County’s ag leaders honored during Farm-City banquet

Published 11:17 pm Thursday, November 10, 2011

Members of the area’s agricultural and urban communities came together Thursday night for the annual Farm-City banquet at the Pike County Cattleman’s association.

Awards were presented to those who have made outstanding contributions to agriculture during 2011 and to the winners of the Farm-City Week poster and essay contests that were open to student at all schools in the county.

“I think it’s about making people realize where the foods and fibers they use come from,” Randy Hale, winner of the night’s Service to Agriculture Award and member of the Farm-City committee, said. “You recognize the producers, the businesses and the consumers and realize that one can’t survive without the other. It’s a joint endeavor.”

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The Farm-City Committee is an extension of the Pike County of Commerce and works throughout the year to raise awareness of the importance of the partnership between the rural and urban communities in providing food and fiber to the nation.

“The Farm City Banquet is one of the highlights of our Pike County Farm-City Week events,” said Kathy Sauer, Chamber president. “We proudly recognized exceptional individuals in our agricultural community as well as our student winners in the essay and poster contests. As Chamber president, I would like to thank the Farm City Committee for its outstanding work in always making our Farm City events among the best in the state. “

Jeff Knotts, chairman of the Farm-City Awards committee, said that the annual awards banquet is the time when the community comes together to recognize farmers for their contributions as well as those who provide support to the agricultural community in different ways.

“We congratulate the winners and express appreciation to all of those in the agricultural community who provide us with the highest quality produce and fiber at the most affordable price,” Knotts said.

The Farm-City Committee accepts nominations for the various awards that are presented annually at the banquet. The winners are chosen by a committee of knowledgeable individuals in each of the commodities.

The 2011 Farm-City Award winners are Mike Dubose, row crop; Don Paul, conservation; Frank and Nedetria Talbot, poultry; Johnny Garrett, beef producer; Chuck Agar, specialty crop; Cliff Eubanks, timber; Jake Dubose, young farmer; and Randy Hale, service to agriculture award.

Youth awards were presented to Morgan Graham, a junior at Pike Liberal Arts School, and Noah Sanders, a senior at Charles Henderson High School.

Special recognition was given to Jerold Brantley who, at age 100, is one of farming’s biggest advocates and a storehouse of agricultural wisdom.

The committee thanked Brantley for all of his contributions to the agricultural community and the crowd followed with applause as he accepted his award from his seat in the back of the banquet hall.

Each year, Farm-City Week activities include a poster contest for elementary students and an essay for middle and high school students. The contests are designed to bring greater awareness of the role agriculture plays in the everyday lives of all Americans.

Tammy Powell, Farm-City Committee member who coordinates the poster and essay contests, said both the posters and essays were excellent this year.

“Our students always do an outstanding job but this year the posters and essays were exceptional,” she said. “We congratulate the winners and all of those who participated because they all did a great job.”

Jacob Helms, Covenant Christian School, was the poster winner in grades kindergarten through third grade. Jaylen Deverage, Troy Elementary School, took top honors in the fourth- through sixth-grade competition.

In the essay contest, Sidney Armstrong won the sixth through ninth-grade competition and Brittney Tyson, a home school student, was the winner in the 10th -12th grade competition.

“We’re very pleased with the crowd that came out especially the young people involved they’re the leaders of tomorrow,” Hale said. “A special thanks goes out to the people who helped make this possible. I’m very proud of how this went.”