Connect with us


Alabama Cattlemen’s Association Members Meet in St. Clair County

Brandon Moseley



By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Despite county wide flooding from the previous night’s six inches of rain, an estimated 90 members of the St. Clair County Chapter of the Alabama Cattleman’s Association met on the farm of Randy Bearden outside of Vincent for a field day to discuss current events, politics, and technological advancements in the industry. ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ was present to cover the event.

Alabama Cattleman’s Association (ACA) past President Donna Jo Curtis was the featured speaker. President Curtis said, “Thank you for being members of the cattlemen. We can’t all be in Washington. We can’t be all in Montgomery.” “We had a good year at the Cattleman’s Association.” Curtis said that the membership is not where they wanted it to be, but the ACA was working on that.

Curtis said that the ACA was trying to renovate their Mooseum in Montgomery. “We have between 10,000 and 13,000 students a year go through the Mooseum.” Curtis said that the ACA wants to upgrade it and make it digital. “We need to spark some interest in these younger kids to go into agriculture.” Some cattlemen have committed to donate one calf per year to the Cattleman’s Foundations to support the Mooseum renovations and the ACA is seeking corporate sponsors

Curtis said most consumers today are not from an Ag background. “I have been going to schools on career day. These people have no idea where their food comes from.” Curtis said that the average millenials decides what they want for supper 40 minutes before they eat.

Curtis said that the ACA headquarters is in a great location close to the Capital. The ACA holds breakfasts there for the legislators where they present the ACA view on the issues that we are dealing with right now.


Curtis said that the U.S. House of Representatives have passed their version of the farm bill. The U.S. Senate has passed their version so maybe we can get a farm bill passed.

It has been revealed that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released some personal information about farmers and ranchers to activist groups. PETA is going to be using drones to spy on farmers and hunters.

Curtis said that every part of the cow is used. Parts of the carcass are used in asphalt, tires, deodorant, tooth paste, sheet rock, medicine, and vaccines. The lungs and tongues are exported to Egypt and other countries where those organs are commonly eaten. The bones become bone china in China, the collagen is used as lubricants for jet engines. Ingredients found in jello, cookies, and cakes come from the beef carcass and the intestines are used for sutures in surgery. Camel hair brushes are really made from cow hair. The industry has found a way to get a dollar value out of every part of the animal.

Curtis said that the ACA tries to use Checkoff money to do the most good for our industry and our state and asked the cattlemen present to present their ideas on how to use the beef checkoff dollars.

Public Service Announcement

Curtis said, “I love what I do. I believe in what we do and I want to do what we do the right way.” Curtis told the cattlemen if you use antibiotics keep records and use them the right way. Antibiotic resistance has become a big issue and animal agriculture is being thrown under the bus.

Curtis said, “I am proud to be a cattle producer and proud to be a working American. A lot of Americans are not. Working Americans are a minority now. Curtis told the cattlemen to invite people out to their farm. “Tell people what you do. Invite them to your farm. Talk to people in the store, in the Sunday School class. We all need to step up and tell your story. We need to step up and tell our stories. Tell why we are cattle producers and how we do what we do.”

Pell City Large Animal Veterinarian Dr. Kenneth McMillan said that ranchers needed to isolate purchased animals to prevent disease. McMillan recommended getting the cow herd on a vaccination program with their local veterinarians.

“You have got to have a good solid vaccination program.”

McMillan said that he preferred modified live vaccines. Killed vaccines are safe in pregnant animals. Modified live vaccines are not so to use the modified live vaccines ranchers needed to have their cows on a controlled breeding season. McMillan said that modified live vaccines are much more effective and cheaper.

“Get with your veterinarian and find out what you need to be vaccinating for.”

McMillan also recommended having a veterinarian check every bull for breeding soundness before turning them out with the cows. McMillan warned that anaplasmosis was becoming a problem in the area.

McMillan said that there are a lot of people in the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) that would like to see that there is never an antibiotic used in an animal. “We have to make sure we don’t lose the public relations battle.” “FDA may not be our enemy but they certainly are not our friend.” “You can’t legally get an antibiotic prescription without a valid client relationship with a veterinarian.”

