Pike County Young Farmers are ‘best in state’

Published 3:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Pike County Young Farmers received the statewide award for the Outstanding Young Farmers Committee in Division 1 at the Alabama Farmers Federation 95th annual meeting in Montgomery on Sunday. The award goes to a Young Farmers’ committee that has demonstrated excellent work and increased involvement over the past year.

Jessica Morris, committee chair, accepted the award for the Pike County Young Farmers.

“This was a total surprise. We didn’t know until our name was called,” Morris said. “We have been working hard and to be recognized as the best Young Farmers organization in the state was a great honor.”

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Morris said the focus of the Pike County Young Farmers is the promotion of agriculture in Pike County, in Alabama and across the nation.

The Pike County Young Farmers members attend state meetings and commodity conferences in an effort to stay informed about issues that face young farmers and farm programs that help them to be successful.

The Pike County Young Farmers attend district meetings including those that focus on laws that affect the farming community and also good business practices.

“Community outreach is a part of our mission,” Morris said. “In the fall, we host the annual Farm Day at Cattleman Park for all third graders in the county. They have an opportunity to learn about the different commodities produced in Pike County and about daily farm life.”

About 350 students from city, county and private schools and home-school students attended Farm Day this year.

“Leadership development is a focus of the Pike County Young Farmers program, so we involve FFA members and Ag Academy students in leadership roles in Farm Day,” Morris said.

The Young Farmers are involved in local 4-H and FFA programs as judges for contests and as program leaders.

“We recently hosted a canned food drive with the FFA,” Morris said.

“We collected a pickup truckload of items that were donated to a local food kitchen.”

The Pike County Young Farmers are between the ages of 18 and 35. They are a dedicated support group for each other and for young people who want to go into farming.  As an organization, Young Farmers are involved in programs that prepare them to be good leaders and successful businessmen and women. “We are an active and informed group of young farmers that are strong advocates for farming and all agriculture,” Morris said.