AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Auburn University and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System celebrated the Alabama Farmers Federation’s recent centennial celebration with the unveiling of a historical marker Feb. 17. The marker is on display at the Alfa Pavilion at Auburn’s Ag Heritage Park.
Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell said the marker is in recognition of the organization’s centennial anniversary, as well as the men and women who came together to provide a unified voice for rural Alabama in public policy.
“These farmers partnered with the Extension System and College of Agriculture to create one of America’s most influential farm organizations,” Parnell said. “We are proud to continue that partnership today as Federation members provide grassroots input and support for agricultural education, research, outreach and advocacy.”
The historical marker includes recognition of the late Luther Duncan, an early director of Alabama Extension and later Auburn University president. Duncan was instrumental in founding the Alabama Farm Bureau, now the Alabama Farmers Federation, in 1921. Duncan also was recognized at the Alabama Agriculture Hall of Honor Banquet on Thursday night.
Mike Phillips, Alabama Extension director, said the historic marker has a deep meaning. Auburn University, Alabama Extension and the Farmers Federation have a century-strong commitment to helping the people of Alabama.
“A century ago, our nation had just emerged from a world war, the great depression was looming and life on the farm was rewarding, but hard,” Phillips said. “Our forefathers understood that their children needed to avail themselves of opportunities to learn and insist that their visions and hard work would make the world a better place.”
Phillips said this historic marker is a testament to the century-long commitment to the advancement of future generations. It is also a challenge for current leaders to follow in their predecessors’ footsteps and apply new knowledge to problems, so future generations have opportunities beyond their dreams.
Paul Patterson, dean of Auburn University’s College of Agriculture, echoes the sentiments of both Parnell and Phillips as they underscore the importance of the longstanding partnerships between these three key agricultural institutions.
“Auburn and the Alabama Farmers Federation have very similar missions in serving the farmers and agricultural communities of our state, so we have been close partners over the past century,” Patterson said. “Throughout its history, the Farmers Federation has been vital to this state through its support, outreach and advocacy for farms, farming families and rural communities. We are proud to celebrate this historic occasion with them.”