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Farm-City Committee prepares for Farm-City Week awards, contests

By Alison James

The annual Farm-City Banquet is drawing near and with it a slate of awards to recognize the efforts of Franklin County’s finest.
The Citizen of the Year Award, for which nominations are now open until Nov. 5, is sponsored by the Franklin County Farm-City Committee and recognizes citizens “whose extraordinary contributions go ‘above and beyond’ to enhance the quality of life and general reputation of the Franklin County community,” according to information provided with the application.
Last year’s winner of this award was Kerry Gilbert.
The award aims to raise the visibility of those who serve the Franklin County community and encourage more people to be involved in community service, explained Franklin County Extension Coordinator Katernia Cole.
“You have a lot of people who have really done a lot of good things in Franklin County,” Cole said. “A lot of people don’t’ know about the things people are doing in the community.”
Candidates must be residents of Franklin County, have history of exemplary citizenship and “have given extraordinarily of private resources (time, talent, money, career, etc.) resulting in observable improvements in the character, rank, position or achievement of Franklin County as a place to live, work or play.”
Cole said winners are often members of, and nominated by, local civic clubs. She encouraged civic clubs to remember to submit their nominations before the deadline, as nominations will not be accepted after the deadline has passed.
Not eligible for Franklin County Farm-City Citizen of the Year Award are the following: current elected officials of Franklin County, past elected officials of Franklin County for four years immediately following completion of their last elected term, paid staff of Franklin County, paid contractors of Franklin County and members of Franklin County Farm-City Committee.
Nominations close Nov. 5.
Other awards the will be given at the Farm-City Banquet include Educator of the Year (last year, Leah Torisky); Cattleman of the Year (last year, Michael Pounders); Farm Family of the Year (last year, Dale Hester/Hester Farms); Alabama Cooperative Extension System Organization of the Year (last year, Franklin County Co-Op); Alabama Cooperative Extension System Hall of Fame (last year, Ellis Davis); and Alabama Cooperative Extension System Agricultural Lifetime Achievement Award (last year, James Glass).
Cole said granting this awards during National Farm-City Week is important, particularly as the rewards relate to the contributions of farmers.
“Farming is a hard job – a very time consuming job,” Cole said. “People take it for granted. Farmers make a lot of scarifies to provide us with the food we have. They deserve to be recognized. Without farmers, we would be hungry and naked.”
Also in progress is the Franklin County Farm-City Committee’s Poster, Essay and Multimedia contest. The Alabama Farm-City theme for 2015 is “Agriculture: Sustaining Future Generations.”
Contest information has been distributed to each school. The essay contest is open to students in grades seventh through 12th; the multimedia contest is for grades ninth through 12th; and the poster contest is open to grades kindergarten through sixth. Ribbons certificates, and monetary prizes will be awarded. All entries are due by Nov. 5.
The banquet will be held Nov. 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the AW Todd Center during National Farm-City Week, Nov. 20-26.
For more information, call 256-332-8880.