Nomination forms available for Farm-City awards

Published 4:00 am Friday, September 11, 2015

The Pike County Farm-City Awards Committee of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Farm-City Awards.

The annual awards are given in recognition of those who have made outstanding contributions to agriculture during the 2015-year. The awards will be presented at the 2015 Farm-City Banquet on Nov. 5 at Cattleman Park.

Jeff Knotts, county executive director, Pike and Barbour counties, USDA Farm Service Agency, chairs the awards committee.

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“We take nominations for these awards in order to give people an opportunity to nominate a friend or neighbor they feel is deserving of the recognition,” Knotts said. “The awards committee then evaluates the nominations and selects a winner in each of the 11 categories.”

Knotts said the nomination forms are not complicated and can usually be completed without having to get information from the nominee.

“We don’t want to discourage anyone from making a nomination because of concern with the forms,” he said. “We’ll offer any assistance that we can.”

The nomination forms are available at the FSA office at 22 Henderson Highway in Troy and at the Pike County Chamber of Commerce office at 101-A East Church Street in Troy. The deadline for nominations is Oct. 16.

The award categories and chairpersons are: Beef, James O. Johnson; conservation, Mark Rhodes; row crops, Jeff Knotts; forestry, Deborah Huggins-Davis and Keith Roling; poultry, Billy Hixon and Steve Stroud; young farmer, Jessica Morris and Steve Stroud; specialty crop, Heath Wesley and Knotts; male and female youth, Health Wesley and Emily Roling; service to agriculture city business, Tammy Powell and Harry Sanders; and service to agriculture, Randy Hale and Bobby Catrett.

Knotts said a specialty crop is a crop that does not fit any of the other categories.

“Fruits, vegetables, nuts — any crop that could be considered a specialty crop will qualify,” he said. “The service to agriculture city business is a business that supports agriculture and that support could be in a variety of ways. We encourage nominations from the community and hope that people will take time to nominate someone. Agriculture touches all our lives. The nominations and awards are ways to show appreciation to our farming community for its efforts.”

Those who have questions about the nominations are encouraged to contact the individual award chairs for more information.

Knotts said the awards categories have changed as farming has changed in Pike County.

“The awards’ records that I have go back to 1989,” he said. “In that year, we had five categories. Harold Lee won the peanut category; Ima Jean Dunn won the poultry award, Bill Hixon, the beef award, Jimmy Shaver, the soil conservation award and Kenneth Harden, the hog award.”

Knotts, laughingly, said, in today’s world, the hog award would be a “specialty crop.”

“As farming has changed, so have the awards,” he said. “The Farm-City Committee is proud to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to agriculture in 2015 and to honor the entire farming community leading up to and during Farm-City Week Nov. 20-26.”