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Kay Ivey receives Distinguished Service Award from the Alabama Agribusiness Council

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) was awarded a Distinguished Service Award from the Alabama Agribusiness Council during their annual meeting t the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach on Monday, June 26.

“Farming is a part of my heritage & a part of who I am,” Gov. Ivey said. “This evening, I’m humbled to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the @ALAgribizCounc. Agribusiness is a driving force for our economy, and we appreciate the folks who make this a thriving industry.”

Kay Ivey was born on a cattle farm in Wilcox County. The Council stated that, “Governor Ivey has a great appreciation for rural Alabama and an impeccable record for supporting agriculture, forestry and rural Alabama.”

The group honored Dr. Billy Powell, who recently retired as the Executive Vice President of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association for his nearly 30 years of dedicated service. Dr. Powell is the Executive Director of the Southeastern Livestock Exposition. State Senator Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) won the group’s Legislator of the Year awards.

Highlights from the meeting on Monday morning include the election of our new Board President, Ben Gore with Alabama Farm Credit and the 2018-2019 Board of Directors. AAC then honored members retiring from the Board, Billy Adams, Ray Hilburn and Glen Zorn as well as Jason Davis of the Alabama Power Company, immediate past AAC President, for their service on the Board and to the Council.

The mission of the Alabama Agribusiness Council is to advocate, enhance, and promote agribusiness in Alabama as the collective voice. Their stated primary purpose is to work with groups and organizations to effectively promote and enhance the business of agriculture and forestry in Alabama. They represent the broadest base of agricultural interest in Alabama. Membership is open to individuals, trade associations and companies ranging from 1 to 500+ employees who share a common interest in positively enhancing agriculture and agribusiness in Alabama.

Economic Developer and Alabama Agribusiness Council Member Nicole Jones told the Alabama Political Reporter, “Agriculture is part of our heritage as Alabamians and plays a dominant role in our state’s economy. Alabama ranks second in the United States in freshwater fish production, third in poultry production, third in peanut production, and in the top ten tier for cotton production.”

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“Thank you to Executive Director Leigha Cauthen and the Alabama Agribusiness Council for hosting an informative annual meeting focused on agricultural economics, strengthening rural communities, and the importance of agriculture in our daily lives,” Nicole Jones added. “We all learn from one another and can strengthen our respective agribusiness communities when we engage in workforce development efforts like this conference.”

Dr. Joe Sumners, with the Auburn University Government & Economic Development Institute, discussed how while state-level support and coordination for rural development are desperately needed and partnerships are essential, but the real work of rural development must take place within each individual community. Dr. Ben Mullinax with the Ala. Dept. of Ag gave a presentation on agricultural emergency preparedness. Chris Jaworowski, with the AL Cooperative Extension System spoke about the economic impact of wild hogs and control methods. Dr. Brittney Goodrich, Auburn University spoke on the $18 billion in agricultural production dependent on pollinators, with a majority of that production depending on managed honey bees for pollination services. Clint Casey, at SunSouth discussed the latest farming technology trends. Max Runge, Auburn University, spoke on the mid-year look at the Agricultural Markets (corn, cotton, peanuts, soybean, wheat, and cattle).

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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