A large crowd gathered on Friday, Nov.1, for the Barbour County Farm-City Appreciation Breakfast at the James S. Clark Center in Eufaula. Farm-City Chairman and Barbour County Extension Coordinator, Allie Corcoran, welcomed the crowd, noting that this year’s theme was “Keep Alabama Growing”.
As guest found their seats after filling their plates with their choice of a breakfast options of sausage, biscuits, sausage gravy, eggs, grits and other items, the invocation was given by Young Farmers Chairman Joe McCraney, with the Pledge of Allegiance being led by Alabama Little Miss Agriculture Hadley Kate McCraney.
The Star Spangled Banner was performed by the Balkcom Sisters.
Barbour County Farmer’s Federation President Trip Horne gave a brief speech on Alabama’s agriculture, stating, “Alabama’s agriculture and food industries account for more than 312,000 direct jobs, $8 billion in wages, $34.7 million in economic outlook, and $8.3 billion in business taxes, $551.6 million in exports. When indirect jobs are counted, employment jumps to more than 579,000 thousand and output exceeds 83.8 billion. These impacts demonstrate how agriculture and forestry play an important role in Alabama’s vitality despite the decline in farm numbers.
“According to the 2017 Agricultural Census released this year, the state’s total number of farms declined to about 40,000 — a loss of 2,600 farms since 2012.”
Horne said that even with the decrease in farms, the market value of crops and livestock increased and that more food and fiber are being produced on less land with fewer inputs, helping to keep Alabama growing.
Two proclamations were presented for Farm-City Week, one by Barbour County Commissioners Earl Gilmore and Jerry McGilvray, the other by Eufaula City Council member Linda Grice.
The guest speaker introduce by Corcoran for the event was Jesse Campbell, Extension Specialist Biosystems Engineering at the Nation Poultry Technology Center at Auburn University. He spoke on the impact that poultry, agriculture, forestry and related industries have not only on Barbour County, but the state also.
Corcoran presented the winners in the Barbour County Farm City Program poster and essay contests, having those present come forward to receive their award. Those receiving awards in the Poster Contest were Adalyn Davenport, first place for Kindergarten -3rd grades; Brooks Davenport, second place, K-3rd grades; Markyliah Long, first place for 4th-6th grades; and Summer Reed, second place, 4th-6th grades.
Winners in the essay contest were Colby Mac Ellis, first place for 7th — 9th grades; Luke Padgett, second place, 7th-9th grades; Haley Nolin, first place for 10th -12th grades; and Ethan McCullough, second place, 10th-12th grades.
Winners in the video contest portion of the Barbour County Farm-City Program were Trey Brannan, first place and Eden Wood, second place.
Jimmy Hatcher was named as the Barbour County Farm-City Volunteer of the Year with Quincey Banks being named as Barbour County Farm City Farmer of the Year.
A new award was given out this year during the Barbour County Farm-City program with Charles Hartzog receiving the Stewardship Forest, Tree Farm and Treasure Forrest Award. Forestry agents Perry Pritchet and Zac Ellis presented the award.