JULY 2022
AAC Hosts Annual Meeting in Fort Walton Beach
Fort Walton Beach, Fla. – Nearly 80 members and guests gathered for Alabama Agribusiness Council Annual Meeting on June 20-22 at the Island Resort. The event gave attendees the chance to connect, share ideas, and learn about some of the on-goings of the agricultural industry.

After the first day's registration, guests were invited to a welcome reception, a member favorite. Day 2 began with educational sessions which featured an update from Ag Commissioner Rick Pate, an Ag Economic Outlook with economist from Auburn's College of Ag, and an overview on Workforce Development Initiatives going on in our state. The afternoon was filled with free time like golfing, fishing, enjoying the pool, or relaxing beachside. The group reconvened that evening for a beachside low country boil.

Day three of the event opened with the Annual Meeting Business Session where members elected new board directors and officers (complete list here) and voted on bylaw changes. General Sessions followed with presentations from Dr. Paul Patterson of Auburn University's College of Ag who gave an overview of programs going on at the College. He was followed by honored guest Dr. Chris Roberts who was recently selected as president of Auburn University. He outlined the accomplishments of Auburn's College of Agriculture, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Stations and Alabama Cooperative Extension System since the inception of the University. The event wrapped up with a Legislative Discussion Panel which featured Brian Hardin and Mitt Walker of the Alabama Farmers Federation and Hassey Brooks with the Alabama Department of Ag and Industries.

Overall, the event was a great success! A special thanks to our SPONSORS who helped make this event possible. We hope you'll go ahead and mark your calendars for next year's event to be held June 19-21, 2023.
AU Economists Introduce Newsletter For Southern Agriculturalists
Auburn University agriculture economists recently introduced a newsletter specifically for Southern agriculturalists. Southern Ag Today provides peer-reviewed articles focused on issues impacting farmers and producers right here in the South. Daily articles synthesize the latest research, examine trade issues, interpret policy implications, and help explain fluctuations in market changes.

Southern Ag Today is a collaborative effort among 13 universities led by the Southern Extension Economics Committee (land-grant extension agricultural economists), the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M, and the Southern Risk Management Education Center at the University of Arkansas.
Department of Ag Now Accepting Family Farm Awards Applications
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) is now accepting applications for their annual Century & Heritage (C & H) Farm and Bicentennial Farm programs. ADAI created these programs to help recognize and celebrate family farms that have significantly impacted Alabama history and agriculture.

A Century Farm is one that has been in the same family continuously for at least 100 years and currently has agricultural activities on the farm. The farm must include at least 40 acres of land and be owned by the applicant or nominee.
A Heritage Farm is one that has been operated continuously as a family farm for at least 100 years. The farm must possess significant historical and agricultural aspects, including one or more structures at least 40 years old. The farm must also include at least 40 acres of land owned and operated by the applicant, who must reside in Alabama. It is common for a farm to qualify as a Century & Heritage Farm. Over 700 farms across the state have been recognized by the C & H Farm program for their longtime contributions to Alabama agriculture.

ADAI is also accepting applications for the Bicentennial Farm program. The Bicentennial Farm program recognizes farms that have been owned and operated by the same family for 200 years or more. The farm must be at least 40 acres in size, owned by an Alabama resident and have current agricultural activities. To date, seventeen farms have been recognized by this program.
ADAI appreciates the significant contribution agriculture has made to our state’s history. These programs recognize the farms that have stood the test of time and provided the foundation for the success of Alabama. If qualifications are met, any historical evidence such as photos, deeds, or records will be preserved in the state archives.

If your farm meets the qualifications for the 2022 C & H Farm program or Bicentennial Farm program, contact Amy Belcher at 334-240-7126 or by email amy.belcher@agi.alabama.gov to receive an application. A copy of both applications are attached to this release and are available on the ADAI’s website at https://agi.alabama.gov/centuryheritage-bicentennialfarms/ along with sample applications to use as a guide. All applicants must complete the appropriate Ownership Registration Form and return it to ADAI by Friday, August 26, 2022.
Animal & Plant Efficiency: DTE Campaign Emphasis
Growing more. Using less. For farmers, it’s that simple.

Sustainability and efficiency on the land go hand-in-hand. Farmers do more with less thanks to innovation and technology.​ Over the last 70 years, U.S. farms nearly tripled production while resources, including land, energy and fertilizer, remained stable.

