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November 20, 2008   Email to Friend 

NATIONAL FARM-CITY WEEK LAUNCHED IN BIRMINGHAM
Cyndie Sirekis
(202) 406-3649
November 20, 2008

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The National Farm City Council today held its annual meeting and kicked off National Farm-City Week with a symposium focusing "Combating Hunger in America." The event, held at Birmingham's Wynfrey Hotel, also recognized two Alabama counties -- Pickens and St. Clair -- for outstanding accomplishments in agricultural education and outreach.

"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, chair 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."

In addition to Pickens and St. Clair counties' Farm-City outreach efforts, the Farm-City Committees of Chautauqua, Long Island and Orleans counties in New York and Chester and Darlington counties in South Carolina were also recognized.

The luncheon also featured the presentation of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture's second annual "Book of the Year" award to Leon Hesser for "The Man Who Fed the World," a biography of Dr. Norman Borlaug. Borlaug introduced simple technologies such as corn hybrids and short-strawed, disease-resistant wheat to farmers in developing countries. Substantial yield increases helped avert a brewing global food crisis. In 1970, Borlaug received the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to preventing hunger and famine in developing countries.

"This engaging story about the life and work of Norman Borlaug makes a strong case for modern agriculture and the remarkable improvements that the green revolution brought to the world," said Terry Gilbert, a Kentucky farmer and Foundation board member, in presenting the award to Hesser.

National Farm-City Week is the week leading up to and including Thanksgiving, Nov. 21-27. It is a nationally designated observance of the interdependence among agriculture, the people who grow the food and the people who eat it. Farm-City events and celebrations will take place in communities around the nation during this week.

In recognition of the observance, Pell read a proclamation from President George W. Bush which read, in part, "Farming, America's first industry, helps feed and clothe our citizens and increasingly provides more our energy...Farming has been a cornerstone of our country since its founding and continues to be a vital part of our economy...I encourage all Americans to join in recognizing farmers, ranchers and all those who contribute to the strength of America's agricultural industry."


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