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December 22, 2008   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
December 22, 2008

A John Deere Gator is grand prize of 2009 Alabama Farm of Distinction contest. Type and model of actual Gator to be awarded is not yet known.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Alabama Farm-City Committee is seeking applications for Alabama's 2009 Farm of Distinction competition, which recognizes outstanding farmers and rewards them with cash and other prizes.

Based on the applications submitted, division winners will be chosen from five areas of the state, plus one at-large winner. These six farms will then compete for the state title and prizes valued at more than $10,000.

SunSouth and TriGreen will again donate a new John Deere Gator to the 2009 winner. In addition, the Alabama Farmers Cooperative (AFC) will present each division winner with a $250 gift certificate and the state winner with a $1,000 gift certificate redeemable at any of its Quality Co-op stores. The state winner also will receive a $2,500 cash award from Swisher International of Jacksonville, Fla.

Division winners will be judged by a panel of agricultural experts who will visit each farm. The state winner will be announced during a ceremony April 20 in Birmingham. Alabama's winner will go on to represent the state in the Southeastern Farmer of the Year competition at the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo in Moultrie, Ga., on Oct. 20-22.

"Agriculture is still Alabama's No. 1 industry, employing about 20 percent of its total workforce," said J. Paul Till, chairman of the Alabama Farm-City Committee. "The Farm of Distinction program is one way we can showcase the best farms in our state, recognizing them for hard work, conservation, good management and innovative thinking."

Farms will be judged on environmental stewardship, overall appearance, accomplishments, efficiency and leadership of the farm owner. Any size farm is eligible. The Farm of Distinction Award is presented annually by the Farm-City Committee of Alabama.

Applications for the 2009 Farm of Distinction can be downloaded at www.AlfaFarmers.org/farm-city or below.

For more information, call 1-800-392-5705, ext. 5096 or email ptill@alfafarmers.org. The deadline for applications is Feb. 16.

2009 Farm of Distinction Application Due Feb. 16

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