The Alabama Farmer’s Federation, the largest farm group in the state of Alabama, is 100 years old on Sunday. In the 1920s, most Alabamians worked and lived on farms. The Alabama Farmers Federation was founded in 1921 to provide a voice for those farm families.
This year also marks the 75th anniversary of Alfa Insurance. The Alabama Farmers Federation started Alfa insurance in 1945 to provide fire insurance coverage to rural Alabamians. Alfa has grown into a top-rated insurance company with over a million policies in force.
In 1960, the Alabama Farmers Federation had just 75,000 members. Today it has grown to become the state’s largest farm organization with more than 360,000 members. The Federation’s “one voice” approach delivers a powerful message, both at the Statehouse in Montgomery and on Capitol Hill in Washington.
All 67 counties in Alabama have their own independent county Farmers Federations. Each county elects delegates to represent them at the Federation’s annual meeting in Montgomery where the organization member representatives formulate the group’s policies and positions with the help of their full-time paid staff. This grassroots leadership is what allows the Alabama Farmers Federation to stay on top of the pulse of their member Alabamians and sets them apart from other organizations.
The Federation implements programs and develops future leaders through its Young Farmers and Women’s Leadership divisions as well as through its 17 commodity committees representing each sector of the Alabama farm economy. The Young Farmers Program and Women’s Leadership Division encourage and motivate members to be active in politics, their community and consumer education activities.
These commodity committees are composed of farmers representing every commodity produced in Alabama and set priorities for research and develop educational programs for producers. In some cases, these committees administer producer-funded checkoff programs.
When the Alabama Farmers Federation has founded the population of the world was just 1.79 billion people. The U.S. population was 106 million. At that time most of the population of both lived on subsistence farms where individual families produced most of the food that they ate. Today the global population is over 7.8 billion and the U.S. population is over 331 million. The quickening pace of urbanization means that more and more people produce little if any of their own food and are entirely dependent on today’s professional farmers and agricultural workers who produce more food per farm than at any time in the history of the world.
As the world’s population explodes, the demand for safe, affordable and abundant food continues to increase as well. Alabama’s farmers are prepared to meet those challenges by utilizing the latest technology and drawing on their centuries of accumulated wisdom and experience from their farming fathers and grandfathers that came before them. Thanks to advanced technology, one farmer can currently feed 155 people. In 1960, one farmer fed just 46 people.
Alabama Farmers Federation members protect the rural lifestyle and the agricultural infrastructure that keeps all of our families fed.