January 11, 2023
Tranthams Named Nation’s Top Young Farm Family
Alabama farmers Daniel and Carla Trantham were named the nation’s top young farm family Jan. 9 during American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

This is the first time an Alabama Farmers Federation farm family has won the Achievement Award.

“From the moment I saw the state award given at a state conference, winning that contest was my goal,” Daniel said. “This national award was the icing on the cake. This is a dream come true for our family.”

As winners, the Tranthams of Calhoun County will receive $35,000 toward purchasing a Ford vehicle and registration to AFBF’s FUSION Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. The Tranthams were eligible for the Achievement Award after winning the Federation’s Outstanding Young Farm Family contest in August 2022, where they scored over $75,000 in prizes.
Alabama Well Represented At American Farm Bureau Convention
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) held its convention Jan. 6-11 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Alabama Farmers Federation won Awards of Excellence in all four categories at AFBF convention. They are:
  • Advocacy
  • Engagement & Outreach
  • Leadership & Business Development
  • Coalitions & Partnerships

The Federation also received the Navigator Award for growing membership in 2022.
Alabama farmers voted on policy recommendations to help guide American Farm Bureau Federation work in Washington, D.C.

Pictured left are Federation state board members during the delegate business session Jan. 10.
State Young Farmers Committee chairman Jonathan Edgar attended AFBF Convention as a voting delegate. Jonathan and Sara Sanders are members of the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers committee.

From left are Federation Young Farmers Division Director Hunter McBrayer, Edgar and the Sanderses.
Alabama’s official delegation for the Women’s Business Session voted at AFBF Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jan. 7.

From left are State Women's Leadership Committee chair Ann Whatley, Kristie Pinyan, Kathy Gordon, Stacey Nestor, State Women's Leadership Committee member Monica Carroll and Montgomery County Farmers Federation President Toni Flowers.
Alabama Farmers Will Soon Benefit From New Right To Repair Agreement
Alabama farmers will soon benefit from an agreement signed Jan. 8 to ensure producers’ right to repair their own farm equipment.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), of which the Alabama Farmers Federation is a member, and John Deere at the 2023 AFBF Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The MOU is the culmination of several years of discussions between AFBF and John Deere and sets parameters and creates a mechanism to address farmers’ concerns. John Deere commits to engaging with farmers and dealers to resolve issues when they arise and agrees to meet with AFBF at least twice per year to evaluate progress.
New Navigable Waters Definition Clear As Mud
A clear, concise, Trump-era definition of navigable waters is set to be replaced with more confusing terminology, per a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule released Dec. 30.

Alabama Farmers Federation has joined agricultural organizations across the country expressing concern over the newest federal definition, said Federation President Jimmy Parnell.

“As farmers, we want and need to protect the nation’s waters,” Parnell said. “This rule muddies the water for property owners, will make conservation more difficult and will create huge liabilities for farmers.”

The rule  reverts to a strict, heavily regulated view of navigable water under the  Clean Water Act.  The definition is similar to a 2015 rule, which the Federation and its affiliated organization, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), opposed. That rule was challenged in multiple courts, later struck down by the Trump Administration and replaced with the clear Navigable Waters Protection Rule. 
Lee County's Whatley Leads State Women's Leadership Committee
Four decades ago, Ann Whatley helped author Alabama Ag in the Classroom’s (AITC) inaugural teaching manual and led workshops on ag-centric curriculum inclusion. 

Whatley still leads the charge for ag education as the 2023 Alabama Farmers Federation State Women’s Leadership Committee (WLC) chair, a role fellow members elected her to during the organization’s annual meeting in December.
Elmore County's Edgar Leads State Young Farmers
Jonathan Edgar’s childhood was chock-full of Alabama Farmers Federation experiences, a wealth of knowledge the seventh-generation farmers plans to use as State Young Farmers Committee (YFC) chairman.

“It is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time,” Edgar said. “I’m passionate about this organization and love the direction it’s headed. I cannot wait to serve our members.”
Britt Sworn In As Alabama's Newest U.S. Senator
Katie Britt was sworn into office as Alabama's newest U.S. senator Jan. 3 in Washington, D.C. Britt’s special brand of energy and empathy earned her the Alabama Farmers Federation’s FarmPAC endorsement. Britt said she is committed to putting the people of Alabama first.

