September 2011 Neighbors magazine
The Sept., 2011 issue of Neighbors magazine - the official publication of Alabama Farmers Federation.
Numbers can tell a powerful story. Like the number 1946. The year Alfa Insurance� was founded. Or the more than one million policies currently in force backed up by superior service from a local agent, right in your community. For 65 years we've been right there with you. We're looking forward to the next 65. Service and Strength. Find a local agent 1-800-964-2532 | alfainsurance.com Neighbors A Publication of the Alabama Farmers Federation VOLUME 36, NUMBER 9 SEPTEMBER 2011 New immigration laws have caused migrant workers to flee the state, leaving behind unpicked produce and Alabama farmers wondering what to do. � 14 Workers Flee Outstanding Young Farmers Meet two outstanding young farm families who proved that hard work and determination can pay big dividends. � 10 Bearly Believable A Cleburne County man known for tall tales says ON THE COVER Migrant workers fled Alabama prior to enactment of the state's new tough immigration laws. That has left many farmers wondering who will help gather their crops. Photo by Debra Davis his encounter with a black bear is proof they're roaming the woods in Alabama. � 16 4 26 28 30 DEPARTMENTS President's Message Alabama Gardener Country Kitchen Classifieds Fall In Folsom A Perry County plantation transports visitors back to a time when the farm provided all a family needed. � 18 NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 3 w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g President's or the past 75 years, most Americans have taken food security for granted. Advances in animal and plant breeding, along Alabama ardener with the development of new technologies, have allowed farmers to produce more high-quality food on fewer acres. Relatively few Americans have to Country worry about itchen where they will get their next meal. Although hunger persists even in our affluent society, there are a mulMarket lace titude of governJerry Newby ment programs and charitable organizations focused on delivering food to those in need. Contrast our situation with past generations or people in developing countries, and it's hard to deny that our nation is blessed with abundant, affordable food. Since the Great Depression, we have not faced widespread hunger, and our country has yet to experience the type of famine that plagues other nations. America's rich natural resources, free-market system and economic strength are the basis of our food security, but we must not overlook the contributions of modern agriculture. Without the advances farmers have made in food production, we might be dependent on other countries for our food. Unfortunately, modern food production is often criticized by the media and activists. As a result, laws and regulations restricting agriculture are being adopted that are neither based on scientific fact nor in the best interest of consumers. These regulations are coming at a time when farmers must increase food production to meet the needs of a growing world. Every minute, 12 children around the world die of hunger, and this number is growing. According to the United Nations, farmers need to double food production by 2050 to feed a projected 9 bilw w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g F M G K P essage lion people, and 70 percent of this increase must come from efficiency-enhancing technologies. Still, many groups want to ban modern agricultural practices, claiming they are less healthy, more costly or more damaging to the environment. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, the U.S. food supply is safer than it's ever been. According to the FDA, the incidence of foodborne illness in America decreased by one-third between 1996 and 2009. Food is still affordable. On average, Americans spend about 10 percent of their disposable income on food -- less than any other country. Over the past 50 years, the inflation-adjusted prices for farm commodities like corn, rice, milk and wheat have decreased 40-85 percent while the cost of crude oil -- a key input in food production -- has increased by 337 percent. In the past 30 years, U.S. farmers have reduced soil erosion by 47 percent, and since 1950, they have more than tripled crop yields. At the same time, they are producing more food with fewer resources. In 2008, farmers produced 262 percent more food than in 1950 with 98 percent of the inputs. These gains in production and efficiency are a testament to the research, ingenuity and resilience of American agriculture. But if we allow activists and fear mongers to shape our public policies, we could encounter food shortages like this country has never seen. Farmers simply cannot feed today's world with 75-year-old tools and technology. Throughout the generations, American agriculture has risen to the challenge time and time again. Less than 1 percent of the population is now feeding not only America, but millions of others around the world. We need to celebrate these achievements and take a stand against those who criticize our food production system in order to promote their own agendas. n 4 _________________________________________ Debra Davis, Editor Mike Moody, Graphic Designer ALABAMA FARMERS FEDERATION Paul Pinyan, Executive Director Jeff Helms, Director of Communications FEDERATION OFFICERS Jerry Newby, President, Athens Hal Lee, Vice President/North, Hartselle Dean Wysner, Vice President/Central, Woodland Ricky Wiggins, Vice President/Southeast, Andalusia Jake Harper, Vice President/Southwest, Camden Steve Dunn, Secretary-Treasurer, Evergreen DIRECTORS Joe Dickerson, Lexington Ted Grantland, Somerville Donnie Garrett, Centre Darrel Haynes, Cullman John E. Walker III, Berry Marshall Prickett, Wellington Richard Edgar, Deatsville Dickie Odom, Boligee Garry Henry, Hope Hull Carl Sanders, Brundidge David Bitto, Elberta Sammy Williams, Columbia Debbie Freeland, Grand Bay Ben Haynes, Cullman Neighbors (ISSN 0162-3974) is published monthly by the Alabama Farmers Federation, 2108 East South Boulevard, Montgomery, Alabama 36116 or (334) 288-3900. For information about member benefits of the Alabama Farmers Federation, visit the Web site www.AlfaFarmers.org. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and additional mailing offices. Printed in the U.S.A. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Neighbors, P.O. Box 11000, Montgomery, Alabama 36191-0001. ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE: Wendy McFarland, McFarland AdVantage, 133 Bridlewood Lane, Hope Hull, AL 36043. Phone: (334) 652-9080. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Classified ad and editorial inquiries should be directed to the editor at (334) 613-4410. ADVERTISING DISCLAIMER: Advertisements contained in Neighbors do not represent an endorsement by the magazine or the Alabama Farmers Federation. EDITORIAL MATTER from sources outside of the Alabama Farmers Federation is sometimes presented for the information and interest of our members. Such material may, or may not, coincide with official Alabama Farmers Federation policies. Publication of material does not necessarily imply its endorsement by the Alabama Farmers Federation. ADDRESS editorial, advertising and change of address correspondence to Neighbors, P.O. Box 11000, Montgomery, Alabama 36191-0001. www.AlfaFarmers.org A member of American Farm Bureau Federation NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 VOLUME 36, NUMBER 9 Tours Highlight 2011 Commodity Conference By Jeff Helms ore than 700 Alabama farmers took time away from their summer chores to share ideas and participate in educational programs at the Alabama Farmers Federation's 39th Commodity Producers Conference Aug. 4-6 in Huntsville. Talladega County farmer Bob Luker said it's hard to leave the farm for three days, but he always learns something at the conference he can use back home. "I get to interact with other people who do the same things I do and who enjoy the same things I do," Luker said. "To use a new term, I get to `network' and see what works and what doesn't work. It keeps me sharp." The conference began Thursday night with a banquet featuring entertainment by the East Lawrence High School FFA Quartet and the Arab High School FFA String Band. Friday, farmers set out for tours across north Alabama and southern Tennessee. Stops included livestock and row crop farms, a commercial apple orchard and a manufacturing plant that produces wood pellets to fuel