Federation's 89th Annual Meeting Tunes Up With Skaggs
By Darryal Ray
Country and bluegrass star Ricky Skaggs will show Alabama farmers how the grass can
sometimes be blue-er when they gather in Mobile Dec. 5-6 for the 89th Annual Meeting of the Alabama
|Bluegrass star Ricky Skaggs will perform at Mobile's Saenger Theater during the Federation's 89th Annual Meeting.|
Skaggs, a 14-time Grammy winner, will perform at the historic Saenger Theater on Sunday evening, Dec. 5,
at 8 p.m., with pre-show entertainment beginning at 7. Tickets are available for purchase through local county Federations
for registered convention attendees. Tickets will also be available to the public through TicketMaster.
The concert will follow a busy afternoon in which an estimated 1,200 attendees will attend policy
development and business meetings and the opening general session at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention
"This 89th Annual Meeting promises to be one of our biggest and best ever," said Paul Pinyan, the Federation's executive
director. "This year's theme, 'Agriculture ... A Growing Story,' not only conveys the message that our industry continues
to feed, clothe and shelter a growing population despite numerous challenges, but it also reflects our ongoing mission to tell agriculture's story to consumers who are two generations removed from the farm."
Another highlight of the two-day event is Monday night's selection of the Federation's Outstanding Young Farm Family from a field of six finalists. The finalists, selected from 10 commodity winners, are: Garrett and Emily Henry, Montgomery County, Beef Division; Davy and Heather Wright, Dallas County, Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod Division; Jeff and Randi
Whitaker, DeKalb County, Hay & Forage Division; Jeremy and Julie Calvert, Cullman County, Horticulture Division; Colby and Jaclyn Willoughby, Houston County, Peanut Division; and Josh and Jessica Turner, DeKalb County, Poultry
The OYFF contest recognizes young farmers between the ages of 17 and 35 who do an outstanding job in farm, home and community activities. The winner will receive a John Deere Gator, courtesy of Alabama Ag Credit and Alabama Farm Credit, a personal computer package courtesy of ValCom/CSS Wireless, $500 cash from Dodge, use of a new Chevrolet Traverse for one year and other prizes. The winner also goes on to compete at the national level for a new Dodge
Registration opens at 1 p.m. Sunday in the convention center along with the State Young Farmers Committee's Silent Auction. Proceeds from this year's auction will benefit the Alabama Farmers Agricultural Foundation, which funds
programs such as Alabama Ag in the Classroom and the "Farming Feeds Alabama" campaign.
According to Brandon Moore, director of the Federation's Young Farmers program, silent auction drop-off will begin Sunday at registration, and items will be opened for bidding until 2 p.m. Monday. County Federations are asked to bring two items each from their counties valued at $50 or more.
From 1-3 p.m., the Women's Leadership Committee will collect pop tabs from County Federations as part of its ongoing fundraising effort for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. Sunday's agenda will also include county photos, the Women's Leadership Committee caucuses, Young Farmers committee meeting and the opening general session that will feature the Federation's Annual Report, the Discussion Meet Final Four and presentation of the Service to Agriculture
Monday's second general session begins at 8:30 a.m. with the communication and county awards. At 9:45 a.m., an Ag Issues Briefing will feature Steve Flick, board president of the Show Me Energy Cooperative in Centerview, Mo., and Dennis
Wiese, a consultant in growth energy from Flandreau, S.D.
At 11 a.m., District Caucus Meetings begin and, at 11:30, Vice President District Caucus Meetings
start. The Women's Leadership Committee's Luncheon and business meeting, in which various counties are recognized for their efforts throughout the year, will begin at 11:45 in the convention center. The President's Luncheon is set for
12:15 p.m. in the Riverview Plaza Hotel. At 2:30 p.m. Monday, a voting delegate business session will elect
officers and board members in four districts.
The closing general session is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday, with presentation of the Excellence in
Agriculture winner and selection of the Federation's Outstanding Young Farm Family.