Chamber promotes Farm-City relationships

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What do a truck driver, a rancher, a grocery store clerk, a logger, a futures broker and a biotechnologist have in common?

They all play an important role in making sure that Americans have access to a healthy and abundant supply of food, fiber and natural resources.

That is the message that the Farm-City Committee of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce will send time after time, as it prepares to participate in National Farm-City Week Nov. 18-24.

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The Pike County Farm-City Committee met Tuesday morning at the Chamber office to discuss the events leading up to and during National Farm-City Week.

The mayor of the county’s municipalities and the chair of the Pike County Commission will come together to sign a proclamation declaring Farm-City Week in Pike County.

Randy Hale, Pike County Farm-City Committee chair, said that, by signing the Farm-City Week proclamation, the county’s elected officials recognize the importance of the agricultural cooperative network that employs more than 24 million workers around the country and contributes more than $1.3 trillion to the nation’s gross domestic product.

A highlight of Pike County’s Farm-City Week is the annual Farm-City Banquet, which recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to agriculture during the year.

“This has not been a good year for agriculture,” Hale said. “The drought conditions have destroyed most of our row crops. I remember the drought back in 1980. Things were so bad that we didn’t even given any awards except youth awards.”

However, the committee recognized that there are those who have made significant contributions to agriculture during very difficult times so that will not be the case this year.

Jeff Knotts, chair of the Farm-City Awards committee, said awards will be given in the areas of beef, poultry, timber, row crops, conservation, young farmer, youth, specialty crops and service to agriculture. There is also the possibility that a local farm will qualify for the Century Farm and Heritage designations.

“Nominations for the awards are open to the public and we invite anyone who would like to nominate someone to do so,” Knotts said. “The application forms are simple and the winners will be determined by committee.”

Each commodity has a chairperson who can provide assistance in making the nominations. The commodities and the awards chairs are: Beef, Chris Chandler; poultry, Jeff Amlong; timber, Alabama Forestry Commission; row crops, Jeff Knotts; conservation, Randy Hale; young farmer, James Jordan; youth, Grant Lyons and Tammy Powell; Century Farm/Heritage, Max Davis; specialty crop, Mark Jordan; and service to agriculture, Farm-City committee.

“Nomination applications will be distributed to each chairperson,” Knotts said. “Applications will also be available at the Pike/Bullock Farm Service Agency, the Pike County Extension office and the Pike County Chamber of Commerce.