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August 01, 2010   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
August 01, 2010

The redesigned site sports many new features.
MONTGOMERY, Ala -- The Alabama Farmers Federation's newly redesigned web site launched today with new features that county Federations and new members are sure to enjoy.

A weekly "Member Spotlight" that will profile the grassroots movers and shakers in county Federations and a special area each county can call their "home" page are a central part of a two-year, behind-the-scenes effort to redesign AlfaFarmers.org.

"Our web site has become a valuable tool for members and others seeking information about Alabama agriculture, but its appearance and functionality had become outdated," said Jeff Helms, director of the Federation's public relations and communications department. "We believe visitors to our site will appreciate this sleeker, more open design. But the goal of this redesign was not simply to put a pretty new face on the site -- we also wanted a site that would be easier to navigate, more useful for our visitors and our members and, hopefully, build membership as we strive to communicate what farming in Alabama is all about."

The "Member Spotlight" will feature a different leader each week, rotating among the state's 67 county Federations and 10 Area Organization Districts. Colbert County President L.O. Bishop is the first leader to be profiled.

The County Federation page, which previously featured only a photo of the county president, contact information and agricultural statistics for that county, now can become a showplace for each county. With a simple Web address of its own, for (for example, AlfaFarmers.org/Blount), county Federations can now include news and photos of their own events.

"This, in particular, is a feature that I hope every County Federation will take advantage of," said Web Director Darryal Ray who headed the redesign project in cooperation with Cool Dog Interactive, the Atlanta-based web host. "This can become a county Federation's own 'meeting place' for announcing upcoming meetings or promoting their own events. All they have to do is email me (dray@alfafarmers.org) the information and photo and we'll take care of the rest. I urge each county Federation to closely monitor their page so that they remain up to date."

The home page's rotating banner photos of various kinds of agriculture set the tone for the site, and links to Alfa Health, Alfa Dental and Alfa Insurance make it easy for visitors to learn more about those products. The site also has a more powerful search engine powered by Google.

The main photo on the home page may alternate between news stories, Member Spotlight or even an occasional reader-submitted agricultural photo.

The home page also includes links to the Federation's Facebook and Twitter pages, along with the Federation's YouTube channel, allowing visitors to view it right on our site or go to YouTube for all recent videos by the Federation's Communications Department.

Another feature, just recently introduced was the online digital editions of Neighbors and Friends & Family magazines. Posted via Issuu.com, the digital editions enable readers to flip through the entire magazine just as it was printed.

The redesign also moves some of its more popular features to a newly created "Members Only" area. Members who log in to the area using their member number and ZIP code are granted access to various forms and other materials often used by staff and members and the DTN Commodity Markets page. Only members now have the ability to post ads to its Trade 'N' Post while their ads remain visible to the public. The public can also learn about the many membership benefits, but will be restricted from viewing access codes to those benefits that require them.

"We invite all our members to explore the new site," said Ray. "The more you browse the site, the more familiar you will become with its features and the Federation."

Want to join the Alabama Farmers Federation? There are plenty of reasons why you should. And now, if a non-member wants to join, he/she can complete an online form, print and mail it with payment to the Federation's Membership Department. Online payment is planned for the near future.

For comments on the new AlfaFarmers.org, email Web Director Darryal Ray at dray@alfafarmers.org.

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