“People don’t understand our product. 71% of millennials say they prefer the taste of chicken over beef:
that is scary to me.”

An Agrilabs representative displayed a new device that is very similar to paint ball guns that has been approved by FDA to treat cattle for horn flies and lice. The paint ball like projectile strikes that animal and bursts and then the animal’s natural oils carry it all over the animal’s body to protect it from insects. “This is brand new. It will be available in June.” The paint ball like treatments don’t scare or scatter the cattle and the work can be done from the back of a horse or even from a pickup truck. He suggested that you dry fire it a few times around the cattle before you use to get them accustomed to the noise before use. It reduces stress on the people and reduces stress on the cattle while addressing blood sucking horn flies which costs ranchers an estimated $billion a year in lost animal performance.

The EPA was very supportive of the product because it reduces the potential for human exposure to insecticides. It is not a dewormer at this time, but that should be coming in the future. It is not approved for horses.

Dr. McMillan said that be sure to use this (or any fly treatment product) on all the cattle in a herd or you are asking for insects to develop resistance to this.

Rhonda Johnson with the Alabama Farmers Cooperative gave a presentation on wind and rain mineral. “We are in the south. We had 6 inches of rain last night moisture is going to get in the mineral feeder.” Johnson said that wind and rain minerals have a lower cost per head per day when weather losses are accounted for. 4 ounces per head per day is the target consumption.

The mineral content in hay and pasture is very variable so most ranchers in Alabama need to supplement their herd with trace minerals as well as calcium and phosphorous. The coop also has fly control that can be fed with the minerals.

Ms. Johnson said flies are a huge drain on cattle in Alabama and high magnesium minerals with fly control can be cost effective. Minerals help with pregnancy rates and helps with milk production in the beef cow herd.

The Pell City Extension Office gave a presentation on fire ant prevention. Fire ants can be a large problem in Alabama and in some fields there are over 200 mounds per acre. It hurts cattle production and can damage hay equipment and the insects are an invasive species that are not native to Alabama. There are four products labeled for pasture. They are all bait products. The ants take the bait and take them back to their nests. Amdro-pro kills the ants. It takes one to four weeks from application. Two other approved products are insect growth regulators. They attack ant fertility. Since the life of a fire ant is only 60 to 180 days it kills the nest by preventing the next generation from hatching. Extinguish plus does both. Fall is best time of year to treat fields for fire ants, but nothing is 100% effective.

The cost of treating a field is $10 to $12 an acre and needs to be done once a year or once every other year. Fields re-infest because the juvenile queens have wings and fly from infested farms to re-infest new territory. The bait spreader is mounted on a pickup truck. Ants will forage and pick up that bait. Ants don’t like heat so won’t be actively foraging above 90 degrees so don’t treat fields when it is hot.

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.



Jones says Senate race a choice between “substance and leadership, and nothing”

“One of the great disappointments in this campaign is that Alabama is not really getting choices between substance and substance,” Jones said.

Eddie Burkhalter



Incumbent Sen. Doug Jones speaks at a rally in Anniston. (EDDIE BURKHALTER/APR)

Speaking outside the Calhoun County Democratic Party headquarters in Anniston on Friday, Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, told a group of supporters that Alabamians haven’t gotten a look at what his Republican opponent might do if he wins the Nov. 3 election. 

“One of the great disappointments in this campaign is that Alabama is not really getting choices between substance and substance,” Jones said. “They’re getting a choice between substance and leadership, and nothing — nothing. We have not heard anything from Tommy Tuberville about what he really wants to do.” 

While Jones has held numerous interviews with the media, and regular web briefings over the summer and in recent weeks, Tuberville’s campaign seems to prefer the safety of keeping Tuberville from making possible gaffs or damaging statements in interviews. 

Tuberville hasn’t agreed to interviews with traditional media outlets, or to debate Jones, and instead has focused on conservative talk radio spots, speaking to smaller Republican groups and at private parties.

