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November 20, 2008   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
November 20, 2008

Jan Cook of the Public Service Commission will receive the Alabama Farmers Federation's highest award, the Service to Agriculture Award, at its 87th Annual Meeting in Mobile Dec. 6-8.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Jan Cook, Place 1 Commissioner on Alabama's Public Service Commission, will receive the Alabama Farmers Federation's highest award at its 87th annual meeting Dec. 6-8 in Mobile. The event, to be held in the Mobile Civic Center, is expected to draw about 1,500 members from across the state.

A native of the small Crenshaw County town of Dozier who has served on the PSC since 1990, Cook will be receiving the Federation's Service to Agriculture Award for her efforts in supporting Alabama agriculture through lower utility rates and changes in federal highway regulations.

Jerry A. Newby, president of the 440,000-plus-member Alabama Farmers Federation, said Cook has stood with Alabama farmers on several issues during her 18 years on the PSC, and understands the pressures they face.

"In an economic climate when farmers were facing almost insurmountable input costs from fuel, fertilizer and feed, Miss Cook drew a line in the sand on one of the state's largest-ever electric rate increases, and helped keep our rates low," Newby said. "It is also because of her support that Alabama farmers today enjoy the benefit of off-peak rates for agricultural irrigation that keep operational costs manageable. Thanks to her leadership, Alabama farmers are able to stay in business."

In selecting "Farmers: Hands That Feed The World" as the theme of this year's annual meeting, the Alabama Farmers Federation -- a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) -- pays tribute to the state's farmers and agricultural leaders who labor to provide food, clothing and shelter for America.

Newby will give his annual address to the membership during the three-day event, which will draw 500 voting delegates from throughout Alabama to elect Federation officers and state board members.

During Sunday morning's session, the Outstanding Young Farm Family (OYFF) for 2008 will be named from a field of six finalists who were honored earlier this year. The winning couple will participate in many activities promoting Alabama agriculture across the state during the coming year.

The overall winner receives a John Deere Gator, courtesy of the Federal Land Bank Association of Alabama, the use of a new Dodge Nitro courtesy of the 67 county Farmers Federations, $500 cash from Dodge Trucks, $250 voucher for Valvoline Oil products and a computer package sponsored by the Valcom Business Centers of Alabama. The winning family will also go on to compete nationally for the AFBF's Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award at the AFBF Annual Meeting on Jan. 11-14 in San Antonio.

Also on the agenda will be the Young Farmers' Excellence in Agriculture Contest and the Young Farmers' Discussion Meet. The winners will receive cash prizes from First South Farm Credit and Dodge. The winners will represent Alabama at the AFBF Annual Meeting. First South Farm Credit will sponsor the Excellence in Agriculture winner's trip to San Antonio for the national contest, while the Farmers Federation will sponsor the trip for the Discussion Meet winner.

Other activities during the Alabama Farmers Federation's 87th Annual Meeting will include an agricultural issues briefing, the women's luncheon, a county awards program and the presentation of the Federation's Communications Award.

Reigning Miss Alabama Agriculture Hannah Etheridge of Clarke County will crown her successor at the Miss Agriculture Pageant. Forty-one contestants from across the state will compete for the title during the annual meeting with the winner crowned during the final general session the evening of Dec. 8. The winner receives a year's use of a new Dodge Challenger and a $2,000 scholarship. Finalists will compete in a talent competition, and a state winner will be chosen at Saturday night's opening session. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash award.

Agenda For 87th Annual Meeting

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