heaters. This was the first commodity conference for Eugene Blair of Chambers County. He talked about his experience while touring a Tennessee farm that uses sour mash from the Jack Daniel's Distillery to feed beef and dairy cattle. "I am interested in seeing how things are done in other places and seeing if I can get anything to take back to the farm and help me," he said. "Even though there is a lot of difference in soil type and climate, there may be something I can use." Shelby County farmer Pat Nelson shared Blair's interest in the livestock farms they toured. "If you can pick up one idea you can use, that makes it worthwhile," Nelson said. M Farmers enjoyed tours, entertainment and educational seminars during the Federation's 39th Annual Commodity Producers Conference Aug. 4-6 in Huntsville. Saturday morning, farmers attended workshops on topics ranging from fertilizer prices and government regulations to farmers markets and forage varieties. A highlight of the conference was a seminar on Alabama's new immigration law (see story on page 14). In the afternoon, nationally recognized speaker Jolene Brown challenged farm families to communi- cate better and plan for the future so their businesses will survive. "We need to become businessfirst families," Brown said during her NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 5 w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g three-hour workshop. "When we do, we become more productive." Meanwhile, the Federation's Young Farmers and Women's Leadership divisions hosted competitive events Saturday aimed at recognizing excellence in agriculture and spotlighting farm commodities (stories on pages 7 and 8). The conference finale was a banquet featuring U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville. In discussing the recent battle over raising America's debt ceiling, the congressman challenged Federation members to get involved in the legislative process. "I urge you, whichever party you are a member of, please help America by studying these public policy issues, by learning about economics, by joining an organization such as this one, and by acting together in concert so that we can properly address this problem at the Washington level," Brooks said. "If you will do your part and if people around the country will do their part, in conjunction, we can meet this challenge." n Performing Dec. 4 at the Alabama Farmers Federation 90th Annual Meeting GRAMMY THE CHARLIE DANIELS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4, Alabama Advanced ticket sales will be available ONLY to 2011 Farmers Federation annual meeting attendees from Sept. 1-15 by calling the Saenger Theatre Box SAENGER THEATER Office (251) 208-5600, Monday-Friday STREET 6 SOUTH JOACHIMfrom 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. MOBILE, ALABAMA $30, $35 6:30 p.m. Doors Open and $45 plus service 7:30 p.m. Skyler Foster charge 8:30 6:30 p.m. Doors Open � Daniels Skyler Foster p.m. The Charlie 7:30 p.m. Band 8:30 p.m. The Charlie Daniels Band � B nd AWA R D WINNER Ticket Prices 6 At right, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, accepts an agricultural print for his office from Federation President Jerry Newby during the closing session of the conference. Above, attendees enjoyed tours of Lake Guntersville and farms in Alabama and Tennessee. 90 ticket After Sept. 16, TH sales will open to the public through ANNUAL MEETING TicketMaster at www.ticketmaster.com or may be purchased by MOBILE, ALABAMA calling 800-745-3000 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 By Debra Davis A pair of DeKalb County seamstresses took top honors during the annual Cotton Sewing and Quilting Contests and Tablescapes Competition sponsored by the Alabama Farmers Federation Women's Leadership Committee Aug. 6 in Huntsville. The contest was held in conjunction with the Federation's 39th Commodity Producers Conference, Aug. 4-6 at the Von Braun Center. The conference attracted more than 700 farmers from throughout the state. Anne Yancey Barrett of DeKalb County won first place in the handstitched quilting contest, while Linda Robertson of DeKalb County was the first-place winner in the handbag contest. Other winners in the handstitched quilting contest were, second place, Blanche Lee Mitchell of Blount County; and third place, Gayle Smith of Limestone County. Second- and third-place winners in the handbag contest were Jennifer Oden of Etowah County and Catherine Wood of Autauga County, respectively. Grace Drouet of Cullman County won first place in the student handbag contest, which was open to participants in the 7th-12th grades. In the machine-stitched quilting contest, first place went to Blanche Lee Mitchell of Blount County. First-Place winners in the contests were, from left, Jane Jones of Shelby County, tablescapes; Anne Yancey Barrett of DeKalb County, hand-stitched quilts; Blanche Lee Mitchell of Blount County, machine-stitched quilts; Linda Robertson of DeKalb County, handbags; and Grace Drouet of Cullman County, student handbags. The second-place winner was Doris McGuire of Limestone County, and Agnes Pool of Shelby County won third. The popular tablescapes contest, which featured Alabama-grown commodities that adorned place settings, attracted a lot of attention again this year. The first-place winner was Jane Jones of Shelby County, who featured catfish. The second-place winner was Marie Slade of Clarke County, who featured forestry, and the third-place winner was Delana Randolph of Lawrence County, who featured poultry. Winners in each division received cash awards of $150 for first place, $100 for second place and $75 for third place. 7 The purpose of the Alabama Farmers Federation Women's Leadership Committee is to provide an opportunity for women to actively participate in the policy making and policy execution activities of the Federation. For more information about the Federation's Women's Leadership Division, visit www.AlfaFarmers.org. n NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g Young Farmers Emphasize Education At Commodity Conference By Melissa Martin A lfa's Young Farmers Division had the opportunity to practice advocacy skills in the Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture contests, which were held in conjunction with the 39th annual Commodity Producers Conference in Huntsville, Aug. 4 -6. Jena Perry, an agriscience teacher at Southern Choctaw County High School, won the Excellence in Agriculture contest. She received $500 and will represent Alabama at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 2012 Annual Meeting in Hawaii. The first alternate was Grace Smith of Autauga County, who received $250. The Excellence in Agriculture program is designed for young professionals who do not receive their primary source of income from farming. Each contestant presented an illustrated talk about how his or her work and civic activities strengthen agriculture. Other contestants were Joey Haymon of DeKalb County and John and Hannah Bevel of Marshall County. Five finalists in the Discussion Meet also were selected at the conference. They were Kirk Smith of Blount County, Matt Ledbetter of Cleburne County, Tyler Dunn of Dale County, Colin Wilson of Jackson County and Stan Usery of Limestone County. The Discussion Meet topic addressed misconceptions of animal agriculture. Contestants provided ideas on how farmers could prove their animals receive proper healthcare, dispelling negative publicity created by the media and ill informed consumers. As several contestants in Saturday morning's preliminaries pointed out, farmers have the truth, facts and science on their side; they should be winning this war, not looking like they have something to hide. Each contestant in the Discussion Meet received $100 and will compete in the Discussion Meet finals at the Federation's Annual Meeting in December. The state The Federation's Young Farmers Division stressed the importance of educating the media and non-farmers on animal health and well-being during the 39th annual Commodity Producers Conference in Huntsville. Top Photo: Alabama Farmers Federation President Jerry Newby presents Jena Perry of Choctaw County and Grace Smith of Autauga County with their Excellence in Agriculture awards. Perry took first place in the contest, and Smith was named first alternate. Bottom Photo: Five finalists in the Discussion Meet also were selected at the conference. They were, from left, Kirk Smith of Blount County, Matt Ledbetter of Cleburne County, Tyler Dunn of Dale County, Colin Wilson of Jackson County and Stan Usery of Limestone County. winner will receive $500 and will represent Alabama at the American Farm Bureau Annual meeting in Hawaii. The Discussion Meet competition combines public speaking, problem-solving and consensusbuilding abilities in a committeestyle setting. Contestants were given 8 a discussion topic based on issues affecting agriculture and engaged one another in a panel discussion. All cash prizes were courtesy of the Alabama Farmers Federation. For information on the Young Farmers program, contact Brandon Moore, email@example.com or visit www.AlfaYoungFarmers.org. n NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g CLEAR OVERGROWN PROPERTY FAST! Take control with a DR� FIELD and BRUSH MOWER. REMOTE CONTROL lets you manage all blade, clutch, and engine functions from your towing vehicle! Powerful Self-Propelled Brush Mowers also available! CUT A 44"-WIDE PATH Attaches easily to your ATV or riding mower. MOW WEEDS, BRUSH, even 2"-thick saplings -- with up to 17 HP of V-Twin power! OUTRIGGERTM TOW BAR enables cutting 100% outside the path of towing vehicle to mow along fences, under trees. 