In 1990, farmers would have needed almost 100 million additional acres to harvest the same amount of corn, cotton, rice, soybeans and wheat produced in 2018. That’s more than the land area of the entire state of Montana!

Biotechnology, such as genetic modification, reduces costly inputs and improves weed management, allowing farmers to reduce tillage. That means better soil, water and air quality. Roughly 90% of corn, cotton and soybeans grown in the U.S. have been improved through biotechnology.
Congressional Budget Office Releases Farm Bill Budget Projections
In May 2022, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its latest 10-year budget projections for a number of Federal programs, including farm-related programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  While CBO typically updates its budget projections up to three times per year, the spring update following the release of the President’s budget is most closely watched as it typically is the baseline against which the cost of legislative proposals is “scored” throughout the year.

During farm bill reauthorization years, CBO typically also releases their baseline projections by farm bill title.  That summary gives policymakers a clear picture of the budget for mandatory spending they have to work with in each title of the farm bill.  That estimate also gives a clear picture of what CBO expects the entire farm bill to spend if existing policies were simply maintained going forward.
While we are still a year out from CBO releasing baseline projections by title, there is still plenty to be gleaned from the May 2022 baseline update.  For example, if we look back to the April 2018 baseline (the scoring baseline for the 2018 Farm Bill), the spending projections for CCC Price Support and Related Activities, Conservation, SNAP, and Crop Insurance accounted for $865.9 billion (Table 1), or 99.85% of the $867.2 billion in projected total baseline outlays for the farm bill.  

Applying the same methodology to the most recent May 2022 baseline update, those four categories are projected to spend approximately $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years (Table 1).  The significant increase is due to a 66.4% increase in projected spending on SNAP, with SNAP now projected to account for $1.1 trillion, or 84% of the total farm bill baseline.  By contrast, the income support provisions for agricultural producers that make up the largest component of Title 1 – the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs – are projected to spend $43.3 billion over the next 10 years, or just 3.3% of the total farm bill baseline.
1/ CBO included $10 billion in “Other Administrative CCC Spending” in the May 2022 baseline update.

2/ Revised economic assumptions and administrative changes to the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) resulted in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) projecting an additional $254 billion in SNAP outlays from FY2022-31 (https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/msr_fy22.pdf).

“The Trillion Dollar “Farm” Bill“. Southern Ag Today 2(28.4). July 7, 2022
By: Bart Fischer, Research Assistant Professor and Co-Director, The Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M
Upcoming Events
Virtual Event For Women in Ag
The AgrileadHer™ conference is created for every woman who is passionate about agriculture and food, whether you are a university student studying agriculture, producer, entrepreneur, representative of a grower association, or corporate agribusiness. Register for the 2022 virtual conference today and get inspired to make a difference in your operation.

The conference is hosted by The University of Georgia, The Georgia State Department of Agriculture and The University of Tennessee. Funding was made possible in part by the USDA's Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) grants.

For more information, click here.
Dept of Ag Hosts Mental Health Initiative for AL Farmers
You are invited to the next A Healthy You, A Healthy Farm training on July 21, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Learning Campus at Gulf State Park.   

This invitation is open to anyone who would like to attend. Please forward this email to anyone you feel would benefit from this training. This training provides information that is valuable to everyone. This training is also a great professional development opportunity.   
Register to attend this FREE training here or email liz.mooneyham@agi.alabama.gov by Monday, July 11, 2022, at 5 p.m. Lunch will be served at this event.  
Participants receive a quality education that empowers all people, regardless of their background, to make a positive difference in the life of someone they know. The training offers a guide on how to help someone in a mental health crisis get the assistance they need. 
   
A Healthy You, A Healthy Farm is an initiative established by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries with the goal of reducing the stigma around mental health struggles in the Alabama agriculture community. Our goal is to provide confidence in recognizing a mental health crisis within a participant’s own community and the ability to refer someone to mental health care. READ MORE HERE.
Auburn Ag Alumni Club: Cullman and Prattville Events
The Auburn Agricultural Alumni Club is hosting two alumni socials and will be inviting incoming freshman or transfer students this fall. This is purely a social event. Spouses and children are welcome. If you plan to attend, please register at the links below.

