Local farmers federation receives national award for educational event
by Special to the Eagle
Oct 26, 2013 | 1109 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Farmers Federations in Lee and Walker counties are national winners in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) County Activities of Excellence (CAE) program. The award recognizes county organizations that display creativity and innovation through hosting an agricultural event.

The Walker County Farmers Federation won for its “Sharing Agriculture in Education: Books, Red Barns and Blue Jackets” event. Nineteen public and private elementary schools and regional libraries were presented with agricultural books and “learning barn” bookshelves built by local FFA chapters.

“This was the first time our Federation hosted an event of this scope, and the first time we recognized the contributions of librarians,” Walker County Farmers Federation President Dorman Grace said in the application. “The learning barns are permanent, tangible and useful items that serve as constant reminders of the importance of farmers who provide food, fiber and shelter for others.”

The Lee County Farmers Federation was selected as a winner for its “Agricultural Fair,” held in Opelika June 8. More than 4,000 people attended and were treated to live music, lunch, a craft fair and petting zoo. The event included cotton gin, farm equipment and beekeeping exhibits.

“We didn’t know how successful this event would be because it’s the first of it’s kind for our county,” Lee County Farmers Federation President Tom Ingram said. “I’m glad we could educate kids and their parents on the importance of agriculture and what it means to support the Lee County Farmers Federation.”

Representatives from both county groups will present information about the award-winning events at the AFBF’s 95th Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 12-15.

Nationally, 24 of 123 county applications were selected as CAE winners. Other winners are from California, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. Alabama was one of five states with multiple county winners.

The CAE program focuses on AFBF priority issues in Education and Ag Promotion; Member Services; Public Relations and Information; Leadership Development; and Policy Implementation.