72643X � 2011 CHP, INC. Call for a FREE DVD & Catalog! TOLL FREE www.DRfieldbrush.com 1-877-200-9518 SELF-FEEDING � � DR CHIPPER! 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TOLL FREE www.DRchipper.com 1-877-200-9518 Sponsored each year by the Alabama Farmers Federation, the Outstanding Young Farm Family Awards Program recognizes young farmers between the ages of 17 and 35 who do an outstanding job in farm, home and community activities. Division winners representing 12 commodities were selected in February. Of those, six finalists will compete for the title of overall Outstanding Young Farm Family for 2011. The winner, who will be named at the Federation's 90th Annual Meeting in December, will receive a John Deere Gator, courtesy of Alabama Ag Credit and Alabama Farm Credit; the use of a John Deer tractor, courtesy of SunSouth, Tri-Green and Snead Ag; a personal computer package courtesy of ValCom/CCS Wireless; the use of a new vehicle and other prizes. The winner will represent Alabama at the American Farm Bureau Federation contest. This month, Neighbors profiles finalists in the Horticulture and Peanut Divisions. Look for features on the other finalists in the coming months. By Jillian Clair Allie Corcoran Horticulture The sisters have definitely taken the plunge. With the help of their father, Walt Corcoran, the sisters created Backyard Orchards on Highway 431 in Eufaula two years ago. Allie and Cassie specialize in produce. Today, Allie is the farm manager, handling most of the physical labor, and Cassie focuses on the business side of the operation. Allie said she thought about going back to her father's successful row crop operation but eventually decided to pursue growing produce instead. "I remember talking to my dad about how farming is changing and how we need to change with it," Allie said. "I decided not to go back to my dad's operation because we wanted to expand to incorporate another type of agriculture." On the property, the sisters plant, care for, harvest and peaches, strawberries, blueberries and a variety of other fruits and vegetables. This fall, Allie said she plans to have a pumpkin patch, and one day, Christmas trees will be available. "We're really trying to make it a year-round operation," Allie said. NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 A llie Corcoran wasn't raised to follow the crowd. She's a third-generation farmer who has broken stereotypes, set new precedents and ventured into a new niche in agriculture by creating her own farm and business with her sister, Cassie Young. Some have been surprised by the women's decision to run a farm at such young ages, but Corcoran, 24, said she is living her dream � a dream that has led her to become the 2011 Horticulture Division winner in the Alabama Farmers Federation's Outstanding Young Farm Family contest. "To be a young person coming back to the farm, I know it's a huge risk," Corcoran said. "We don't know if it's going to make it. We don't know if we're going to make money with it, but we have faith that we will, and we have to just kind of jump in and do it." w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g 10 "Right now, we're really just in our beginning years, and it's going to take a good 10 to 15 years to get where we really want to be." Allie, a 2009 Auburn University graduate, said in addition to growing produce, she is passionate about educating people about agriculture. "I studied agricultural communications at Auburn because I wanted to communicate to other people what agriculture means to me," Allie said. Agritourism and education programs on the farm allow Allie to express her passion. Children in the area take school trips to the farm, and Allie uses creative activities like "pumpkin pie in a bag" or a game that matches commodities to everyday products to explain to them the importance of agriculture. "We want to teach kids and parents about agriculture and show them it's still around and show them where their food comes from," she said. The agritourism part of the business allows Allie to interact and receive feedback from her customers. "The best thing in the world is for someone to try your produce and say, `This is the best thing I've ever tasted,'" Allie said. "That's just a feeling of accomplishment." Starting the farm was challenging, Allie said, but through help from her family and a loan from the Farm Service Agency, her and Cassie's dream became a reality. "Around here, loan officers aren't used to this kind of thing so they had to do a lot of research, too," Allie said. "So I sat down and made budgets and did research about how much all this would cost--it was a lot of initial work." And of course, the challenges At left, Allie Corcoran and her sister, Cassie Young, are third-generation farmers who created Backyard Orchards. While their family history was deeply rooted in row crops, the pair decided fresh produce would provide a way for them to diversify the farm. NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 didn't cease after the crops were in the ground. In addition to difficulties all farmers face, Allie is a minority in the agriculture industry, but she said she has earned respect from the men she works with. "When men start to realize that I'm serious and I know what I'm talking about, then they feel more comfortable around me," Allie said. "I've been told I'm a little intimidating, but I guess I have to be if I want to be taken seriously." Something as small as a handshake makes a difference, she said. "When I go to shake a man's hand, he's probably expecting me to have a soft handshake, but no--I'm going to give you a firm handshake," Allie said. "I didn't grow up thinking I was supposed to be this little meek, sensitive lady--I grew up on the farm." n 11 w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g The Stephens Family Peanut hours Kevin has to work year-round. "But he loves it, and it's really rewarding," she said. "He plants something, and we watch it grow. It's hard work, but there are so many advantages to it." Both Kevin and Ashlee say it's important for them to be advocates for agriculture. Kevin is active in Pike County Young Farmers and said he strives to encourage young people who are interested in agriculture to pursue it as a career. "We need more young farmers," Kevin said. "I try to be an example for people. A lot of people will shy you away from farming, but if you want to do it, I think you should try it. I hope more people get interested in it. I'm proof it can be done." Crop diversity is one of the most important aspects of the Stephens' farm. "If something doesn't seem to be working, I like to have a backup," Kevin said. "It's kind of like not putting all your eggs in one basket. It just depends on the weather. One rain can make a difference. I don't feel like you can make it just doing one thing." The Stephens grow cotton, peanuts, wheat, oats and corn, and they also raise beef cattle, Mary Holland's favorite. "She loves the cows," Kevin said. Ashlee loves watching their daughter grow up on the farm as well. "She loves riding the tractor with her daddy, and she loves the dirt," F arming is often a family legacy, but it was a first-generation dream for Kevin Stephens. Stephens and his wife Ashlee, the winning family in the Peanut Division of the Alabama Farmers Federation's