By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, Alabama Farmer’s Federation President Jimmy Parnell addressed over 90 assembled members of the St. Clair County Farmer’s Federation.
President Jimmy Parnell said that most folks in America have all the food they want. This leads most folks to take food for granted. Parnell said that not only do most people not grow or raise their own food, but that we have evolved as a society where many don’t even cook their own food anymore. Instead they go to a restaurant where it is cooked for them. “We are so blessed that we take it for granted.
Parnell said that Agriculture and forestry are the largest industries in Alabama, employs 580,000 Alabamians, and contributes $70.4 billion to the Alabama economy.
One of my jobs is President of the Alabama Farmers Federation. We are a membership organization built by farmers as an advocate for agriculture with a goal of improving the lives of all Alabamians. Parnell said that that has been the number one goal for 91 years.
Parnell said that they believe that Alabama state government can do more and spend less than other state governments.
Parnell said that they represent farmers and family values and while he is President that means, “One man and one wife and a little family that comes after that.”
The Alabama Farmer’s Federation created ALFA insurance.
Parnell said that on April 2011 tornadoes devastated the state. The company settled lots of claims in the aftermath of that disaster. Parnell said that some of our management at the time got scared and dropped a number of policy holders. That led to a lot of people becoming scared that they were about to be dropped.
“Our job is to take care of our customers.” “Not only are we trying to sell you insurance we are here to provide a service.” “Our claims department is the best.” “All of our adjustors come and speak southern English.” Parnell said that their customers don’t have to deal with a call center in India like some of their competitors.
“ALFA is going back to where we used to be : serving our customers.” “When you go to Church, when you go to the cafe, tell them that ALFA is back in the insurance business.”
The St. Clair County Farmer’s Federation selected new officers for the 2013-2014 year.
Local agent Geoff Carroll reported that the St. Clair County affiliate was down 205 members for the year that ended on July one. Statewide membership is down 18,000 members. Of that ~15,000 were before Parnell became President in January. Membership has stopped dropping at such a rapid rate after President Parnell was selected as the organizations new President.
Parnell is a fifth generation farmer from Chilton County where he and his family raise timber and beef cattle. He is a graduate of Auburn University with a degree in Agricultural Business and Economics.