Gill, Stephens to ‘swap’ professions during Farm-City

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Imagine Dr. Rick Gill dragging a heavy cotton sack and farmer Kevin Stephens wielding a scalpel.

That’s the idea behind the Farm-City Swap and this year’s swap should be a dandy with Gill and Stephens trading jobs for a day.

The Farm-City Swap is a highlight of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce’s Farm-City events each year.

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The Farm-City Swap will be one of several coming attractions for Farm-City Week 2014 in Pike County. However, the celebration of the partnership between the farm and city communities got off to an early and fast start with School Farm Day on Oct. 25 at Cattleman Park.

The Farm-City Committee met Tuesday morning at the Troy Public Library and the

first order of business was a report on the extremely successful School Farm Day.

Randy Hale, committee chair, said more than 400 third -graders from schools throughout the county attended the “innovative” event.

The committee is looking for new, creative ideas to teach young people about farm life and the importance of the partnership between the rural and urban committees.

“The students had a lot of fun learning about life of the farm,” Hale said. “School Farm Day was a hands-on event and that’s always a good learning experience.”

The Farm-City Committee will participate in Classroom in the Forest at the Gene Renfroe farm in late October.

Deborah Huggins-Davis said fifth-graders from all schools in the county are invited to Classroom in the Forest. The students will spend the morning learning tree identification and about forest management from experts in the forestry field and through participation activities.

“In the afternoon, Troy University’s international students will participate in Classroom in the Forest,” Huggins-Davis said. “This is the first time, the international students have participated and we are excited to offer this opportunity to these students.”

The Farm-City Committee will participate in Pioneer Days at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama Friday and Saturday and in the Peanut Butter Festival in Brundidge on Oct. 25.

The Farm-City Committee won first place at the Pike County Fair for its booth that featured locally produced food and fiber and items related to farming and farm life. Homer Homann, president of the sponsoring Troy Shrine Club, presented a $100 check to the committee along with the blue ribbon.

Each year, local governing officials sign a proclamation declaring Farm-City Week in Pike County.

Harry Sanders said, to make the signing a more public event, the proclamation will be signed this year at the annual Farm-City Awards Banquet rather earlier in the month.

The deadline for nominations for the awards in the areas of beef, poultry, row crops, conservation, forestry, specialty crop, service to agriculture and youth is Oct. 17. Nomination information is available at the Chamber office or the FSA office. For information, call 334-566-2294 or 566-2301. The Farm-City Banquet will be held on Nov. 13 at Cattleman Park. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the Pike County Chamber of Commerce office in downtown Troy.