Ross and Judy York named 2020 Farm Family of the Year

Judy and Ross York (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

Updated 11-22-19 at 8:22 a.m.

CULLMAN, Ala. – A crowd of hundreds filled the Cullman Civic Center Thursday evening as the Cullman County Farm-City Committee held its annual Farm-City Banquet. Guests enjoyed steaks from the Cullman County Cattlemen’s and Cattlewomen’s Association, catering by Designs by Grace and service by students from across the county, while singer/storyteller Stella Parton entertained with songs and stories of her youth as a farmer’s daughter.

2020 Farm Family of the Year

The committee named Ross and Judy York of York Farms as the 2020 Farm Family of the Year.

Committee representative Phillip Garrison introduced Ross York as a fourth-generation farmer, working in partnership with his sons, the fifth generation. His grandchildren are already riding in the tractors and combines. The Yorks’ crops over the years have included potatoes, alfalfa hay, cabbage, watermelons, cattle, wheat, soybeans and corn.

Judy York works off the farm as an RN recover nurse at Cullman Regional. They have three children: Amanda, Andrew and Austin, and five grandchildren. She enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.

The Yorks are active members of Cullman First Church of the Nazarene.

The Farm-City Committee chooses a Family of the Year each year, rotating between choosing a Farm Family and City Family.

The Yorks succeed Jay and Melissa Betts, the 2019 City Family of the Year.

Outstanding Service to Agriculture Award: Eddie McGriff

Lydia Haynes introduced McGriff as a 1981 Auburn University graduate in agricultural sciences who worked for the Decatur County, Georgia extension system for 16 years. He is considered an authority on multiple crops, and has written more than 30 articles for seven national publications. His research in cotton was considered groundbreaking and drew international attention.

Returning to Alabama after retiring in 2016, he has worked with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service as a soil specialist.

Haynes called McGriff “a farmer’s farmer,” adding, “Eddie, you have done Cullman County proud, and you are a treasure to the world of agriculture.”

Other award winners

Youth Awards

  • Outstanding FCCLA Member: Kate Rains, Cullman High School
  • Outstanding 4-H Member: Leslie Boren, Vinemont High School
  • Outstanding FFA Member: Chase Lawrence, West Point High School

Poster Contest Awards

Grades K-3 Winners

  • 1st Place: Maggie Phillips, Good Hope Primary School
  • 2nd Place: Mark Szedon, Cold Springs Elementary School
  • 3rd Place: Scarlett Harbison, Fairview Elementary School

Grades 4-6 Winners

  • 1st Place: Avery Hines, St. Paul’s Lutheran School
  • 2nd Place: Emmylou Earley, Cold Springs Elementary School
  • 3rd Place: Katie Chamblee, Sacred Heart School


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The York Family (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)
Eddie McGriff receives the Outstanding Service to Agriculture Award from Lydia Haynes (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

W.C. Mann