January 12, 2022
Alabama Farmers Shine At Farm Bureau Meeting
After meeting virtually last year, farmers from 50 states and Puerto Rico welcomed the opportunity to fellowship and share ideas at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Convention in Atlanta Jan. 7-11.
Federation President Jimmy Parnell said spending time with other farmers was the highlight of the convention, which had a theme of “Growing Tomorrow, Together: People, Purpose, Possibilities.”
Alabama Outstanding Young Farm Family winners Josh and Savannah McCoy of Dale County were recognized during the convention’s closing general session as Top 10 finalists for the AFBF Achievement Award.
Cullman County young farmer Kyle Morris advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the Discussion Meet, where he and fellow competitors suggested ideas to reduce farm accidents.

Additionally, Lauren and Landon Marks of Cherokee County represented Alabama in the Excellence in Agriculture contest.
At the closing session, Caravan Tech LLC, whose shareholders include Federation members, won the People’s Choice Award in the AFBF Ag Innovation Challenge. The company leverages technology to track livestock. Caravan Tech received $10,000 as a Top 10 finalist and another $5,000 for the People’s Choice Award. Chonex, another Alabama company, also received $10,000 as a finalist. Chonex has developed a patented process for producing organic fertilizer while recycling poultry litter.

The convention concluded with the annual business session where more than 300 voting delegates considered policy recommendations. Federation President Jimmy Parnell served as vice chair of the business session and was reelected to the AFBF board of directors.

Federation Outlines Legislative Priorities
State lawmakers were focused on developing plans to spend federal infrastructure and COVID-19 stimulus money, and handle gambling propositions, when the Alabama Legislature convened Jan. 11 for the 2022 Regular Session.

The Federation’s legislative priorities include preserving state funding for agriculture, forestry, and career and technical education. The Federation also is working to clarify tax laws related to grain storage bins and equipment used in producing value-added farm products.

Brian Hardin, center, leads the Federation’s External Affairs team. From left are Administrative Assistant Hayden Harris, Agricultural Legislation Director Preston Roberts, Hardin, State Legislative Programs Director Russ Durrance and Agriculture Counsel John Allen Nichols.

Chronic Wasting Disease Detected In Alabama
A sample recently collected from a hunter-harvested, white-tailed deer in west-central Lauderdale County has been confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). This is the first case of CWD detected in Alabama’s deer herd.

The sample was submitted as part of the state’s ongoing CWD surveillance and volunteer testing program. Preliminary tests performed at the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries discovered the case, which was then confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

Ag In Action
Alabama Extension released enterprise crop budgets this week to help producers plan for the upcoming season. Worksheets are available for operations growing irrigated and dryland corn, cotton, peanuts and soybeans. There are also worksheets for double-crop soybeans, industrial hemp, horticultural crops, forages and livestock operations. Click here to access the budgets.

Farmers who updated irrigation in 2021 could be eligible for irrigation tax creditsEstablished in 2018, the program allows taxpayers to claim an income tax credit for certain costs for irrigation equipment, fuel conversions and reservoirs. Applications are due Jan. 31. Click here to apply.

Marlee Moore has been promoted to Alabama Farmers Federation publications director and Neighbors editor. The Auburn University graduate, who started with the Federation in 2016, replaces longtime Neighbors editor Debra Davis, who retired in December. Click here to read more.
Events & Deadlines
  • Jan. 18-19 Row Crops Short Course, following the Alabama Soybean & Corn Association Meeting in Montgomery

  • Feb. 9 — FarmPAC Meeting / Taste of Alabama legislative reception in Montgomery

New Simply Southern TV Episodes Air Weekly
New Simply Southern TV episodes air weekly on local channels (click here to find your viewing time). Reruns feature on RFD-TV each Wednesday. The next two episodes include:

  • Jan. 12: Ask a Farmer with Lamar County dairy farmer Will Gilmer, the Alabama Gourd Society’s Annual Show, Birmingham Rage Room, and a recipe for Easy General Tso’s Chicken from SouthernBite.com’s Stacey Little, sponsored by the Alabama Poultry & Egg Association 

  • Jan. 19: Alabama Peanut Producers Association’s Food Blogger Tour, seed starting in Extension’s Alabama Smart Yards segment, a 50-year preacher, the Wetumpka Impact Crater and a recipe for Sausage Gravy from SouthernBite.com’s Stacey Little
In Memory
  • Angie Wysner, wife of Randolph County Farmers Federation President Dean Wysner