Outstanding Young Farm Family contest, started farming in Pike County seven years ago with only 20 acres. Now, in addition to their 1-yearold daughter Mary Holland, Kevin and Ashlee have added 1,200 acres and diversified crops to their farm. "Our biggest accomplishment was getting started," Kevin said with a smile. "Neither of us are from a farming background, so it was difficult at first, but it's getting a little easier every year." Kevin said he always wanted to be a farmer, even though he didn't grow up around agriculture. "I'd always enjoyed being outside and being around agriculture, and I just kind of made up my mind that was what I wanted to do," Kevin said. "After the first year of working at a farm when I was older, I decided that was definitely what I wanted to do for the rest of my life." Ashlee isn't from an agricultural background, either. "I was raised in the city (Troy), and no one in my family had ever farmed, so it was a big adjustment," Ashlee said. "We started small and we've just learned as we go." Ashlee is the community relations manager for Hospice Advantage in Troy, and she enjoys balancing her own career with the family's responsibilities on the farm. "When I get home, I take my dress clothes off, and I put my work clothes on," Ashlee said. "It's like night and day. It's very different, but at the same time, it's fun to pick Mary Holland up from day care and then just go out and help with the cows. "During harvest time, we spend a lot of late nights helping him." Ashlee said the hardest aspect of the farming lifestyle is the long w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g 12 NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 Ashlee said, laughing. For the future, the Stephens plan to bolster their cattle herd and rent more farmland for row crops. The Stephens are active in their church, First Baptist of Troy, where Ashlee teaches a Wednesday night children's Bible study. Kevin said his faith is one reason he's able to make it in the farming business. "It takes a special person to be a farmer because you have to be selfmotivated, but there's only so much you can do," Kevin said. "If I take care of my part and let the Lord take care of His part, it'll always work out." Along with raising their children in church, the Stephens also appreciate the values living on a farm will instill in them. "That's the best life you can raise your kids around--get them to understand what hard work is," Ashlee said. "She's been exposed to a lot, and she'll learn responsibility and discipline at a young age." n Kevin and Ashlee Stephens, along with their daughter, Mary Holland, 1, raise cotton, cattle, peanuts, wheat, oats and corn on their Pike County farm. NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 13 w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g Migrants Flee Alabama's New Immigration Law By Jeff Helms T he sight of unpicked produce rotting in the field was still on farmers' minds when they gathered for a seminar on Alabama's new immigration law Aug. 6 in Huntsville. The seminar, held in conjunction with the Alabama Farmers Federation 39th Annual Commodity Producers Conference, followed a day of tours that included a stop at Jackie Loyd's farm in nearby Stevenson, where migrant workers have fled in advance of the Sept. 1 effective date of the new law. Unfortunately, speakers at the seminar gave farmers little hope of reversing the flight of migrant workers or repealing provisions of the law that hurt agriculture. "Employers should not expect the courts to block the sections most relevant to you," said Ted Hosp, an attorney with Maynard, Cooper and Gale, referring to multiple lawsuits challenging the new law that were recently consolidated in federal district court. "The lawsuits do not challenge the provisions that would likely be most important to you. (Therefore), it is extremely important that as of April 1, 2012, you enroll in and use E-verify." Although much of the new immigration law goes into effect Sept. 1, provisions requiring all Alabama employers to use the federal E-verify system do not kick in until April 1. Meanwhile, farmers across the state are reporting that workers are leaving because they fear harassment under the new law or have family members who are undocumented. "We may not even get to the point of E-verifying," said Brian Cash, who grows tomatoes atop Chandler Mountain in St. Clair County. "From what we're hearing from our workforce, they're just going to move on before we get to that point. There's not going to be (workers) to even try to E-verify." Many farmers like Cash have used migrant labor for years and diligently followed federal laws requiring employers to collect identification and fill out I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) forms. Now, these workers are leaving either because they aren't in the E-verification system or because they fear other provisions of the law. Cash already has lost onefourth of his workforce, and tomatoes that should have been picked are lying on the ground. "This 38-acre field is (a loss of) about $50,000. At the time these should've been picked, Romas were bringing about $12 a box, but we didn't have the help to pick them, so we had to leave them," Cash said. "We've got to get them when they're ready, and if you wait three days, then you're out of luck. Brian Cash, top photo, holds tomatoes that rotted in the field of his St. Clair County farm because he had no workers to help pick them. Meanwhile, migrant workers in the H-2A Guest Worker Program tend the fields of a farm in Chilton County. w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g 14 NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 They'll just do what they're doing -- sit here and rot." Hosp said one of the challenges of the new law is that it doesn't provide an option for existing workers to obtain legal work visas. "Once an employee is here illegally, it is next to impossible to make that worker a legal worker," Hosp said, adding that there is a 10-year waiting period before an illegal worker who has been in the United States for a year or more can apply for legal status. Joining Hosp on stage at the seminar were Dan Bremer of AgWorks and Paul Schlegel of the American Farm Bureau Federation's public policy team. Bremer helps secure agricultural labor for farmers through the federal H-2A program. He compared the program to a polluted pond that employers will only drink from when they are dying of thirst. Despite the complexity and cost of the program, however, he said it might provide an option for Ala- bama farmers who have lost their labor force. Schlegel encouraged farmers to tell legislators how the new law is affecting their businesses in hopes state lawmakers will pressure Washington to develop an effective guest worker program. "(Tell them) when the dust settles, if I can't get the workers I need and get the crops out of the field, you will have done me a great harm, and I'm going to remember it," Schlegel said. In addition to making sure agriculture's needs are addressed in any federal immigration reform bill, Hosp said talking to legislators could help change Alabama's law during the 2012 legislative session. "The legislative leadership has made it clear they want to work with the business community, employers and agricultural interests to make sure the law does not have unintended consequences," Hosp said. Meanwhile, farmers like Loyd and Cash are watching their businesses wilt on the vine. "We've got about $750,000 invested in this crop, and 95 percent of it is already on the ground," Cash said. "If our workforce leaves, all we can do is cut our losses. Not counting what we could've made, we would lose $400,000 to $500,000." Schlegel said farmers like Cash are law-abiding citizens who want to do what's right. They have followed all the rules; now, the rules are changing. "I have yet to meet one farmer who wants to employ illegal labor," Schlegel said. "All they want is certainty." An emotional Cash echoed those remarks as he contemplated the future of his family's 130-acre farm. "This is my passion, it's what I want to do. It's what my boy wants to do, but I just don't know if it's going to work out anymore," he said. n Alfa Ag/Forestry Scholarships Deadline is Dec. 1 By Melissa Martin S tudents planning to pursue agriculture or forestry degrees at Auburn University have until Dec. 1 to apply for scholarships from Alfa and the Alabama Farmers Federation. The scholarships, valued up to $1,750 per student per