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August 02, 2013   Email to Friend 


Debra Davis
August 02, 2013

Mike Dee, top photo, discusses the irrigation system at Dee River Ranch in Pickens County, which includes a new 110-acre reservoir. Jessie More, bottom left photo, demonstrates how Dee River Ranch uses electronic identification on its beef cattle. Farmers also toured the Dee's grain storage facilities and row crop fields.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Ten buses filled with farmers from throughout the state left Birmingham this morning to visit some of the top farms in north Alabama.

Nearly 800 farmers are attending the 41st annual Alabama Farmers Federation Commodity Producers Conference Aug. 1-3 which included the tours, educational seminars, contests and entertainment.

Greene County farmer Grady Wilson, 50, said he enjoyed the diversification and different aspects of agriculture he saw on today's tour.

"You get to pick other farmers' brains on what works and what doesn't work and see more opportunities to try to make a living on a farm," Wilson said.

Morgan County Farmers Federation President Mark Byrd said he enjoyed the tour to Dee River Ranch in Pickens County. He said his farm is similar to the Dee's row crop and cattle operation, only not as big.

"They have a lot of good things happening here," Byrd said. "It's always interesting to see how other farms work."

Cindy Yeager of Dallas County agreed. She said the haylage demonstration she saw today was the most interesting thing on the tour she attended, adding that visits to farms in other areas are her favorite part of the commodity conference.

"Getting to be with the other people, finding out what they're are doing, is wonderful," she said. "A couple years ago we went on a tour in Tennessee, and we went back to that farm this year and bought a bull there. We always take back lots of little things. We may not do them immediately, but we'll probably implement some of them."

The conference continues Saturday with a variety of workshops that include soil testing information, rural crimes and technology.

Young farmers from around the state will compete Saturday in the Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture contests.

Members of the Women's Committee will compete in the annual Quilting, Sewing and Tablescapes contests.

The conference will end Saturday evening with a dinner and entertainment by comedian James Gregory.

For photos of the conference, visit the Federation FaceBook page.

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