Luverne Farm-City luncheon bridges gap between business, agriculture communities

Published 9:39 pm Thursday, December 1, 2022

Crenshaw County’s Farm-City Committee held its annual Farm-City Luncheon on Nov. 22, to celebrate and observe the relationship between the county’s agriculture and industry communities.

The Luverne Church of Christ hosted the event, which featured guest speaker Harli Willis, project coordinator for the County Extension Office’s Operation Grow.

“The luncheon is for the city and farms,” said County Extension Coordinator Amanda Evans. “It brings everybody together so they can meet one another and develop the relationships that become strong bonds for farming/agriculture businesses.”

Luverne’s Kiwanis Club helped sponsor the luncheon, which was attended by business and community leaders as well as representatives from the Department of Agriculture, South Alabama Electric Cooperative, Crenshaw County Farmers Federation, Alabama Ag Credit, the Crenshaw County School System, the Alabama Forestry Commission, Treasure Forest, the National Resources Conservation Service, and many others.

“The Kiwanis Club reaches out to serve the community,” said President Becky Baggett. “Any time we can help the community, we will. If someone comes to us with a need we try to help them.”

Willis delivered information about how Operation Grow enables veterans to begin a farming business and discussed ways communities can share the program’s training and networking resources with veterans in their communities.

Raymond Trotter is a local farmer who serves on the South Alabama Electric board of directors.

“Events like this help bring people together and build awareness,” Trotter said.

Sterling Sasser is president of the Young Farmers of Crenshaw County and reiterated that farm-city events are an important community connection to inspire younger generations to consider farming.

Sasser attended the luncheon with his son, Brayden, who is 4-H President of his fourth-grade class at Brantley School.

“Nowadays, nobody knows about farming and what it really means,” Sterling said. “We just go to the grocery store to get what we need. [Young people] don’t think about what actually goes into farming. It’s a lot of hard work.”

Meghan White from Highland Home School volunteers to help with Farm-City Week events and attended the luncheon to represent Future Teachers of America and Family Career and Community Leaders of America.

“Farm City Day helped me connect with kindergarteners and help them learn about farming,” White said.

Brantley student Kendal Nichols is Future Farmers of America Vice President in Crenshaw County. At the luncheon, she described how FFA students help children connect with agriculture.

“The Chicken Shack provided the meal today,” said Nichols. “We tell kids that if they’ve eaten at the Chicken Shack, they have been involved with local agriculture and Crenshaw County has a huge poultry industry.”

According to Evans, Americans have observed Farm-City Week for more than 60 years to express gratitude for the nation’s bountiful blessings and to recognize the achievements of the farmers, rural townspeople, and city residents who contribute to agricultural production and distribution systems.  

“Truly this cooperation between rural and city dwellers for mutual benefit helps ensure our country’s well-being,” Evans said. The Farm-City Committee organizes the Farm-City program in Crenshaw County each year to help strengthen the understanding of the farm-city connections that provide our food, fiber, and shelter. We provide this program with local support, and we are grateful that the community assists us each year.”