Tuberville’s campaign has ignored or denied our numerous attempts to interview Tuberville, including another request on Friday. He also declined to attend a student forum held at Auburn University on Wednesday, which Jones attended. The forum was sponsored by the Auburn College Republicans and College Democrats.

“If you ever hear something Tommy Tuberville says, it is just simply this: ‘Build a wall. No amnesty. Drain the swamp.’ That ain’t him. That’s Donald Trump,” Jones said. “He cannot think for himself. He doesn’t think for himself.” 


Jones spoke of his record of working to help veterans through legislation. And he referred to Tuberville’s nonprofit for veterans and reporting that indicates, through tax records, that less than a third of the money raised for Tuberville’s charity went to help veterans. 

“I don’t just create charities and send only pennies on the dollar. I do things for the veterans of this state and this country,” Jones said. 

Jones also made a case for Alabamians to remember the contributions past Democrats made in the state. Jones said it was Democratic Sen. John Sparkman who helped build Alabama’s Redstone Arsenal. 

“It was a Democrat, Lester Hill, who built the rural hospitals around here that Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell and Tommy Tuberville are trying to destroy,” Jones said. “It was Howell Heflin who built up agriculture in this state. Those are the Democrats. It was Franklin Rosevelt that put electricity in this state. We’re going to do the same thing for broadband. People forget those things. They forget those things because we’ve let other people define us with lies.”

Public Service Announcement

Jones plans to visit Jefferson County on Saturday, then on to the Black Belt and Mobile on Sunday with another stop in Birmingham on Monday afternoon. 

“The goal is to get everybody out. That’s the thing if we want to continue to ensure Alabama moves forward — moves forward and not backwards, to continue to have somebody, if I do say so myself, somebody that’s just not going to damn embarrass us,” Jones said.

Supporters of Democratic Sen. Doug Jones rally in Anniston on Oct. 30, 2020. (EDDIE BURKHALTER/APR)

“We’ve had too much of that in Alabama,” Jones said, “and I bet you it won’t be a year that Tommy Tuberville would be an embarrassment to this state because he doesn’t know the issues. He doesn’t know what to do, and he’s dang sure not going to know what to do when Donald Trump is not president of the United States.” 

Jones encouraged supporters to be skeptical of recent polling. One such recent poll, by Auburn University at Montgomery, puts Tuberville ahead of Jones by 12 percentage points, 54 to 42.1. An internal poll by Tuberville’s campaign puts Tuberville ahead by 15 percentage points, while an internal poll from the Jones camp put Jones ahead by one percentage point. 

“Don’t listen to these polling folks that come in, and they don’t know Alabama, and they don’t know what they’re doing. We’re tracking this race, and I can tell you, everything has been moving in our direction the last two months,” Jones said. 

People standing along roadsides holding his signs and showing support, Jones said, is “the energy we’ve got out there. That’s what you can’t poll.”

Ellen Bass of Anniston, standing outside the Calhoun County Democratic Party headquarters just after Jones spoke, told APR that she has numerous Republican friends who are voting for Jones.

“My hat’s off to them because they’re coming out,” Bass said. “They recognize that he is a better candidate.”

Ciara Smith, 21, newly elected to the Anniston City Council, told APR outside the headquarters building that Jones is the better candidate.

“I think that he’s educated. I think that he speaks with passion and heart,” Smith said. “And he knows what he’s talking about, which is important, and which is more than we can say about the other candidate.”

Speaking to APR after his speech to supporters, Jones said that he feels very good about the state of his campaign.

“Everything we’re seeing is moving in our direction,” Jones said. “And the more he stays hidden, the better it is for us.”

Continue Reading


Inmate assault injures two St. Clair prison correctional officers

The assaults happened at approximately 7:30 p.m. and both officers were taken to a local hospital and treated for those non-life-threatening injuries.

Eddie Burkhalter




Two correctional officers at St. Clair Correctional Facility were injured in an inmate-on-officer assault on Monday, the Alabama Department of Corrections confirmed to APR.

Among the two officers who sustained non-life-threatening injuries was a basic correctional officer (BCO), a position created in May 2019, who are not Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (APOST) certified and who cannot transport inmates, work perimeter fencing or in towers.

