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December 06, 2013   Email to Friend 

Mary Johnson
(334) 235-1406
December 06, 2013

Gov. Robert Bentley, right, thanked farmers for their work and emphasized agriculture's impact to the state economy in a speech at the Alabama Farmers Federation's 92nd annual meeting. Bentley visited with Federation President Jimmy Parnell, left, following the morning's opening session.

MONTGOMERY, Ala., Dec. 6, 2013 — Gov. Robert Bentley thanked farmers for their work and emphasized agriculture's impact to the state economy in a speech this morning at the Alabama Farmers Federation's 92nd annual meeting.

"Farming is vital to our state," Bentley said. "It is so major, we have 580,000 jobs related to agriculture or forestry. That's 20 percent of the jobs in Alabama. Anything I can do to help agriculture and forestry, I'm going to do that."

Bentley said he is dedicated to making government more efficient by consolidating agencies, including the former Department of Public Safety. He said he is extremely proud of work accomplished by the Agriculture and Rural Crimes Unit, which was formed in June.

Following Bentley’s comments, the Federation held an awards program. The Cherokee County Herald and its editor, Terry Dean, received the Federation’s Agricultural Communications Award for the newspaper’s outstanding farm coverage. 

The Houston County Farmers Federation was honored for Outstanding Local and Community Service. Federations in Pike, Russell and Talladega counties were recognized for outstanding work by their respective Women’s Leadership Committees.

Senior Leader Awards, honoring Federation members for long-time service to the organization, went to James Powell of Autauga County, Gerald Willis of Calhoun County, Jimmie Harrison Jr. of Chilton County and James Brady of Perry County.

Federations in Baldwin, Blount, Dale, Lee and Mobile counties were honored with the organization’s Award For Excellence for overall achievement in organization, agricultural programs, governmental programs, and Young Farmer and Women’s Leadership programs.

At the conclusion of the morning session, farmers also observed finalists in the Young Farmers Discussion Meet.

This afternoon, 500 voting delegates representing members throughout Alabama will meet to consider policy recommendations and elect two regional vice presidents and three district representatives to the state board of directors. Delegates also will elect chairmen of the State Women’s Leadership Committee and State Young Farmers Committee.

The conference ends tonight with a special recognition of former U.S. Congressman Jo Bonner and announcement of the Young Farmers contest winners.

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