year, will be awarded to students who plan to enroll or are currently enrolled in Auburn's College of Agriculture or School of Forestry. Students majoring in agricultural engineering or ag education are also eligible. Ag and forestry scholarships are renewable yearly to students who maintain a 2.5 grade point average and exhibit good moral character and citizenship. "This scholarship program is an excellent resource not only for students, but for everyone involved in Alabama agriculture. It ensures that the highest caliber of young men and women will pursue agricultural careers," said Paul Pinyan, executive director of the Alabama Farmers Federation. "As the state's largest farm organization, we're proud to support this program. Our investment in Alabama's students will pay dividends for many years to come." Students are urged to apply early for admission, as enrollment at Auburn University is limited. Three letters of reference including an evaluation of your background and character are required in addition to the application. Scholarship applications are available in all county Farmers Federation offices, local Alfa service centers, or by writing to the dean of the College of Agriculture at 107 Comer Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849. Applications are also available for download under the Programs section of AlfaFarmers. org. n 15 w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 By Jillian Clair immy Jimmerson is glad his friend saw it, or everyone would think the story about the bear was just another one of his tall tales. Jimmerson, a member of the Alabama Farmers Federation's State Wildlife Committee and an outdoor enthusiast who lives in Cleburne County near the Talladega National Forest, likes to tell stories about wildlife he's seen, but the time he saw the black bear tops them all. The best part: it's true. "We were riding along on the four wheeler, not really looking for anything, and all of a sudden, this bear runs across our path right out in the road," Jimmerson said. "He stopped and looked for just a second, but then he kept going. I'm sitting there just hoping my buddy saw it too, or people might not believe me." w w w . A ll f a F a r m e r s . o r g w w w. A f a F a r m e r s . o r g J Although black bears are common in the Appalachian Mountains of north Georgia, they are not typically associated with the rolling foothills in north Alabama. A sighting like Jimmerson's is rare. But this year, sightings in Holly Pond, Double Springs, Boaz, Cullman, Birmingham, Roebuck, Lake Harding, Auburn, Atmore, Mobile and Macon counties confirm Jimmerson's three-year-old story � black bears are becoming more common in Alabama. "As I began to tell people about what happened, I realized other people had seen them, too," Jimmerson said. Paul Williams, a Cleburne County forester, said he has a camera set up on his property to capture photographs of deer, but came home from vacation to find a picture of a black bear instead. 16 16 "My kids wanted to see a bear, so we went to the Smokies and drove through Cades Cove," Williams said. "When we came home and checked the camera, it turned out we had a bear bigger in our backyard than the one we saw at Cades Cove." Southeast Alabama has long been known for occasional sightings of the Florida subspecies of the American black bear, but the black bears seen recently in north Alabama are of the Eastern subspecies and were previously thought to cross into Alabama only on rare occasions. It is estimated that a total of only 50 black bears live in the state, but this number may be growing, said wildlife biologist Keith Gauldin of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. "It seems to be an increasing amount of sightings, so we could have an increase in population--it's NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 Cleburne County farmer Jimmy Jimmerson is among a growing number of Alabamians who have encountered a black bear. hard to tell," Gauldin said. The cause of the more frequent sightings is unknown at this time, but Gauldin has a few theories. "A lot of times, bears will spread out because juveniles are being dispersed out of adult bear territories," Gauldin said. "Basically, the mother is kicking them out of the house, and they're establishing their own territories. They're usually the ones who get in a lot of trouble." Another reason for bears to enter Alabama may be males searching for receptive females, Gauldin said. Food shortages because of drought could also be a factor in the bears' changing migration patterns. "With it being so dry this year, they are probably having to travel a lot farther to find suitable food sources," Gauldin said. Regardless of the cause of the increase in the Alabama black bear population, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is striving to inform the public about the importance of protecting them. People should not hunt or feed bears. A bear's acute sense of smell may draw it to unnatural sources of food, such as household garbage and outdoor pet food, Gauldin said. The feeding of birds and other wildlife increases the possibility of attracting bears as well. A bear that associates a piece of property with food will likely lose its natural fear of humans, which is the bear's most important survival mechanism, Gauldin said. While classified as a carnivore, black bears are actually poor predators and are more omnivorous, mainly concentrating on vegetative matter for the bulk of their diet. Common food sources include fruits, berries and acorns, but bears will sometimes take advantage of agricultural crops such as corn, wheat and sugarcane. Occasionally, ____________________________________ If you see a black bear anywhere in the state, visit the Alabama Black Bear Alliance website, www. alabamablackbearalliance.org, to complete an online report form or contact ADCNR Wildlife Biologist Keith Gauldin at the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries District V office at (251) 626-5474. A game camera recorded a black bear near a deer feeder in north Alabama. NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 they will also damage bee hives in their quest for honey. Although not normally aggressive, black bears are wild animals, and their behavior is unpredictable, Gauldin said. The purposeful act of feeding them is discouraged by all wildlife professionals and can lead to dangerous consequences. "Folks watch the nature channel and stuff like that, and they see articles about grizzly bears, but our bears are not nearly as aggressive," Gauldin said. "They are wild animals, though, and people should never pursue them, corner them or feed them." However, black bears are shy in nature and will flee at the sight of humans in most situations, so landowners and outdoorsmen should not be alarmed if they see a bear, Gauldin said. "If you do see a bear, you should consider yourself lucky because not many people do," Gauldin said. "I've never even seen one in the wild." n 17 17 w w w . A ll f a F a r m e r s . o r g w w w. A f a F a r m e r s . o r g vice, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Game and Fish Division, Alabama Forestry Commission, Alabama Soil and Water Conservation moke from the blacksmith's shop drifts through the Districts, Alabama Wildlife Federation and the USDA air as sheep graze in a nearby pasture and a gristmill Natural Resources Conservation Service. Representatives hums in the background. The smells, sights and of those groups will talk about programs they offer and sounds of the Moore-Webb-Holmes Plantation in Perry will provide hands-on projects for children at the event. County take visitors back to a time when the land proAdmission to "Fall in Folsom" is $10 for adults, and vided all the family needed. children are admitted at a discount. A yearning to keep in touch with those historical While adults will enjoy touring historic buildings on roots was the idea that became "Fall in Folsom." The celthe farm, youngebration is the first sters can pick a Saturday in Octopumpkin, wander ber from 9 a.m. to through the woods 4 p.m. at the farm or take a gander at located in the Folthe farm animals. som Community, Visitors can enjoy a seven miles west of hamburger lunch at Marion on Alabama the farm, featuring Highway 14. homegrown, all"The first 80 natural beef raised acres of the farm by the Holmeses. were established in "It's wonder1819 through a land ful to see that our grant agreement to family is grounded William `The Wagthrough this farm," on