A permanent display honoring a group of Alabama leaders for their service to agriculture was dedicated Jan. 29 at the Alabama Farmers Federation headquarters in Montgomery.
A wall displaying etched portraits of the Federation’s Service to Agriculture Award winners was dedicated during a reception attended by several honorees and family members. Recipients of the award are honored during the organization’s annual meeting each year; however, there was no lasting exhibit until now.
“The Service to Agriculture Award is the highest honor given by the Federation,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “The dedication of this wall recognizes each of the recipients in a permanent manner. The men and women honored here made lasting, significant contributions to Alabama agriculture, and it’s appropriate we remind ourselves now, and for years to come, of their efforts.”
Honorees include Gov. George Wallace, who received the inaugural award in 1965 and was awarded again in 1986. Other state leaders, U.S. senators and representatives, educational and civic leaders, as well as former leaders of the Federation, are members of the prestigious group.
Former Lt. Gov. George McMillan Jr., who received the Service to Agriculture Award in 1980, attended the ceremony. He said he was flattered when he received the award more than two decades ago and was humbled again to be remembered in a permanent way.
“It’s very touching,” McMillan said. “To be honored by being included with this distinguished group of people the Alabama Farmers Federation has chosen to recognize is something that is very special to me.”
Parnell said the wall is a symbol of appreciation to all those honored with the award.
“It’s just mind-boggling to stand there and look at those people and just think about the things that they’ve done for Alabama and for agriculture,” he said during the ceremony. “I just want to say thank you. That’s what this is all about.”
Service To Ag Honorees
George Wallace, 1965 & 1986; L.M. Ware, 1966; Albert Brewer, 1967; E.V. Smith, 1968; Richard Beard, 1969; M.C. Stallworth, 1969; Fred Robertson, 1970; Walter Randolph, 1970; T.L. Faulkner, 1971; W.T. Maynor, 1971; A.W. Jones, 1972; R.G. Arnold, 1972; James B. Allen, 1973; J. Lewis Harper, 1973; Jack Young, 1973; Booker T. Whatley, 1974; G.B. Phillips, 1975; W.O. Patterson, 1975; Tine Davis, 1975; Jack Edwards, 1976; Walter Givhan, 1976; Charles McCay, 1976; Thomas E. Coker, 1977; Joe McCorquodale, 1978; Richard S. Manley, 1979; George McMillan, Jr., 1980; Howell Heflin, 1981; H. Hanly Funderburk, 1982; Bill Nichols, 1983; Charles Mitchell, 1983; William L. Dickinson, 1984; Hinton Mitchem, 1985; Albert McDonald, 1987; Guy Hunt, 1988; John A. Garrett, 1988; James Martin, 1989; Claude Harris, 1990; Dale Huffman, 1991; James E. Marion, 1992; James S. Clark, 1993; Terry Everett, 1994 & 2002; Paul Parks, 1995; Fob James, 1996; Dick Fifield, 1996; J.D. Hays, 1996; Bud Cramer, 1997; Jeff Sessions, 1998; Goodwin L. Myrick, 1998; Sonny Callahan, 1999; Charles Bishop, 2000; Doug Rigney, 2000; Seth Hammett, 2001; Richard Shelby, 2003; John Dorrill, 2003; John Jensen, 2004; Jim Cravey, 2004; Walter Hill, 2005; Ed Richardson, 2006; Ron Sparks, 2007; Jan Cook, 2008; Richard Guthrie, 2009; Mike Kilgore, 2009; J. Paul Till, 2009; John Wheat, 2010; Mike Rogers, 2011; and Jerry Newby, 2012.