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Keep Alabama Growing

By Shirley Bodiford

Jefferson County recently held their Farm-City Banquet with the theme “Keep Alabama Growing,” correlating with the Bicentennial celebration of Alabama. Farm City Week bridges the gap between farmers and our city friends. The planning committee works hard to get everyone involved and inspire children to grow into adulthood with a greater appreciation for our food and fiber system. We also hope adults are learning to overcome misconceptions about farming, and our “Ag In The Classroom” program is a great tool to overcome this. Through this program, teachers can bring what they learned back to the classroom.

The night began with Commissioners Jimmie Stephens and Joe Knight reading our Proclamation to the attendees. Among those in attendance were other Jefferson County Commissioners, state and federal legislators, local mayors, Alabama Cooperative Extension Agents, Jefferson County Young Farmers, Jefferson County Women's Committee, Federation scholarship recipients and parents, Ag In Classroom teachers, county FFA students and teachers, the State Ag Ambassador, winners of our poster and essay contests, and last but not least, our board and several other local farmers.

Approximately 150 students and their teachers submitted entries to the annual Farm City Poster and Essay Contests. The judges certainly had a hard time making their decisions. Our K-3rd grade category winner was Camille Barnes, a 3rd grade student at Vestavia Hills West Elementary School.

The 4-6th grade category winner was Korey Reese a 5th grade student at Holy Family School. Our essay winner in the 7-9th grade division was Austin Stokes, a student at McAdory High School.

Our 10-12th grade division essay winner was Gavin Hill, also from McAdory High School. All of these works of art were on display at the banquet for everyone to see.

We would encourage all elementary students to participate in this very fun and worthwhile program in the coming year. Students learn so much and also have fun with their drawings. The essay participants in the high schools also learn so much and shared their surprises with us as they were doing their research. It is so encouraging to talk with these students and listen to some of the things they have learned throughout these activities.

To see all the poster winners and more pictures from the Farm City Banquet, visit our Facebook Page.

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