Maker' Moore, said Cooper's mothand the original er, Jenny. "`Fall in deed was signed by Folsom' brings our Andrew Jackson," family together, and said Cooper Holwe love to be able to mes, the youngest preserve and share of the sixth generaour history with tion that now tends visitors here. It's the farm. "This is very rewarding to our 5th annual `Fall see people enjoy our in Folsom', and Members of the Holmes family are, from left, William, Lawson, Mary Quitman, Elizabeth, Mary Coleman, Charles, Jenny, Cooper and his fiancee farm and to reconwe look forward to nect with the land." having visitors who O`Neal Crawford, Marietta, daughter Marietta, and Webb. The Holmwant to share in our eses also have a rich history with the Alabama Farmers history." Federation. Cooper is active in the Federation's Young The farm once grew corn and cotton and raised Farmers program. His father, Charles, is a former memlivestock needed by the family for food. Today, it covber of the State Young Farmers Committee and is a past ers thousands of acres and includes cattle, timber and president of the Perry County Farmers Federation. His agritourism. The Holmeses take pride in preserving their brother, Webb, is president of the Perry County Farmers heritage that shaped the farm and influenced the family Federation and is a former Young Farmers State Comfor generations. mittee member as well. The oldest Holmes son, William, "All of the buildings are original to the site," Holmes is an attorney in nearby Greensboro and still enjoys life said. "Some of the buildings include a log seed house on the farm. (used with the cotton gin), carriage house, smoke house, The entire family will be at "Fall in Folsom," a fact mule barn, chicken coop, potato house and the plantathat brings a smile to Jenny's face. tion store, complete with a pot-bellied stove." "Our family has always found strength and unity in Visitors can see all those plus the weaving house, canthis farm," she said. "It ties us all together no matter ning house, overseer's house and tenant quarters. what else is going on in the world or in our lives. It's a Other partners who help make "Fall in Folsom" a special place." n success include the Alabama Cooperative Extension Ser- Agricultural History Comes To Life At Fall In Folsom By Debra Davis S w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g 18 NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 By Jill Clair T he cracked, rusting baby blue paint of Thomas McCrary's 1954 Ford tells the story of a different time-- long before cellphones, the Internet or precision agriculture. But McCrary, who turns 100 Sept. 27, remembers when there were no tractors or electricity, and automobiles were scarce. He bought that truck when he was 43 years old. "When I was young, everything was horsedrawn or mule-drawn," McCrary said. "Our first tractor was on steel (wheels), and my dad bought it in 1930 after I finished school." McCrary remembers a time when the farm provided everything the family needed. They had hogs to make sausage; wheat for flour; corn and hay to feed the animals and several other crops the family sold at the market in Huntsville. "I remember loading up a horse-drawn buggy with cotton and driving it down to Clinton Street (in downtown Huntsville)," McCrary said. "We'd leave at sunup and get back after the sun went down. It took us all day." Much has changed in 100 years, McCrary said, and some of it he doesn't particularly like. Urban sprawl, traffic, government regulations and high-priced farm equipment cause McCrary to reminisce. But some changes, like air-conditioned tractors and the invention of the combine, have been good, he said. In addition to older equipment, McCrary now owns 100 Farmer Reflects On A Century Of Agriculture a modern pickup, a late-model tractor and a cellphone. Aside from his early childhood and a four-year stint of service in World War II, McCrary has spent nearly every day of his life on the farm his great-grandfather purchased in 1809. "When I finished high school, people asked if I was going to college, and I said, `I'm tired of school. I want to do something with my hands,'" McCrary said. McCrary still handles the farm's finances -- using pen and paper instead of a computer, of course. He uses a walker to move around on foot, but as soon as he climbs into the tractor seat, he glides through the fields with ease. "There's a lot of satisfaction in it � still being able to do this," he said. His daughter, Rosemary McCrary, 63, said her father has always been devoted to agriculture and is determined to continue working, even as his 100th birthday approaches. "I am just overwhelmed and pleased and tickled that he can still do what he loves to do," she said. Madison County Farmers Federation President Rex Vaughn called McCrary a blessing to Madison County and all of agriculture. "He's part of a generation that's fading fast--a generation we don't have enough of anymore," Vaughn said. "He's one of those individuals that Alabama can be proud of." n NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g 20 64316KneeWarmers_ALNeighbors.qxp:layout 6/24/11 9:47 AM Page 1 MAKE YOUR KNEES FEEL 20 YEARS YOUNGER Thermal Knee Warmers BUY 1 Pair 97 @ $ SAVE $797 Off Catalog Price RECEIVE A WITH EVERY ORDER FREE IN WA AR MT H & Instant Therapeutic Relief! T COMF OR Get 2nd Pair 7 T Order Toll Free 1-800-530-2689 www.DreamProductsCatalog.com INSTANT THERAPY FOR ACHING KNEES! Experience quick pain relief from stiff, achy, arthritic knee joints. Cozy soft therapeutic knee warmers caress your legs in warmth & comfort at home or away. Gently elasticized for a snug non-binding comfortable fit perfect under slacks or over hosiery. Import made of soft, washable 100% acrylic knit. One size fits most. Buy one pair, get second pair Free! Order today and receive a FREE SURPRISE GIFT! 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When you need a rural land loan, people turn to the Land Bank for financing. Now the Federal Land Bank Associations of Alabama have new names -- Alabama Farm Credit and Alabama Ag Credit. You might wonder why, after more than 90 years, we'd mess with a good thing. The answer is simple: to make it better. We're changing our names because we are expanding our line of loan products to include operating loans, equipment loans and lines of credit. Our customers can now get all their rural and agricultural loans in one place, from the lenders they already know and trust. We're excited about all the new options we can offer new and existing customers. Contact us today to ask how we can help you. formerly Federal Land Bank Association of North Alabama Alabama Farm Credit 1-888-305-0074 www.AlabamaFarmCredit.com formerly Federal Land Bank Association of South Alabama Alabama Ag Credit 1-800-579-5471 www.AlabamaAgCredit.com learn and why they are trying to master it, I have been able to create a smooth and efficient classroom rench author and rationalist atmosphere in which students Voltaire argued that can build the foundation for a common sense is not lifelong love of learning," said so common. A few hunCody, eighth grade language dred years and a different arts, social studies and religion continent later, educator teacher at Our Lady of Fatima Amanda Cody is doing Catholic School in Birmingall she can to change ham. that, replacing theory While Cody's methods are with logical decisionCody appreciated by her students making. who feel they have a voice that These changes, along matters, they're also admired with Cody's ability to reach stuby her colleagues � current dents on any level, helped her earn and former � who often the designation as the second of look to her example to two private school teachers honored this year in the Alfa Teacher of better their own classthe Month program. As September's rooms. "She was an enthuhonoree, she will receive $1,000 siastic and eager mentor from Alfa Insurance. Her school will receive a matching award from during my first two years of teaching, and she gave the Alabama Farmers Federation. "By working to ensure that they me a good example of what great teaching can look like," said Sarah understand what they are trying to Cody Named Alfa's Teacher Of The Month For September By Melissa Martin F Runger, former teacher at Our Lady of Fatima. "The classroom management that she has is superb, and it creates an environment conducive to learning." A two-time graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Cody earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Social