The other officer injured was a full correctional officer, Alabama Department of Corrections spokeswoman Samantha Rose told APR in a message Friday. The assaults happened at approximately 7:30 p.m. and both officers were taken to a local hospital and treated for those non-life-threatening injuries and subsequently released, according to Rose.

“The ADOC condemns all violence in its facilities, and the actions taken by the inmate against ADOC staff are being thoroughly investigated,” Rose said. “As the investigation into this incident is ongoing, we cannot provide additional detail at this time. More information will be available upon the conclusion of our investigation.”

The ADOC created the new basic correctional officer position to bolster the state’s woefully understaffed prisons. The creation of the position was also at the suggestion of experts ordered by a federal court to study the department’s staffing problems, ADOC attorneys wrote to the court in a filing in 2019.

The ongoing lawsuit is over the state’s handling of mental health in prisons.


The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Alabama Disability Advocacy Program filed the 2014 suit arguing the state was indifferent to the health of inmates dying by suicide in greater and greater numbers.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in June argued that ADOC was far behind on the court-ordered hiring new additional officers. It has been more than two years since U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ordered the Alabama Department of Corrections to hire an additional 2,000 correctional officers by 2022.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson in a previous opinion wrote that prison understaffing “has been a persistent, systemic problem that leaves many ADOC facilities incredibly dangerous and out of control.”

“Taken together, ADOC’s low correctional-staffing level, in the context of its severely overcrowded prisons, creates a substantial risk of serious harm to mentally ill prisoners, including continued pain and suffering, decompensation, self-injury, and suicide,” Thompson’s previous opinion continued.

Public Service Announcement

The SPLC in court filings late last year expressed concern over the use of basic correctional officers in Alabama’s overcrowded and understaffed prisons. ADOC attorneys have argued to the court, however, that BCO’s are adequately trained to do their jobs and are needed for the department to hire the necessary number of officers per the court’s timeline.

In a court filing on Thursday, attorneys for the plaintiffs asked the court not to again delay site visits to Alabama prisons by two experts who are tasked by the court to determine which positions should be filled by correctional officers and which by BCO’s and which by another new position, called cubical correctional officers, who are to have no direct interaction with inmates.

Those visits were to begin in May, but both parties in the suit agree to wait due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the threat it posed to the experts, who are particularly vulnerable to the disease due to “age and other factors,” according to court records.

Both parties again agreed to postpone those visits in June for those same reasons, those records show. ADOC seeks a third extension but attorneys for the plaintiffs argue that the experts can visit the prisons while keeping themselves, prison staff and inmates safe from harm of COVID-19 and that thousands of employees and contractors enter Alabama prisons daily.

The plaintiff’s attorneys argue in the court filing that the expert guidance is needed because ADOC wishes to use BCO’s and cubical correctional officers to comply with the court-ordered hiring of additional staff by Feb. 20, 2022.

“Ensuring adequate staffing is of upmost importance to address the constitutional violations underlying mental health care within ADOC,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys wrote to the court Thursday.

ADOC in May was employing 494 BCO’s, a 57 percent increase in the number of BCO’s employed in Oct. 2019, according to ADOC’s staffing numbers. The number of correctional officers working in Alabama prisons fell by two percent during that time, dropping from 1,319 to 1,287.

Continue Reading


Slow absentee voting in Tuscaloosa sparks outrage, possible legal action

Among the issues were incredibly long lines that left some voters waiting more than five hours and an inefficient process that managed to take in fewer than 100 absentee ballots in six hours. 

Josh Moon




Long lines and slow absentee ballot processing in Tuscaloosa County have left voters outraged and incumbent Sen. Doug Jones’s campaign threatening legal action. 

On Wednesday, Jones’s campaign attorney, Adam Plant, sent a letter to Tuscaloosa County Circuit Clerk Magaria Bobo, outlining a number of issues with ongoing absentee voting and promising to take legal action if Bobo doesn’t improve the process on the final day, Friday. Among the issues documented by Plant were incredibly long lines that left some voters waiting more than five hours and an inefficient process that managed to take in fewer than 100 absentee ballots in six hours. 