She is pictured with Federation President Jimmy Parnell.
Alabama Catfish Conference Held In Hale County
The 2023 Alabama Catfish Conference was Jan. 11 in Greensboro.

The event was hosted by the Alabama Farmers Federation Catfish Division, Auburn University School of Fisheries, Aquaculture & Aquatic Sciences, and Alabama Fish Farming Center.

Producers heard from research and industry professionals from Auburn University, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agriculture Research Service, Mississippi State University and more.

Top photo: Mike Owens and Townsend Kyser participated in a producer panel, where they shared farming techniques and challenges.

At right, the Federation State Catfish Committee also held elections. Committee members are pictured with Federation Catfish Division Director William Green.
Alfa Employees, Members Tapped For Alabama Leadership
Marshall County poultry and cattle farmer Corey Hill has been selected as a member of the Leadership Alabama Class XXXII. 
Corey Hill
Alabama Farmers Federation State Poultry Committee
Mayor of Douglas
Members and employees of Alfa Farmers and Alfa Insurance have been selected through a competitive process for two Leadership Alabama programs. Leadership Alabama is a statewide program of Alabama leaders engaged in creating a network for positive change.

Crystal Johnson, Hunter McBrayer, Emmanuel Bankston and Andrew Pinyan are part of the 2022-2023 Alabama Leadership Initiative. 
Crystal Johnson
Senior Vice President Business Innovations
Alfa Insurance
Hunter McBrayer
Federation Young Farmers Division Director
Emmanuel Bankston
 Federation State Young Farmers Committee member
Golden Peanut
Andrew Pinyan
Cullman County Young Farmer
Alabama Farm Credit
Sanford Receives 2022 Cotton Grower Cotton Achievement Award
Alabama's Jimmy Sanford was recently awarded the Cotton Grower Cotton Achievement Award. Sanford is a fourth-generation cotton producer. He is a past president of the National Cotton Council and Southern Cotton Growers and has served as chairman of the Alabama Cotton Commission since it was established 30 years ago. Sanford helped found and currently serves as chairman of Autauga Quality Cotton Association.
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Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (AFVGA) will hold its annual conference & trade show in Gulf Shores Feb. 9-10.
Young Farmers Conference will be Feb. 24-26 in Birmingham. Farm tours and live auction are back by popular demand. Register by Jan. 25.
Washington Legislative Conference will held March 7-10 in Washington, D.C. Registration closes Jan. 27.
The 2023 Women's Leadership Conference is April 12-14 in Huntsville. Special keynote speakers include Brenda Gantt, Leah Mitchell and Liz Huntley. Register by March 21.
Quick Clicks
  • The Federal Communications Commission released the National Broadband Map in November. American Farm Bureau Federation Governmental Affairs Director Emily Buckman explained that the new map displays specific location-level information regarding broadband services availability. Click here to access the map.

  • The Alabama Peanut Producers Association (APPA) seeks eligible peanut producers who are interested in serving on the National Peanut Board. APPA will hold a nominations election to select two nominees each for member and alternate to the National Peanut Board during a meeting on Feb. 2. Click here to read more.

  • The Pork Checkoff rate dropped by 5 cents on Jan. 1 to 35 cents per $100 of value. This change is the result of a resolution passed by voting delegates at the 2022 Pork Industry Forum. Click here to learn more.
Events & Deadlines

  • Jan. 18-20 - Gulf States Horticultural Expo. The Alabama Farmers Federation Greenhouse, Nursery and Sod Division will meet Jan. 20 in room 201A. For more information contact Blake Thaxton.

  • Jan. 23 - Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association Annual Conference & Trade Show registration closes. The conference is Feb. 9-10 in Gulf Shores.

New Season Of Simply Southern TV
Enjoy new episodes of Simply Southern TV season 9! Upcoming features include:

Jan. 14/15/18 — Wildlife Nursery; Gatos and Beans; interview with Extension’s Mike Clardy; and a Southern Bite recipe for Apple Dapple Sheet Cake, sponsored by Priester’s Pecans

Jan. 21/22/25 — Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch; Auburn Baskets; Ridge Point Event Venue, courtesy of Alabama Farm Credit; and a Southern Bite recipe for Pimento Cheese Cornbread

Shows air over the weekend on six broadcast stations and on Wednesdays on national cable network RFD-TV. To find out where and when the show airs near you, visit simplysoutherntv.net and click “Where To Watch.”
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