Central Alabama
Auburn Agricultural Alumni Club - Central Alabama Alumni and New Student Social
Date: Thursday, July 21
Time: 6:30 pm
Where: Lanark Pavilion at Alabama Wildlife Federation 3050 Lanark Rd. Millbrook, AL 36054
Sponsor: Dinner is being sponsored by Alabama Ag Credit

North Alabama
Auburn Agricultural Alumni Club - North Alabama Alumni and New Student Social
Date: Friday, July 22
Time: 6:30 pm
Where: North Alabama Agriplex 1714 Tally Ho Street SW, Cullman, AL 35055
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Thank You 2022 Sponsors!
AAC Sponsor Spotlight
ALABAMA FARMERS COOPERATIVE
SERVING FARMERS SINCE 1936

Alabama Farmers Cooperative, originally the Tennessee Valley Fertilizer Cooperative, was organized in Decatur, Alabama in 1936 by a group of local county co-ops. Upon becoming a single entity, the new cooperative developed a modest plant in Decatur to satisfy the farmers’ need for fairly priced fertilizer.

Over the years, AFC acquired or built additional facilities. Today, AFC has storage facilities for both liquid and dry fertilizer throughout the areas that it serves.

By the 1940s the Co-op began making feed for local cattle and hog farmers. By the 1950s, they were selling tires, lubricants and tools. In 1957, in order to provide a more direct and ready market for farmers’ grain, AFC added a grain marketing service. AFC now owns or manages granaries all over the state and merchandizes grain for several other facilities.

In 1961, AFC added a merchandising function to its operations. With the purchase of Farmers Marketing and Exchange Stores, customers could now buy home gardening items, automotive products, hardware and other home needs. Today there are nearly eighty Quality Co-op stores in the system serving the needs of farmers, gardeners and homeowners.

Bonnie Plant Farm, headquartered in Union Springs, AL, became part of AFC in 1975. Today, Bonnie sells vegetables, herbs and flowering annuals in every state in the continental U.S.

In early 1993, AFC created a financing subsidiary to finance the local cooperative member. Cooperative Financial Services provides financing for member cooperatives’ seasonal and long term needs.

Currie Gin, located in McCullough, AL, became part of AFC in 1997.

In 1999, AFC joined forces with SouthFresh Farms in Indianola, Mississippi, to form SouthFresh Aquaculture, LLC that provides feed, fingerlings and processing for Alabama and Mississippi catfish farmers.

In 2003, Agri-AFC, LLC was formed when AFC and Agri-AFC teamed up to purchase for AFC cooperatives competitively priced crop protectants, crop nutrients and seed.

In 2005, AFC formed an LLC with Mossy Oak’s BioLogic division. BioLogic is headquartered in West Point, MS and develops crop protectants and feed products, seed and fertilizer for wildlife and wildlife managers. Supplies and feed are available for all types of animals, including everything from deer and turkey to fish and waterfowl.

AFC is a cooperative in the truest sense of the word. All facilities operated by AFC are governed by local, farmer-owned cooperatives. Each member co-op shares in the financial proceeds from AFC operations and benefits from the research and marketing services of the entire co-op system.

AFC has a competent Board of Directors that consists of farmers who actively participate in the agricultural growth of Alabama and Northwest Florida. An unselfish dedication to the mutual objectives of growth and success for its member farmers is the hallmark of this company.

Through diversity and strong leadership, Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc. has grown to become one of the largest farmer owned agriculture related businesses in the Southeast.

To learn more about Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc., click HERE.
This newsletter is intended only for informational purposes and as a service to members of the Alabama Agribusiness Council ("AAC"). The information included in this newsletter may come from a number of sources outside AAC. AAC does not claim any expertise relative to the subject matter of the materials or information published herein and does not and cannot vouch for or make any representations or guarantees as to the accuracy of the information or any specific factual statement, conclusion or opinion expressed or referenced in the information. Neither AAC nor its officers, directors, members and/or employees assume any liability or responsibility for any alleged injury or damage alleged to be related in any way to any article or information in this newsletter. Any view, perspective, opinion or commentary expressed in any article does not necessarily reflect the view or opinion of AAC or anyone associated with AAC. 
If you have any question or comment about the newsletter, please contact Grace Ellis (grace@alagribusiness.org).