Additionally, Plant noted that Bobo has hired her family members to help process absentee ballots and at least one family member had made disparaging remarks on social media about voters. 

“You and those acting on your behalf are suppressing the vote of qualified Alabama voters,” Plant wrote in the letter. “If you are unable or unwilling to execute your duties competently, and allow Tuscaloosa voters to exercise their voting rights without undue burdens, we will take further action.”

In an interview with the Montgomery Advertiser on Wednesday, Bobo noted that her office had received more than 13,000 requests for absentee ballots — a remarkable uptick from the 3,000 or so her office usually receives — and there had been problems in managing that number of ballots while also adhering to social distancing guidelines within the office. 

However, as Plant’s letter notes, the massive increase in absentee ballots for this election shouldn’t have been a surprise. Also, Secretary of State John Merrill had made additional funds available to absentee managers to facilitate hiring extra staff, purchasing additional computers and staying open for longer hours to accommodate the anticipated increase. 


In a press release on Wednesday, the Alabama Democratic Party criticized Bobo and her family members, and the release included screenshots of Facebook posts from Bobo’s daughter lashing out at voters who complained about the long wait times. 

“No voter should have to wait in line for hours to exercise their rights,” said ADP executive director Wade Perry. “We should leverage every tool we have to make voting easier, not harder. Also, it should go without saying that election workers should not insult the very people they are employed to serve. If Ms. Bobo is incapable of processing voters quickly, someone else needs to do the job.”

Continue Reading


Jones campaign calls Tuberville a “coward” after no-show at Auburn forum

“Tuberville is hiding because he knows that on every front — policy, experience, character, competence — he loses to Doug Jones. Hands down,” Jones’s campaign said.

Brandon Moseley



Sen. Doug Jones, left, and Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville, right.

There are only four days left before election day, and incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones’s re-election campaign is slamming Republican challenger Tommy Tuberville, accusing him of “hiding” and calling him a “coward.”

On Wednesday, Jones addressed an Auburn University forum. Tuberville did not attend.

“Tonight, the College Democrats and College Republicans at Auburn University co-hosted a debate between Doug Jones and Tommy Tuberville, offering students a chance to ask the candidates about the issues that matter most to Alabama,” the Jones campaign said in an email to supporters. “But Tuberville never showed up – he’s too scared to face Doug… even on his own home turf. Tuberville has repeatedly refused to debate Doug Jones. He’s consistently refused to be interviewed by the press. He’s refused to tell Alabama the truth about who and what they’re voting for – and it’s clear why.”

“Tuberville is hiding because he knows that on every front — policy, experience, character, competence — he loses to Doug Jones. Hands down,” the campaign continued. “If he won’t tell the truth, we will. Tuberville expects to win this race off of his blind allegiance to the President and his party affiliation. But Alabamians know better.”

“People deserve to know who they’re really voting for if they vote for Tuberville: someone who … won’t protect our health care, doesn’t believe in science, has no idea what the Voting Rights Act is, and doesn’t care about the lives and livelihoods of Alabamians,” the Jones campaign concluded. “Alabama will never elect a coward. Pitch in now and help us spread the truth about the man hiding behind the ballot.”

“I am disappointed that Tommy Tuberville is not here,” Jones said. “I think it is important that people see two candidates side by side answering the same questions.”


Tuberville meanwhile is canvassing the state, speaking to rallies and Republican groups to turn out the Republican vote for himself and President Donald Trump. Tuberville spoke at Freedom Fest in Madison County on Thursday and at the Trump Truck Parade rally in Phenix City.

“It’s time Alabama had a U.S. senator who represents our conservative beliefs and traditional values,” Tuberville said in Phenix City. “It’s time Alabama had a U.S. senator who supports the Second Amendment, the right to life, and putting God back in the classroom.”

Polling consistently shows Tuberville with a commanding lead over Jones. Real Clear Politics lists the race on their current board as a likely Republican win. FiveThirtyEight’s election model gives Tuberville a 79 percent chance of defeating Jones.

Continue Reading