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February 02, 2010   Email to Friend 

Young Farmers Leadership Conference Scheduled Feb. 26-28
By Darryal Ray

James Owen is founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of the Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership.
More than 300 young farm families from throughout the state will gather Feb. 26- 28 at Montgomery's Renaissance Hotel for the Alabama Farmers Federation's 2010 Young Farmers Leadership Conference, an event that not only serves to develop tomorrow's agricultural leaders but also is the first step in the Outstanding Young Farm Family competition as 17 state commodity winners are selected.

The OYFF program, now entering its 53rd year, seeks to recognize young farm families and farmers between the ages of 18 and 35 who are doing an outstanding job in their farm, home and community activities, and promoting a better understanding of agriculture with the urban populace.

Each commodity winner receives a plaque and $200 cash award. From the 17 commodity divisions, the top six finalists will be chosen. An overall winner is then selected from the six finalists, and will be named at the Alabama Farmers Federation's 89th Annual Meeting in Mobile in Dec. 5-6, 2010.

The overall winner receives a John Deere Gator, courtesy of Alabama Ag Credit, ACA and Alabama Farm Credit, ACA, the use of a new vehicle, $500 cash from Dodge Trucks and a computer package sponsored by Valcom / CCS Wireless.

The state winner also receives an all-expense-paid trip to the 2011 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Atlanta where he/she will compete for the American Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award. The winner of the 2011 Achievement Award receives a nicely equipped 2011 Dodge Ram Quad Cab pickup.

Activities for the Alabama Farmers Federation's Young Farmers Leadership Conference begin Friday, Feb. 27, 5:45-6:30 p.m., with an invitation-only reception for county Young Farmers chairmen, followed by the opening banquet. Saturday activities include orientation for OYFF contestants at 7:45 a.m., followed at 8 by leadership development training and a seminar presented by Ag in the Classroom. OYFF judging begins at 8:30 a.m.

First South Farm Credit will sponsor James P. Owen as the Friday evening keynote speaker. Owen is author of the book, Cowboy Values: Rediscovering What America Once Stood For, and founder of The Institute for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership.

For more information, call (334) 612-5159 or email BMoore@AlfaFarmers.org.



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