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October 26, 2011   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
October 26, 2011

The St. Clair County Farmers Federation was one of 25 county Farm Bureaus recognized by the American Farm Bureau Federation in this year's County Activities of Excellence program. The winners will be spotlighted during AFBF's 93rd annual meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, Jan. 8-11.

St. Clair County was recognized in the Education & Agriculture Promotion category for a crops teaching garden for the Big Oak Ranch. St. Clair County's Young Farmers Committee planted a 1.5-acre vegetable garden at the ranch that will feed 100 children and their house parents.

Founded in 1974 by John Croyle, Big Oak Ranch has housed more than 1,800 children during its 37 years. The ranch is currently home to more than 100 children between the Boys' Ranch in Gadsden and the Girls' Ranch in Springville.

"This is a great example of a Young Farmers Committee serving the local community, and the work the committee did at Big Oak Ranch will pay dividends for years to come," said Brandon Moore, Young Farmers Division director for the Alabama Farmers Federation. "The garden gave the Young Farmers Committee a presence in the community and taught a future generation of young leaders the importance of agriculture. We are so thankful to the ranch for allowing the St. Clair County Young Farmers to take on this project."

The American Farm Bureau program recognizes and shares successful county programs and activities in the Farm Bureaus for Excellence program. The awards honor innovative programs by county Farm Bureaus in five categories: Education & Agriculture Promotion; Leadership Development; Membership Services; Policy Implementation; and Public Relations & Information. For the first time in the competition, this year's awards are based on county Farm Bureau membership.

"Farm Bureau members attending AFBF's annual meeting in Hawaii in January will see first-hand how these 25 action-oriented programs do a great job in fulfilling Farm Bureau's mission," said AFBF President Bob Stallman. "The winning entries will be on display at the trade show where county Farm Bureau leaders from across America can discover what other county Farm Bureaus are doing to promote agriculture in their communities."

Other county Farm Bureaus for Excellence Award winners were from California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Details on each of the 25 winners are available from John Torres, AFBF director of leadership development, at (202) 406-3738 or Johnt@fb.org.

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