Farming industry in spotlight

Published 12:49 am Friday, November 13, 2009

Members of farming businesses and urban businesses of the area sat down to breakfast on Thursday morning at the Alabama Farmers Co-op to open up discussion and awareness of the farming industry and its relation to the lives of all people.

This year’s theme was “Farmers care for animals and for you.”

On average, a person participates in agriculture at least three times a day by eating food grown on a farm or wearing cotton products, according to Callie Nelson of the Alabama Cooperative Extension system.

“We want to talk about the roles it plays in everyday life,” Nelson said.

Guest speaker Perry Mobley, commodity director for beef, cattle, equine, hay and forage crops, informed attendants about treatment of animals, animal rights and the need for mass product of agriculture over organic farming.

“It’s been a campaign of the Farmers Federation the past few years because those issues have grown so large,” Mobley said. “The general public has grown disconnected with farmers. That’s why we do this event.”

Mobley said that some people are so disconnected and confused about cattle farming that they believe if farmers work for profit, then they will not be worried about properly taking care of the animals.

“We have to take care of them so they can take care of us,” Mobley said.

Some of the businesses in attendance were the Farmers Federation, the Alabama Co-op, Beef Cattlemen’s Association, Young Farmers Federation and Chamber of Commerce members.

Children from area schools participated in a poster and essay contest, based off this year’s theme.

Student winners for the essay and poster contest were presented their monetary awards. First place winners in each category move on to the state competition hosted in Birmingham on April first.

Winners of the contest are: for the kindergarten through third grade poster contest, Va’Kerria McWilliams from Southside Primary School; fourth-sixth grade poster contest, Hannah DeRamus, Meadowview Christian School; seventh-ninth essay contest, Corbin Ervin, Selma Early College Program; 10th-12th essay contest, Cullen Nickles, Meadowview Christian Academy. “It’s never been more important than ever that urban people and rural people understand one another,” Mobley said.