Pike residents earn statewide Farm-City honors

Published 10:10 pm Monday, April 18, 2011

The Pike County Farm-City Committee of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce was named the state’s 2011 Best Farm-City Committee in Division II at the annual Farm-City Awards Banquet at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham last week. Division II is made up of counties with populations of less than 35,600.

In recognition as the Best Farm-City Committee Division II, the committee received the National Farm-City Award, which places it among the high echelon of Farm-City Committees all across the nation.

The committee also received the state award for Best Media Coverage/Proclamation in Division II.

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Two Pike County youths received first place awards. Ivey Kate Helms, a sixth-grader at Covenant Christian School, won first place in the poster contest, grades four through six, and Key’ousha Foster, a ninth-grade student at Charles Henderson High School, won first place in the essay contest for grades seven through nine.

Helms and her school each received $200 from the Alabama Farmers Cooperative. Her poster appeared on the cover of the 2011 Farm-City Awards banquet cover and will appear in the 2012 Alabama Farm-City calendar. Foster and her school each received $300 from the Alabama Farms Federation.

Randy Hale, Pike County Farm-City Committee chairman, said that he is extremely proud and honored that the committee has been recognized as the Best Farm City Committee in Division II and with the other awards.

“The Pike County Farm-City Committee is made up of a group of dedicated volunteers that are assisted by the Pike County Chamber of Commerce,” Hale said. “These volunteers give freely of their time to promote businesses within the city sector and in support of those who produce the different agricultural products. These awards were the combined efforts of interested people.”

The annual statewide Farm-City Awards are based on the performance of the Farm-City Committees throughout the year and reflected excellence in many areas.

“The Pike County Farm-City Committee sponsors activities and events that are related to all segments of our population,” Hale said. We have community-wide activities, as well as activities that are directed toward the interests of men and specifically for ladies’ and several youth activities. Our youth participation in the poster and essay contests is always outstanding.”

The Pike County Farm-City Banquet recognizes excellence in all areas of agriculture, outstanding agri-businesses and also promotes youth in agriculture.

“The committee sponsors tours, demonstrations, field days and exhibitions,” Hale said. “The volunteers with the Farm-City Committee make a year-long commitment in support of agriculture in Alabama. The theme of this year’s Farm-City program was ‘Agriculture: A Growing Story’ and we want to see it continue to grow.”

Pike County’s winning essay by Key’ousha Foster traced agriculture from baby’s first day through adulthood and told how agriculture is a part of our daily lives from the first day until the last. Foster also told the story of how agriculture had changed from a mule and plow to the technology that includes the GPS, biotechnology, Internet, weather satellites and cell phones.

“From the day we are born, agriculture is with us. And it stays with us to the end. Even after that, agriculture grows,” Foster wrote.