Science Education in 2001, and a Master of Arts in education in 2007. She sponsors Our Lady of Fatima's National Junior Beta Club Chapter, is on the liturgy committee and serves on the Accreditation Steering Committee for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. During 2011, Alfa Insurance and the Alabama Farmers Federation are honoring one outstanding teacher from each of Alabama's eight state board districts, two principals and two private school teachers. n County Federation Annual Meetings DATE � TIME Sept. 1 � 1:00 p.m. Sept. 6 � 6:00 p.m. Sept. 6 � 11:00 a.m. Sept. 8 � 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12 � 6:30 p.m. Sept. 13- 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20 � 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27 � 6:30 p.m. COUNTY Hale Macon Perry Crenshaw Lowndes Dallas Marengo Winston LOCATION Alfa Office, Greensboro Beck's Turf Farm, 2858 County Road 58, Tuskegee Alfa Office, Marion E.L. Turner Park, Hwy. 331, Luverne Southern Sportsmen's Lodge, Benton Alfa Service Center, Selma Alfa Service Center, Linden Farmers & Traders Bank, Double Springs TIMBER PRICES Second Quarter Statewide Averages NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 23 w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g Win an iPad 2 � Register with My AlfaTMat AlfaInsurance.com for a chance to win! (Contest Period July 1 - September 30) With My Alfa, managing your insurance policies has never been easier! My Alfa allows you to: � View policy information online � Request changes to your policy � Print auto ID cards � Pay your bill without fees 1-800-964-2532 AlfaInsurance.com No purchase necessary to enter or win. Void where prohibited. Enter for a chance to win by registering your AlfaTM policy(ies) on Alfa's Web site during the Contest Period or by submitting an alternate entry specified in the O cial Rules. Entries must be received between July 1, 2011 and September 30, 2011. For O cial Rules, visit www.alfains.com/sweepstakes. Alfa Insurance, Alfa, and My Alfa are registered trademarks or trademarks of Alfa Corporation. iPad is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. Twitter is a registered trademark of Twitter, Inc. Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc. By Lois Chaplin Alabama The Confederate Rose has big blooms that change color as they age. T his is the month when gardeners start feeling the change from summer to fall. If March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, September lumbers in like an elephant and moves out like a butterfly. The month goes from hot to almost pleasant, at least at night. The record-high temperature for September is 106 degrees, achieved on Sept. 6, 1925. The record low is 36, reached on Sept. 30, 1967. That's quite a spread. Of course, those are the most extreme, but they give you an idea of what the month is capable of doing. So what does that mean for gardeners? It means that many of our plants are tired, tired, tired when the month begins. A few of the bulletproof ones, like lantana, probably look good, but the idea of something fresh for the garden is nothing but a memory. But behold, the garden can offer some surprises as the heat breaks. There are some great big garden flowers that bloom late in the season that are fun and sure to be a conversation piece. Here are two old-fashioned ones that you may struggle to find for sale in garden centers but can often find online, at a plant swap, or from a friend who will share with you. Brugmansia is a huge perennial woody plant that grows all summer until it reaches eight feet or taller. Late in the summer, it covers itself with giant, pendulous, trumpetshaped blooms that dangle from its branches. Each bloom is at least a foot long and flares at the bottom like a trumpet, which also earns it the common name, Angel's Trumpet. Depending on the type, the flowers are white, pink, coral, yellow, pink or nearly red. They have Country itchen a nice fragrance that is most prominent in the evenings, when they are pollinated by giant sphinx, or hawk moth. These can be found here and there in gardens, but beware that the name Angel's trumpet is Market lace a misnomer. All parts of this plant are very poisonous to humans and animals, so use it with caution. A safer choice might be Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis), which has big blooms that change color as they age. At first, the buds and flowers are white, but turn progressively deeper shades of pink as they age so that you will see various colors of flowers on the plant at the same time. Single- and doubleflowered types are available. The single flowered type is also called cotton rose because the bloom looks like the blossom of a cotton plant. Confederate Rose is a deciduous woody plant along the coast, but freezes back like a perennial elsewhere. When it doesn't freeze, the plant will get 12 feet tall or more. Where it does freeze, plants make an amazing growth through the summer to get 8 feet or taller and equally wide before the bloom. This plant grows up and out like a fig tree or other multi-trunked shrubs, so give it room. These plants will continue into November. The Brugmansia usually starts before the Confederate Rose. Enjoy their unusual beauty at an awkward time of the garden year. n ____________________________________ Lois Chaplin is an accomplished gardener and author. Her work appears here courtesy of Alabama Farmers Cooperative. M G K P ardener GET GROWING AT THE CO-OP. w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g WWW.ALAFARM.COM 26 NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 64315NorwegBoots_ALNeighbors.qxp:layout 6/24/11 10:26 AM Page 1 Winter Forecast: Plush Pile COLD BARRIER! Norwegian Knit Ankle Boots RECEIVE A SAVE $400 NOW ONLY $ Was $16.97 WITH EVERY ORDER 12 97 FREE SHIPPING Dept. 64315 �2011 Dream Products, Inc. EASY STRETCH-FIT COTTON KNIT With Scandinavian Design! INDOOR/ OUTDOOR! Treaded Safety Sole! may vary www.DreamProductsCatalog.com web offers� Order Toll Free 1-800-530-2689 COMFORT & WARMTH! K VISA K MasterCard K Discover�/NOVUSSMCards Expiration Date Luxurious, Fleece-Lined Turn Your Thermostat Down And Still Keep Your Feet Warm & Toasty! 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I learned to cook from my mama over the telephone," said Cobb, of Monroe County. "I cook pretty much every day out of necessity; there's no fast food out here," she says of their rural community known as Old Texas. "Of course what I cook day-to-day is nothing like what I do for hunters or a big group." In addition to their cattle, horse and timber operations, the Cobbs also have a successful hunting business. They host long-weekend deer and turkey hunts on their property, and when the hunters arrive, she kicks her cooking up to crowd-sized proportions. "Most of my recipes are enough for a family or other small group, the kinds of things that are good to cook and take along for church dinners," she explains. While Wanda says she does the family will be two in October, so he just follows whoever he can find," jokes Wanda. rge mixing She says each of her grandbowl, beat together su gar, butter children has been on her and margari Add eggs 1 ne. at a time; a kitchen counter as soon as dd vanilla. Alternately add flour a they were big enough to sit up nd sour cre mixing we am, ll after eac on their own, and she says she h addition. a tube pan Coat with floure still keeps some fun supplies on d non-stick spray and p our batter hand for them. into prepare pan. Bake 2 d hours at 30 "The girls especially still 0 F. love to play with dough, so I keep refrigerated pie crust and majorcookie cutters on hand for them ity of the cooking in to play with," she said. their home, she adds that Joel is a Even when she's off the farm, wonderful chef when it comes to Wanda remains active in agriculcooking on the grill. She said she ture, serving as chairperson for the believed it was important that both Monroe County Farmers Federation her children learned how to cook, Women's Leadership Committee. too. Joel serves on the Monroe County "When they left for college, I Farmers Federation board of direcmade them both a cookbook, but tors. not what most people think of as a "Anytime we're visiting other cookbook. It was just the normal, places, it's easy to see how much everyday things they were used people need to open their eyes to eating, like how to cook butter about where their food comes from beans and make potato salad," she and how hard people are