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January 12, 2012   Email to Friend 

Melissa Martin
(334) 612-5448
January 12, 2012

Rick Oates
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Rick Oates has been named director of the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Forestry, Wildlife and Catfish Divisions within the Department of Governmental and Agricultural Programs. Oates’ announcement joins the reassignment of duties for other department employees.

“I have worked with the Federation staff for nearly 20 years while at the Alabama Forestry Association and the Department of Agriculture,” said Oates, who begins his new job Jan. 17. “During this time, I have witnessed the great work done by the Federation staff to represent farmers and forest landowners, and I am thrilled to be joining this team. I look forward to continuing to represent landowners in Alabama as we strive to preserve jobs and the way of life that rural Alabama offers.”

Prior to joining the Federation, Oates served as chief of staff for Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries Commissioner John McMillan. He also held several positions with the Alabama Forestry Association including forest resource coordinator, regulatory affairs director and executive director of both the Alabama Loggers Council and Alabama Pulp and Paper Council.

A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, Oates received a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and a master’s degree in forestry from Auburn University. He and his wife, Kelly, live in Montgomery and have two children: Andrew (15) and Lauren (12). 

Governmental and Agricultural Programs Director Jimmy Carlisle said he is confident of Oates’ ability in his new role, adding that he is a welcome addition to the Federation staff.

“I am confident that with Rick’s leadership and past experience in the forestry industry, coupled with the relationships he has built with members of the state’s agricultural industry, he will serve our members well,” said Carlisle.

Carlisle also announced a realignment of duties for three division directors within the department. Buddy Adamson now serves as director of Cotton, Soybeans and Wheat and Feed Grains Divisions; while Mac Higginbotham serves as director of Bee & Honey, Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod and Horticulture Divisions.  Nate Jaeger will serve as director of Beef, Equine, Hay & Forage Crops, and Meat Goat & Sheep. Guy Hall will continue to serve as director of Poultry, Pork and Dairy Divisions. Randy Griggs will continue to serve as director of the Peanut Division.

The Alabama Farmers Federation is the state's largest farm organization with more than 400,000 members and represents 17 commodities. For more information, visit AlfaFarmers.org.

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