Cullman County Farm-City Committee wins 5th statewide award

By: ,
Mary Johnson, ALFA Farmers

The Cullman County Farm-City Committee has once again been named the best in the state. For the fifth time, the committee received the Overall Best Farm-City Committee Award during the Alabama Farm-City Awards Luncheon April 6 in Birmingham. The group also received Division 1 awards for Best Farm-City Committee, Scrapbook and National Ag Day Promotion. Division I includes counties with a larger population. Pictured, from left, are Cullman County Farm-City Committee Chairman Ashley Graves and Alabama Farm-City Committee Chairman Jeff Helms.

BIRMINGHAM – In 2013, Cullman County’s Farm-City Committee claimed its first state award for Overall Best Farm-City Committee. The group has not relinquished the top spot on the podium since, as the committee received its fifth overall award during the Alabama Farm-City Awards Luncheon April 6 in Birmingham.

Many in Cullman County attribute their sustained success to 2014 Cullman County Farm-City Chairman Doris Patterson, who was named the 2016 Volunteer of the Year. The retired school teacher has been involved in Farm-City for over 30 years and held almost every position on the county committee.

“I just love Farm-City. My vanity tag is for the University of Alabama, but it says Farm-City,” Patterson said. “Cullman is such a wonderful ag community.”

Patterson added that the best part of Farm-City is learning from and with hard-working Cullman County volunteers.

Cullman County also took home Division I awards for Best Farm-City Committee, Scrapbook Award and Best National Ag Day Promotion. Division I is for counties with larger populations.

Houston County was named runner-up for Division I Best Farm-City Committee and won an award for Best Special Activities.

In Division II, the Pike County Farm-City Committee continued to stake its claim as Best Farm-City Committee with its third straight win. The committee was also recognized for Best Farm-City Tour and National Ag Day Promotion.

Division II Best Farm-City Committee runner-up Chambers County racked up additional awards for Best Media Coverage/Proclamation and Best Special Activities.

Lawrence County’s Linda Robinson was recognized with the Service Award, which is presented to an individual who goes above and beyond to promote Farm-City as part of their job. Robinson recently retired from the Cooperative Extension System after 36 years, and she served as her county Farm-City Committee chairman for 16 years.

Farm-City Week is traditionally observed the week before Thanksgiving. The program started in 1955 and continues today with county committees hosting educational events to encourage greater cooperation and understanding between farmers and city folk.

Artistic flair featured at Alabama Farm-City Awards Program

The artistic flair of kindergartners through seniors was featured at the Alabama Farm-City Awards program in Birmingham April 6, where Houston, Lamar and Shelby county students took home top prizes in poster, essay and multimedia contests.

“Participating in Farm-City contests is one way students learn about Alabama agriculture’s bounty at a young age,” said Alabama Farm-City Committee Chairman Jeff Helms. “These students are the future of our industry, and it’s important they learn the impact forestry, agriculture and related industries have on our state and planet.”

This year’s theme was “Agriculture: Stewards of a Healthy Planet.”

In the poster contests, first-grader Kimber Brooke Cunningham of Lamar County’s Vernon Elementary School won first place in the kindergarten through third-grade division. Houston County’s Brooke DelVecchio, a sixth-grader at Cottonwood School, won the fourth- through sixth-grade division.

Each received $200, as did their schools.

The Alabama Farmers Cooperative sponsored the cash awards.

Second-place poster winners and their schools received $100. They were kindergartner Elin Shelton of Randolph County’s Woodland High School and Barbour County’s Rintik Setiawan, a sixth-grader at Admiral Moorer Middle School.

Additionally, the 2018 Alabama Farm-City calendar will feature 10 honorable mention poster contest entries. Each student was awarded $50. They were Ariya Danzey of Montana Magnet School in Houston County, Gage Thornton of R.L. Young Elementary School in Talladega County, Carson Smith of Good Hope Middle School in Cullman County, Matthew Shelton of Woodland High School in Randolph County, Trevor Dale Cunningham of Vernon Intermediate School in Lamar County, Tessa Ray of Horseshoe Bend School in Tallapoosa County, Kangyou Park of Baldwin Arts and Academics Magnet School in Montgomery County, Leighton Fultz of Marengo Academy in Marengo County, SimenoleRobvim McShan of Clay County Christian Academy in Clay County and Gabriella Plaza of Moulton Middle School in Lawrence County.

In the essay contest, Shelby County’s Marion Bell of Hope Christian School took home first place in the seventh- through ninth-grade division, while her sister, Kinley Bell, placed first in the 10th- through 12th-grade category.

Pickens County’s Adeline Phillips of Pickens Academy placed second in the seventh- through ninth-grade essay division, while Victoria Dee, also of Pickens Academy, received second place among older students.

Essay contest winners and their schools received $300, while second-place entries and their schools took home $200.

Ty Rickard of Rehobeth High School in Houston County won the multimedia contest for students in ninth to 12th grades. Rickard and his school received $300. Second place went to Lauren Grace Wilson of Hope Christian School in Shelby County. Wilson and her school received $200.

Marshall County’s Kaleigh Backstrom of The Way Home Christian School received an honorable mention in the multimedia contest. She and her school received $100.

Rickard’s video can be viewed on the Alabama Farmers Federation’s YouTube channel.

The luncheon was held in conjunction with the Federation’s Women’s Leadership Conference.

County Farm-City volunteers were also recognized and Alabama’s 2017 Farm of Distinction was named during the awards luncheon.