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January 21, 2014   Email to Friend 

Mary Johnson
(334) 235-1406
January 21, 2014

More than 150 Alabama farmers and more than 100 state elected officials attended the 2014 "Taste of Alabama" legislative reception Jan. 21 at the Alabama Farmers Federation home office. From left are Federation President Jimmy Parnell, State Rep. Mark Tuggle, R-Alexander City, State Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, and Tallapoosa County Farmers Federation board member and FarmPAC representative John Farrow.

MONTGOMERY, Ala., — Members of the Alabama Farmers Federation served home-grown food to state legislators and other elected officials at the organization’s annual “Taste of Alabama” legislative reception at the home office Jan. 21. The event allowed more than 150 farmers to connect with elected representatives while sharing the bounty of Alabama-grown and -produced foods.

Federation President Jimmy Parnell said the annual legislative reception highlights the importance of Alabama agriculture and demonstrates an essential part of what makes the Federation successful.

“Meetings like this provide an opportunity for our members to develop personal relationships with their state senators, representatives and other elected officials,” Parnell said. “When it comes down to it, relationships are what can get things done. That’s one of the reasons our organization can be so effective.”

Tallapoosa County FarmPAC representative John Farrow echoed Parnell’s remarks.

“I get an opportunity to talk to more leaders in a short amount of time, than I ever possibly could anywhere else,” Farrow said.

Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey was joined at the reception by 21 state senators, 70 state representatives and other elected officials. State Rep. Mark Tuggle, R-Alexander City, said the event showcases the immense variety of food provided by Alabama’s farmers.

"I always appreciate the invitation to the Taste of Alabama and look forward to this event every year," said Tuggle, who is a professional forrester and member of the Tallapoosa County Farmers Federation. "I, of course, enjoy eating all the food, but I mainly come here to catch up with other Federation folks. Farming and timber are great resources for the state and these industries will always be here to feed and employ Alabamians."

Farmers and elected officials mingled while sampling shrimp from Odom Farms in Eutaw, satsumas from Sessions Farms in Grand Bay, milk from Working Cows Dairy in Slocomb, grits from Oakview Farms in Wetumpka, ice cream from Wright Dairy in Alexandria, beef from Mike Henry's farm in Pintlala and pork barbecue from Bishop’s BBQ in Cherokee. Members of the Alabama Bee & Honey Producers, Meat Goat & Sheep Producers and Peanut Producers served dishes representing their commodities.

Attendees also enjoyed catfish, fried chicken strips, turnip greens, sweet potato fries, fried green tomatoes and cornbread.

Other state officials in attendance included Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries Commissioner John McMillan; Public Service Commissioner Twinkle Cavanaugh; Supreme Court justices Tommy Bryan and Kelli Wise; and Court of Civil Appeals judges Mary Becker Windom, Elizabeth Kellum and Liles Burke.

For photos from the “Taste of Alabama,” visit the Federation Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/alabamafarmers.

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