Plans under way for Farm City

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Features Editor

While many people are thinking about vacations and family gatherings, the agriculture committee of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce is considering how to put more "city" in its annual Farm City Week activities.

The purpose of Farm City Week is to bring awareness to the connection between the farm community and the urban areas.

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Each depends on the other and each is dependent on the other.

The committee has been considering ways to acknowledge the many contributions of those who make up both the farm and city communities.

Bill Sanders, chairman of the agriculture committee, compiled a list of the awards that were presented at last year’s Farm City Banquet for the consideration of committee members before a final decision is made by the awards committee.

Because there has been a decline in cotton and peanut production and the number of producers in recent years, peanut and cotton awards that were given individually in past years were combined into one row crop award last year.

Other award categories in 2001 were poultry, conservation, forestry, service to agriculture, young farmer, beef, century farms and youth awards.

Sanders suggested that a set slate of awards be adopted with specific qualifications for each award.

One new award that has been suggested and will be added to this year’s list is that of backyard gardener.

Sanders said there are many people in the towns and in the county who are very successful at raising vegetables for family and friends.

"We need to recognize these people for the outstanding work they do," he said.

The committee set Nov. 14 as the date for the Farm City Banquet which will be held at Cattleman Park. The Troy State University rodeo team will be asked to be greeters at the banquet and Heather Powell, recipient of the committee’s 2002 scholarship and the Rev. Oris Sanders will be on the program.

The school mini-farm tours will be conducted during November by Joe Murphree and the Pike County Young Farmers. Murphree expressed a desire to include Pike Manor Health Care Center in the tours again this year, due to the interest generated by the mini-farm tour last year.

Ideas were tossed around for participants in the annual job swap, which gives an urban dweller and opportunity to spend time of the farm and a farmer a chance to spend a day was a white collar worker.

The committee also set Oct. 15 as a tentative date to invite representatives of the governmental agencies in the county to meet with the agriculture committee to sign proclamations designating the week of Nov. 22 through Nov. 28 as Farm City Week in Pike County.