working to recalls. make sure we all have a safe, abunAnd Wanda says she now enjoys dant food supply," said Wanda. having her five grandchildren visit Most of the recipes Wanda the farm and her kitchen. shares with Country Kitchen read"The two oldest boys are 11 and ers are her own crowd-pleasing nine years old, so they can't wait to specialties like her camp stew and get out here during hunting seasour cream pound cake, but she son. And the girls both love being also includes her daughter Tonya's around the horses. The baby of the recipe for broccoli soup. 28 NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 M POUND 3 cups suga CAkE r 2 sticks butt er (1 cup) 1 stick mar garine (1/2 cu p) 6 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 cup sifted self-rising fl our 1 (16-ounce ) carton sou r cream In a la SOUR CRE A Wanda Cobb w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g BROCCOLI CORNBREAD 1 (10-ounce) box frozen, chopped broccoli 2 cups self-rising cornmeal � cup sugar 3 eggs � cup hot water � cup melted butter 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese BROCCOLI SOUP 2 large broccoli bundles, cut into small florets, stems discarded 1 large onion, diced 1 (10-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup 1 (10-ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained 1 (8-ounce) container heavy whipping cream 1 cup milk Salt and pepper 1 (8-ounce) package Velveeta cheese, cubed 1 (8-ounce) package Velveeta pepper jack cheese, cubed CHUCk WAGON 1 box original kraft macaroni and cheese 1 pound ground beef � onion, chopped � chopped bell pepper 1 (11-ounce) can Mexi-corn, drained 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste Preheat oven to 375 F. Microwave frozen broccoli about 1 minute to thaw. Drain and set aside. In a bowl, mix together cornmeal, sugar, eggs and hot water. Stir in butter. Add broccoli and cheese, stir. Lightly coat muffin tin with non-stick spray. Fill each muffin cup with � cup batter and bake at 375 F for 30 minutes or until brown. Makes 24 muffins. PORk TACO SOUP 2 pounds ground pork � onion, chopped 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies 2 envelopes ranch dressing mix 2 envelopes taco seasoning mix 1 (15-ounce) can light red kidney beans, drained � (15-ounce) can whole corn, drained 1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes 1 (10-ounce) can mild Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies Using a small amount of water, steam onion and broccoli in the bottom of a large soup pot until both are soft, about 15 minutes. Drain excess water; add soup, tomatoes and chilies, cream and milk. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 15 minutes. Add Velveeta cheeses and stir regularly until cheese is melted through. Serve with crackers. Note: For a spicier soup, Wanda recommends using hot Rotel and 2 packages pepper jack Velveeta. If a milder soup is preferred, use mild Rotel and 2 packages of original Velveeta. CAMP STEW 1 whole smoked Boston butt (about 5 pounds pre-cooked weight) 1 large smoked chicken (4 � to 4 pounds pre-cooked weight) 2 pounds saut�ed onions 4 (14-ounce) cans cream-style corn 2 (16-ounce) bottles ketchup � pound (2 sticks) butter 2 (14-ounce) cans butterbeans 5 pounds diced potatoes 2 gallons crushed tomatoes 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce � (large) bottle of Worcestershire sauce 2 teaspoons salt 6 tablespoons prepared mustard Prepare macaroni and cheese according to package directions; set aside. In a large skillet, cook ground beef with onions and peppers until beef is browned. Drain. Add corn and tomato paste. Refill tomato can with water and add to skillet. Simmer 5 minutes. Add macaroni and cheese and stir to combine. Serve. STRAWBERRy PIzzA 1 cup flour 1 cup chopped pecans � cup light brown sugar 1 stick melted butter (1/2 cup) 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 1 pound powdered sugar 1 large container of Cool Whip 1 cup sugar � cup cornstarch 1 cup water 1 (3-ounce) package strawberry gelatin 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries Brown pork, onions and green chilies in a large stockpot. Drain fat and add dry seasonings. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer until done. SHRIMP SCAMPI � cup margarine, divided 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 (12-ounce) bag egg noodles 1 (10-ounce) box chopped broccoli, steamed in microwave according to package directions � cup sour cream � cup Parmesan cheese Salt and pepper to taste Combine flour, pecans, brown sugar and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch baking dish coated with non-stick spray. Bake 15 minutes at 350 F. Set aside to cool. Beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in Cool Whip and spread over cooled crust. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and water. Bring to a boil; remove from heat and stir in gelatin until completely dissolved. Add strawberries and pour over cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate 4 hours to set before serving. In a skillet, melt 2 to 3 tablespoons margarine; saut� shrimp just until pink. Set aside. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and toss with all other ingredients. NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 Pull the smoked pork and chicken from the bones and divide evenly between 2 large stockpots. Divide remaining ingredients between stockpots and simmer until potatoes are done. Makes about 5 gallons. 29 ____________________________________ Editor's Note: Recipes published in the "Country Kitchen" are not kitchentested prior to publication. Look for more "Country Kitchen" recipes online at www.AlfaFarmers.org. w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g Market Classifieds Facts For just $2 per word, your classified ad in Neighbors reaches more than 95,000 subscribers. Ads must be received by the first day of the month prior to publication. NO changes after closing. PRE-PAyMENT REQUIRED FOR ALL ADS. Minimum 10 words per ad. No fax, phone orders or credit cards accepted. For questions, call Paula Culver at (334) 613-4410. Send your ad with payment, payable to Alabama Farmers Federation, to: Neighbors Classifieds, P.O. Box 11000, Montgomery, AL 361910001. K P lace VA C AT I O N R E N TA L S AFFORDABLE BEACHSIDE VACATION CONDOS Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL. Rent Direct from Christian Family Owners-Lowest Prices on the Beach, Early Fall Special 4 Nights, Efficiency Unit (2 adults & children) $444 includes everything (1, 2, & 3 bedroom units also available.) (205) 556-0368 or (205) 752-1231 www.gulfshorescondos.com. ALWAYS $65 � Beautiful, furnished mountain cabin near Dollywood. Free brochure, call (865) 453-7715. GATLINBURG � Elegant 4 bedroom/3 bath, back porch over creek, 10-minute walk to aquarium. (800) 435-3972. www.hideawayprop.com Cabins in peaceful, convenient setting. Pigeon Forge, TN (251) 649-3344 or (251) 649-4049. COZUMEL, MEXICO TIMESHARE � One bedroom - $5995 � 14 years � floating week � RCI Exchange available. (205) 292-0911. BEAUTIFUL ONE-BEDROOM CABIN with hot tub. Near Pigeon Forge, $85 per night. Call Kathy at (865) 428-1497. MISCELLANEOUS HISTORIC EUTAW, ALABAMA � 47TH ANNUAL FALL PILGRIMAGE TOURTour Beautiful Homes and Churches, Oct. 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Oct. 2, 1 -5 p.m. Sponsored by the Greene County Historical Society. www.eutawchamber. com/historicalsociety. BUYING SILVER COINS � 1964 and before, paying 7(x) times face value. Call (334) 322-2869. 20TH ANNUAL WAVERLY BBQ, Oct. 1 � Pork, chicken, stew � auction, arts & crafts. 51 ACRES � GATED COMMUNITY � BLACK WARRIOR RIVER � abundant wildlife, duck pond. Ready to build on (205) 292-0911. Free Catalog Grower Direct Grow half-dollar size and Blackberries. We also offer over 200 varieties of Fruit and Nut Trees plus Vine and Berry Plants. Muscadines Ison's Nursery PO Box 190 Brooks, GA 30205 1-800-733-0324 � isons.com Since 1934 w w w. A l f a F a r m e r s . o r g 30 NEIGHBORS � SEPTEMBER 2011 Q: Why do your #1 customers act like a bunch of animals? It's the only way to get some service around here. ey speci cally asked for the mayo on the side. Because your soybeans' most important customers are animals. Your soybeans travel a lot farther than just the local grain elevator. Go to www.Beyond eElevator.com to learn more about your number one customers AND your operation's pro tability. www.BeyondTheElevator.com �2011 United Soybean Board (41216-ALSB-4/11)