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December 05, 2013   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 451-2879
December 05, 2013

Colbert County Farmers Federation President L.O. Bishop is this year's Service To Agriculture Award winner. The award, presented during the opening session of the Alabama Farmers Federation's 92nd annual meeting, is the highest honor given by the organization. From left are Federation President Jimmy Parnell and Bishop.

MONTGOMERY, Ala., Dec. 5, 2013 — Colbert County Farmers Federation President L.O. Bishop received the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Service to Agriculture Award at the opening session of the organization’s 92nd annual meeting at the Montgomery Convention Center this afternoon.

Federation President Jimmy Parnell presented Bishop the award – the highest honor given by the organization – during the opening session of the conference, where more than 1,300 farmers are in attendance. During the two-day convention, farmers will elect leaders, discuss policy and honor outstanding Federation members.

Parnell called Bishop an icon of the Federation.

“L.O.’s service to Alabama farmers, his dedication to this organization, and the wisdom he shares is immeasurable,” Parnell said. “He represents all that is good about farmers and the Alabama Farmers Federation.”

Bishop, 78, and his wife, Grace, live in Cherokee and were Alabama’s Outstanding Young Farm Family in 1966. They have three children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Bishop said he was humbled by today’s honor.

“This organization has been such a big part of my life, it’s hard to imagine how different things would be if not for the Federation,” Bishop said. “There are just no better people anywhere than farmers right here in Alabama.”

Bishop was first tapped for the Colbert County Federation Board in 1958. He was elected county president in 1967 — a position he’s held continuously since then, making him one of the longest-serving county presidents affiliated with the American Farm Bureau Federation. For 28 years, he was on the Federation’s State Board of Directors, 14 as vice president and 14 as a district director.

The Federation’s annual meeting continues Friday with a benefit breakfast for the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation at 7 a.m., followed by an 8:30 a.m. session where Gov. Robert Bentley will speak to farmers. During that program, outstanding county Federations and leaders will be honored, and finals will be held for the Young Farmers Discussion Meet.

That afternoon, farmers will elect the state secretary-treasurer, two area vice presidents, four district directors, and chairmen of the State Young Farmers and Women’s Leadership committees.

Friday evening, the Federation will honor Jo Bonner with the Cultivator Award. He formerly served Alabama’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Political commentator John Bolton is the keynote speaker for the evening. The meeting concludes with the naming of the Discussion Meet winner and Alabama’s Outstanding Young Farm Family.

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