will continue after the broadcast between the panel and attendees.

The luncheon program also will include recognition of leadership roles in advancing Farm-City's message and presentation of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture's Book of the Year Award, an honor won last year by Rolling Stones' keyboardist and Alabama native Chuck Leavell with his book, "The Tree Farmer."

"The National Farm-City Week is a time to remember the growers and ranchers -- and all within the food production chain -- who work to provide us with the food we have in this country and export throughout the world," said Al Pell, chairman of the National Farm-City Council. "While it's important to honor them throughout the year, it's especially appropriate to remember their efforts in this week leading up to Thanksgiving."

This effort is complemented by materials provided by the National Farm-City Council to county and state organizations that work on educational efforts. In recent years, the major focus of the programs and materials has been on consumer and classroom education. Student activity sheets, teacher packets, placemats and bookmarks are just a few of the materials the Council has created to support its mission.

In the past year, thousands of materials were used in classrooms, at Farm-City banquets, at civic club meetings and in other venues. Farm-City activities are grass roots in nature. Communities across the nation hold Farm-City events ranging from banquets to tours to job exchanges. The Council works closely with Agriculture in the Classroom programs in educating students and teachers about agriculture.

In addition, the National Farm-City Council recognizes organizations, businesses, groups and individuals for their outstanding work in accomplishing the mission of farm-city relations.

For more information or to organize a local Farm-City event, visit www.farmcity.org.

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