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January 13, 2009   Email to Friend 

Jeff Helms
(334) 613-4212
January 13, 2009

Conecuh County farmer Chip Stacey, left, was recognized as one of 10 finalists in the YF&R Achievement Award during the AFBF Annual Meeting in San Antonio.
SAN ANTONIO-- Two Alabama young farmers were recognized Monday during the closing session of the American Farm Bureau Federation's 90th Annual Meeting in San Antonio, which featured a keynote address by former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley.

Chip Stacey of Conecuh County was honored as one of 10 finalists for the Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Achievement Award. Stacey and wife Lisa operate a diversified row crop, beef cattle and wildlife operation near Evergreen. They qualified to represent Alabama at the national contest in San Antonio by winning the Alabama Farmers Federation's Outstanding Young Farm Family competition in December.

Also recognized during the closing session was Townsend Kyser of Hale County. Kyser, who raises catfish with his father and brother near Greensboro, served as chairman of the national YF&R Committee during 2008. AFBF President Bob Stallman presented Kyser a framed certificate in appreciation of the young farmer's service as a member of the AFBF Board of Directors during his one-year term. YF&R members selected Mathew Meals of Pennsylvania to succeed Kyser. He will take office in February.

The closing session of the AFBF meeting included presentation of the YF&R awards for the Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture and Discussion Meet contests. In addition, farmer Keith Eckel from Pennsylvania and former Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) were presented the Distinguished Service Award, AFBF's highest honor. The keynote address was delivered by Bradley, who praised the generosity and goodness of American people. At the same time, he challenged America's leaders to write a "new story" for the United States and to "put country ahead of party and tell the people the truth."

Bradley said that "saving" is the solution to the current economic crisis.

"What the core problem in our economy today, I would say, is that we don't save enough as a country," he said. "Every day, we spend more than we have as a nation. And because we spend more than we have, we have to borrow more every day from foreign countries."

The AFBF Annual Meeting was set to conclude Tuesday with a business session during which 369 farmer and rancher delegates, representing the 50 states and Puerto Rico, will discuss and approve a book of policies that will guide the programs and activities of AFBF.

Click here for more pictures from the AFBF 90th Annual Meeting in San Antonio.

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