Alabama Farmers Federation elects leaders during 98th annual meeting
MONTGOMERY — During the business session of the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 98th annual meeting on Monday, nearly 500 voting delegates representing all 67 counties elected several organizational officers and members of the board of directors.
The federation elects its leaders in rotating blocks. There are six total officers in the organization serving two-year terms, with three officer positions being up for election annually.
This year, Conecuh County’s Steve Dunn, a row crop and cattle farmer, was reelected to his 10th term as secretary-treasurer of the federation — the state’s largest farm organization and only affiliate of the American Farm Bureau. Dunn also serves as chairman of FarmPAC, the federation’s political arm, and as president of the Conecuh County Farmers Federation.
Additionally on Monday, Calhoun County ’s Jon Hegeman was elected central area vice president, and Jake Harper of Wilcox County was reelected southwest area vice president.
The central area includes Autauga, Bibb, Calhoun, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Fayette, Greene, Jefferson, Lamar, Pickens, Randolph, Shelby, St. Clair, Talladega, Tuscaloosa and Walker counties.
According to a release from the federation, Hegeman is a first-generation farmer who manages greenhouses in Calhoun and Cherokee counties. He is a former State Young Farmers Committee chairman and was American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers chairman in 2015. This came after Hegeman and his wife, Amy, were named Alabama’s Outstanding Young Farm Family in 2012.
The southwest area includes Baldwin, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Escambia, Hale, Lowndes, Marengo, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Sumter, Washington and Wilcox counties. A cattle and timber farmer, Harper served as a district director from 1988-1996 and was first elected southwest area vice president in 2003. He also serves as Wilcox County Farmers Federation president.
Officers in positions elected last year are Alabama Farmers Federation president Jimmy Parnell of Chilton County, north area vice president Rex Vaughn of Madison County and southeast area vice president George Jeffcoat of Houston County.
On Monday, directors representing districts two, five, eight and 11 were also elected or reelected to three-year terms. There are a total of 12 district directors on the federation board, with four positions up for election each year.
Morgan County poultry and row crop farmer Mark Byrd was elected to the district two seat, which includes Limestone, Madison and Morgan counties.
Tuscaloosa County row crop farmer Joe Anders was reelected district five director, serving Bibb, Fayette, Jefferson, Lamar and Tuscaloosa counties.
Dallas County cattleman Jimmy Holliman was elected director of district eight, covering Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Perry, Pickens and Sumter counties.
Baldwin County cattle and row crop farmer Mark Kaiser was elected district 11 director. He represents Baldwin, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe and Washington counties.
Other members of the board elected in the past two years can be found here.
Also on Monday, Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Kathy Gordon of Montgomery County and State Young Farmers Committee Chairman Jonathan Sanders of Coffee County were elected to one-year, ex-officio terms on the state federation board.
The 98th annual meeting of the Alabama Farmers Federation will conclude with a dinner Monday at 6:30 p.m. CT. Governor Kay Ivey is expected to speak, as is former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville — FarmPAC’s endorsed candidate in Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate race. Former Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) will be the keynote speaker.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn