December 2021

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Cooperative Farming News


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CO-OP MATTERS 16 Bovalyx® 28% B300 24 Co-op in the Classroom: Ads Designed by Students from Hartselle City Schools

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School is New Addition to Clean Campus Program 30 4-H Extension Corner: 4-H Grows = Green thumbs + dirty hands

LIFE ON THE HOMEPLACE AND IN THE COMMUNITY 40 Alabama Barn Quilt Trail 44 Angie Dunnam: Christmas at Cookie’s House 48 Spice Up Your Holiday with Christmas Carnitas


121 Somerville Road NE Decatur, AL 35601-2659 P.O. Box 2227 Decatur, AL 35609-2227 256-308-1618

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Subscription $15 per year For subscription inquiries or change of address: P.O. Box 2227, Decatur, AL 356092227 or call 256-308-1623 Subscribe online at

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On the Cover: Take a drive down the backroads of Alabama on the Barn Quilt Trail. (Barn Pictured: Darlene Norris Barn - Holly Pond, Alabama Photo Credit: AFC Publication Staff)

Letter from the Editor................ 4

Cooking with Stacy Lyn............. 38

Ag Insight.................................... 8

How’s Your Garden?................... 51

Business of Farming................... 12 Howle’s Hints.............................. 53 Feeding Facts ............................. 14 Simple Times.............................. 57 On the Edge of Common Sense... 19 Food Safety................................. 60 From the State Vet’s Office......... 20 Grazing Grace............................ 63 What’s the Point.......................... 22 The Co-op Pantry....................... 65 Outdoor Logic with BioLogic.... 34 What’s Happening in Alabama... 70

Advertising, Editorial, Subscription and Publication Offices

Rickey Cornutt, Matt Haney, Brooks Hayes, Rick Hendricks, Bill Sanders, Jeff Sims, Mike Tate, David Womack

YOUTH MATTERS 26 FFA Sentinel: Beuregard FFA: Lee County Fair 29 PALS: West Hills Elementary

Editor-in-Chief: Samantha Hendricks Editor: Jessie Shook Contributing Editor: Jade Randolph Associate Editor: Mary Delph

Wendy McFarland 334-652-9080 or email Cooperative Farming News is published monthly by Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc. 121 Somerville Road NE, Decatur, AL 35601-2659 P.O. Box 2227, Decatur, AL 35609-2227 Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising and will not be responsible for copy errors or misprints in advertising or editorial material, other than to publish corrections of errors in fact. Feature articles, news items and columns are published for the information of our readers from qualified, reputable sources; however, the editors and publisher make no guarantees and assume no liability for any reader’s decision to implement any procedure, recommendation or advice printed in this publication. Photos are credited to author unless otherwise noted. Advertised sale items may not be stocked by every Quality Co-op store and prices may vary. Postmaster: Please send notice of address change (enclosing latest address label) to publication office: Cooperative Farming News P.O. Box 2227 Decatur, AL 35609-2227

December 2021


Letter from the Editor As we enter the holiday season and the end of 2021, I look back on the hard work and growth we’ve experienced this year with gratefulness and pride. This month, the spotlight is on the Alabama Barn Quilt Trail. If you enjoy beautiful artwork and landscape across our state, this tour is perfect for you! Our local Co-ops are the perfect place to purchase your Christmas gifts, including the 2021 FFA Knives, farm toys and even gift cards. Don’t forget that you can purchase magazine subscriptions (the gift that keeps on giving!) and both adult and youth signature Co-op caps on our website. This is our last issue of 2021 and our last issue as a monthly publication. While we’re going to six issues a year, we’re keeping our promise to provide down to earth news from your friends at the Co-op. We’re very excited to welcome some new writers and columns in 2022 and hope that you continue reading the Cooperative Farming News. Remember, we won’t have an issue in January, but look forward to sharing our February/March issue with you soon. Our regulars are sharing winter and holiday information, including delicious recipes for your family gatherings. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a very, Merry Christmas. Thank you for being a loyal reader, customer and part of the AFC family.

Samantha Hendricks Editor-in-Chief


Cooperative Farming News

December 2021


Serving gardeners, farmers and everyone in between



Cooperative Farming News


FARMERS COOPERATIVE MARKET Doug Smith, Gen. Mgr. FRISCO CITY - William Womack, Mgr. Phone 251-267-3175 Fertilizer / Phone 251-267-3173 LEROY - Jeff Hughston, Mgr. Phone 251-246-3512

ANDALUSIA FARMERS COOPERATIVE Russell Lassiter, Gen. Mgr. Phone 334-222-1851 FLORALA - Pete Blackwell, Mgr. Phone 334-858-6142 OPP - Brandon Bledsoe, Mgr. Phone 334-493-7715

FARMERS CO-OP OF ASHFORD Timothy Tolar, Mgr. Phone 334-899-3263

ATMORE FARMERS COOPERATIVE Todd Booker, Gen. Mgr. Phone 251-368-2191 BLOUNT COUNTY FARMERS COOPERATIVE Eric Sanders, Mgr. Phone 205-274-2185 CENTRAL ALABAMA FARMERS COOPERATIVE Tim Wood, Gen. Mgr. SELMA - Thomas Reeves, Mgr. Phone 334-874-9083 FAUNSDALE - Bryan Monk, Mgr. Phone 334-628-2681 DEMOPOLIS - Tom Eunice, Mgr. Phone 334-289-0155 CHEROKEE FARMERS COOPERATIVE Seth Eubanks, Gen. Mgr. CENTRE Phone 256-927-3135 JACKSONVILLE - Tommy Thomas, Mgr. Phone 256-435-3430 PIEDMONT - Kevin Bobbitt, Mgr. Phone 256-447-6560

FARMERS COOPERATIVE, INC. Todd Lawrence, Gen. Mgr. LIVE OAK, FL - Barry Long, Ag Div. Mgr. Phone 386-362-1459 MADISON, FL - Jerry Owens, Operations Mgr. Phone 850-973-2269 GENCO FARMERS COOPERATIVE Ricky Wilks, Gen. Mgr. HARTFORD - Todd Smith, Mgr. Phone 334-588-2992 WEST GENEVA - Robert Pittman, Mgr. Phone 334-898-7932 ENTERPRISE Phone 334-347-9007 ELBA - Colin Morris, Mgr. Phone 334-897-6972 HEADLAND PEANUT WAREHOUSE CO-OP Jay Jones, Mgr. Chris Hix, Store Mgr. Phone 334-693-3313 JAY PEANUT FARMERS COOPERATIVE Ryan Williams, Mgr. Phone 850-675-4597

CLAY COUNTY EXCHANGE Jeff Kinder, Mgr. Phone 256-396-2097

LUVERNE COOPERATIVE SERVICES Perry Catrett, Mgr. Phone 334-335-5082

COLBERT FARMERS COOPERATIVE Daniel Waldrep, Gen. Mgr. LEIGHTON - Tommy Sockwell, Mgr. Phone 256-446-8328 TUSCUMBIA - Chuck Hellums, Mgr. Phone 256-383-6462

MADISON COUNTY COOPERATIVE Keith Griffin, Gen. Mgr. HAZEL GREEN - Phone 256-828-2010 MERIDIANVILLE - Matt Dunbar, Mgr. Phone 256-828-5360 NEW MARKET - Phone 256-379-2553 Ramsey Prince, Mgr. SCOTTSBORO - Phone 256-574-1688 Patricia Rorex, Mgr. STEVENSON - Phone 256-437-8829

DEKALB FARMERS COOPERATIVE Lance Ezelle, Gen. Mgr. RAINSVILLE - Andrea Crain, Mgr. Phone 256-638-2569 CROSSVILLE - David Tierce, Mgr. Phone 256-528-7188 ALBERTVILLE - Nicholas Byars, Mgr. Phone 256-878-3261

MARION COUNTY COOPERATIVE Steve Lann, Gen. Mgr. HAMILTON - Phone 205-921-2631 FAYETTE - Kellie Trull, Mgr. Phone 205-932-5901 HALEYVILLE - Jessica Steward, Mgr. Phone 205-486-3794

ELBERTA FARMERS COOPERATIVE Justin Brown, Gen. Mgr. Phone 251-986-8103

MARSHALL FARMERS COOPERATIVE Brian Keith, Gen. Mgr. HOLLY POND - Phone 256-796-5337 ARAB - Mark Upton Phone 256-586-5515 MORGAN FARMERS COOPERATIVE Bradley Hopkins, Gen. Mgr. HARTSELLE - Phone 256-773-6832 PIKE COUNTY COOPERATIVE Danny Dewrell, Gen. Mgr. GOSHEN - Phone 334-484-3441 TROY - Jeff Baron, Mgr. Phone 334-566-3882 QUALITY COOPERATIVE, INC. Daniel Salter, Mgr. Phone 334-382-6548 TALEECON FARMERS COOPERATIVE Scott Hartley, Gen. Mgr. Phone 334-257-3930 WETUMPKA - Timothy Richardson, Mgr. Phone 334-567-4321 TALLADEGA COUNTY EXCHANGE Chris Elliott, Gen. Mgr. Phone 256-362-2716 ASHVILLE - Allen Bice, Mgr. Phone 205-594-7042 PELL CITY - Joseph Taylor, Mgr. Phone 205-338-2821 COLUMBIANA - Barry Keller, Mgr. Phone 205-669-7082 RANDOLPH - Tim Brown, Mgr. Phone 256-357-4743 TENNESSEE VALLEY COOPERATIVE, LLC John Curtis, President ATHENS – Britt Christopher, Mgr. Phone 256-232-5500 LYNNVILLE, TN - Kyle Doggett, Mgr. Phone 931-527-3923 PULASKI, TN – Celena Williams, Mgr. Phone 931-363-2563 Reggie Shook, Vice Pres. FLORENCE - Robbie Neal, Mgr. Phone 256-764-8441 ELGIN - Wendell Walker, Mgr. Phone 256-247-3453 John Holley, Vice Pres. MOULTON - Greg McCannon, Mgr. Phone 256-974-9213 COURTLAND Phone 256-637-2939 TUSCALOOSA FARMERS COOPERATIVE Wayne Gilliam, Mgr. Phone 205-339-8181 WALKER FARMERS COOPERATIVE Cody King, Mgr. Phone 205-387-1142






December 2021


AG INSIGHT Pandemic leads to shifts, decline in U.S. food spending The COVID-19 pandemic led to major changes in U.S. food expenditures, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS). The ERS analysis shows that real total food expenditures in 2020 fell 7.8% from 2019. Food away from home (FAFH) spending decreased by 19.5%, while food at home (FAH) spending outlays went up 4.8%. The pronounced substitution from FAFH to FAH spending was the primary driver of the decrease in real total food expenditures in 2020. Consumption at FAFH establishments generally is a more expensive choice. As a comparison, real total food expenditures during the Great Recession decreased 1.5% in 2008 and 3.0% in 2009. FAFH spending fell 4.9% between 2007 and 2009, and unlike the 2020 recession, FAH spending also declined (4.0%). In 2020, as in previous recessions, U.S. consumers shifted food expenditures to more cost-efficient FAH outlets instead of FAFH restaurants. However, public health concerns associated with the pandemic led many FAFH establishments (restaurants) to operate at a limited capacity or cease operations, compounding the change in how consumers spent their food dollars.


Cooperative Farming News

Grants available to support wood products, energy innovation

Some $13 million in new funding opportunities is now available to support market innovation in wood products and wood energy. The announcement from Deputy Agriculture Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh came during a recent “Leaders for the Built Environment” virtual event and kicked off National Forest Products Week. Organized by the Forest Service, Dovetail Partners, WoodWorks and the Softwood Lumber Board, the event aimed to challenge senior leaders from companies in attendance – including Walmart and Microsoft – to explore how mass timber construction can support their climate and sustainability goals. The USDA Forest Service is now accepting applications for these funds through the 2022 Wood Innovations Grant Program and the 2022 Community Wood Grant Program. These grants are designed to develop and expand the use of wood products and strengthen emerging wood energy markets that support sustainable forest management – particularly in areas of high wildfire risk. Since 2015, the Community Wood and Wood Innovation grant programs have provided more than $62 million to 288 recipients to support wood products and wood energy projects. The application period for both grant programs closes Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. To learn more, visit


Paycheck Protection Program draws some farm operation participation As part of its response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. federal government implemented the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), one of many stimulus and relief measures designed to aid consumers and businesses, including agricultural producers. Agricultural producers could use forgivable loans from this program to help keep employees on payroll and offset some of their operating costs. The maximum PPP loan amount was 2.5 times the monthly average profit plus payroll and eligible overhead expenses (such as the employer’s share of insurance payments and unemployment taxes). PPP loans were forgivable if used within 24 weeks after the first disbursement of the loan on eligible expenses. Data from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) showed that more than $525 billion in PPP payments were disbursed through more than 5.2 million loans in 2020. Although little information on PPP recipients was available, researchers from USDA’s Economic Research Service examined information collected in USDA’s 2019 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). According to ARMS, 72% of all commercial farm operations (farms making $350,000 or more in Gross Cash Farm Income) had either positive net income or paid labor – and, therefore, would meet the

Individual SBA loan data revealed that almost 121,000 farm operations applied for a total of $6 billion in PPP loans. two most important eligibility requirements to apply for PPP loans. Individual SBA loan data revealed that almost 121,000 farm operations applied for a total of $6 billion in PPP loans. That would account for 17% of farm operations presumed eligible based on the 2019 ARMS. Of the total PPP loans that went to farm operations, $2.1 billion (35%) went to livestock operations and the remaining $3.9 billion (65%) went to crop operations. 55% of all commercial farm operations did not apply for a PPP loan.

Federal loans, grant to benefit 2 Alabama communities USDA has announced it is investing $272 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure for 270,000 people and businesses in rural communities across 37 states and Puerto Rico. “As people in many parts of the nation battle drought and fires brought on by climate change, there has never been a more urgent need for this assistance,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “When we invest in rural infrastructure, we build opportunity and prosperity for people in rural communities.” USDA is financing 114 projects, including two in Alabama, through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. The Alabama projects include: A $217,000 loan to the City of Tuscumbia to help the city acquire a sewer line from an adjacent wastewater system and allow the city to bore additional lines under a major thoroughfare to facilitate future expansion. A $1.056 million loan and a $584,000 grant to the Chisholm Heights Water and Fire Protection Authority to upgrade the authority’s water system with a water pumping booster station, supply line, master water meter and a water connection. December 2021 9

World, domestic cotton forecasts

AMS advisory committees provide a way to serve

The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates indicate that world cotton mill use in 2021/22 (August – July) is projected at 123.4 million bales, 3% above 2020/21. China and India lead the way, accounting for a combined 53% of the total. In addition, gains are seen for Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey and others. Global cotton production is forecast at 120.3 million bales in 2021/22, 7% above the year before, as a rebound in harvested area and a forecast record yield combine for the higher output.

One of the ways that USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) serves America’s diverse agricultural industry is through the coordination and oversight of federal advisory committees. USDA believes having transparency and objectivity within these organizations to guide the agency is crucial to the long-term success of the industries it serves. By leveraging expertise from the private sector to identify best practices and overcome challenges, the boards and committees help shape and ensure the future of American agriculture. Advisory committees include: • Advisory Committee on Universal Cotton Standards • Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC) • Grain Inspection Advisory Committee • National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) • Plant Variety Protection Board

World cotton trade is projected at 46.4 million bales this season, second to 2020/21’s record and supportive of the higher mill use estimate. Global cotton mill use remains forecast above production, reducing 2021/22 ending stocks to 87.1 million bales, the lowest in three years. Likewise, the world stocks-to-use ratio is expected at its lowest since 2018/19, strengthening world cotton prices to levels not seen in a decade. Domestically, USDA’s October Crop Production report forecast 2021 U.S. cotton production at 18 million bales, 500,000 bales below the previous forecast but 23% (3.4 million bales) above the 2020 crop. The smaller October forecast is attributable to a lower national yield projection, largely the result of a reduced yield for Texas. If realized, 2021 U.S. cotton production would be the second smallest crop in five years.

In addition to a Peanut Standards Board, AMS also provides oversight for marketing orders and national research and promotion programs. Marketing agreements and orders are initiated by industry to help establish the grade, size, maturity, quality or prices of goods. Each marketing order or agreement includes a framework for industry oversight through a council, committee or board made up of appointees from within the industry.

In addition to a Peanut Standards Board, AMS also provides oversight for marketing orders and national research and promotion programs. Research and promotion programs focus on nutrition, research, marketing, and consumer outreach efforts that improve, maintain, and develop opportunities for agricultural commodities and products. They are administered by a board or council whose members are nominated by the industry and then appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. If you are interested in being a voice for your industry and serving on a council, committee or advisory board, contact the AMS Outreach Office at 202-690-0487.


Cooperative Farming News

e v i l u o y e r e h w g Protectin . 6 4 9 1 e c n i s k r o w and December 2021



Alabama Catfish Industry Update


Cooperative Farming News


U.S. farm-raised catfish is the seventh most popular item of all fish and seafood products consumed in the U.S. Americans eat 19.2 pounds of fish and seafood per person per year and each American eats a little over one-half pound of U.S. farm-raised catfish annually. For a country of 330 million people, this adds up to a lot of catfish being eaten. Ninety-three percent of all catfish grown in the U.S. was produced in Mississippi (59%), Alabama (29%) or Arkansas (5%). In 2020, the U.S. farm-raised catfish industry produced 324 million pounds of catfish from 59,305 acres of water and the industry is on track to produce the same amount in 2021. Alabama also ranks sixth in total U.S. aquaculture production. Annual Alabama production of catfish was 94 million pounds, worth $99 million, in 2020. Approximately 66 farming operations in Hale, Dallas, Greene, Perry, Sumter, Marengo and Pickens counties in central west Alabama produce these tasty fish. These farms grow fish in over 16,000 acres of catfish ponds, and represent 33% of all catfish produced in the U.S. There are two catfish processing plants located in West Alabama: one in Uniontown (Perry County) and one in Eutaw (Greene County), and there are two catfish feed mills in West Alabama: one in Uniontown (Perry County) and one in Demopolis (Marengo County).

Catfish feed represents approximately 50% of the operating expenses required to produce a crop of fish. The Alabama (and U.S.) catfish industry faces some serious issues. In the early 2000s, more than 25,000 water acres were in production in Alabama, including approximately 250 catfish farms in West Alabama and four processors. By 2020, this had declined to 66 farms, 15,600 water acres, and two catfish processors. So, why the decline? There are four core issues, revolving around feed prices, foreign imports, economic forces and disease losses. Feed fed to catfish primarily consists of soybean meal, corn and wheat middlings. Feed prices are related to those commodity prices and are subject to swings throughout the year. Catfish feed represents

approximately 50% of the operating expenses required to produce a crop of fish. In 2020, the annual 32% crude protein feed price was $389 / ton, and the 2021 feed price average through September was $493 / ton. In February through June, feed prices were over $500 / ton and have come down to the $470 to $484 range in July through September. Farmers have to feed fish to have a crop, so they have soldiered on, being careful in their feeding approach. Luckily, fish prices have risen this year and have helped offset the higher feed cost. The processor price paid to the producer for live catfish averaged $1.27 / lb pound (through September 2021), compared to $1.16 / lb in 2020, $1.05 / lb in 2019, and $0.99 / lb in 2018. Secondly, inexpensive imports (mainly from Vietnam and China) have flooded the U.S. marketplace with alternative catfish-like products, such as tra, swai and basa. Imports of frozen fillet products to the U.S. were over 200 million pounds in 2020. In 2021, imports are 42% higher than in 2020 (through September). Promotional programs through ALFA, ACP (Alabama Catfish Producers) and The Catfish Institute have helped keep the quality and locally grown U.S. farm-raised catfish product in the minds and mouths of Americans. Third, other economic forces affect the U.S. catfish industry as they do other agricultural industries. The U.S. round weight processed in 2020 (317 million lb) was 7% lower than in 2019 (340 million lb) and much of this could have been due to the COVID-19 pandemic with its decline in food service and restaurant sales. However, in 2021 this has improved, with supermarket and retail outlets that have catfish products making strong comebacks. Fourth, Alabama catfish production losses due to diseases are a chronic problem. Disease-related losses are approximately $13 million annually in Alabama, and occur at this scale in Mississippi and Arkansas as well. Losses have been particularly heavy due to a virulent strain of Aeromonas hydrophila bacteria introduced from China. Fortunately, collaborations between Auburn University’s School of Aquaculture, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, the Alabama Fish Farming Center, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service / Aquatic Animal Health Research have developed disease monitoring programs, vaccines and vaccine delivery methods that are mitigating these losses. Even with all these issues, the Alabama catfish industry is alive and well, producing healthy, tasty catfish! Eat some catfish this week! December 2021



Cheaper Is Cheaper Better?

Cheaper is always better, or so we all want to believe as we look at the options of feeds to purchase. It is clear that feed and hay are some of the most expensive things about keeping livestock and one of the many things that can greatly affect the bottom line of any operation. As winter gets here and temperatures drop, we will all need to pay close attention to the money we spend on feed and forages. What is the smartest and most economical way to meet our goals with our animals, especially as forage 14

Cooperative Farming News

quality and ambient temperatures drop, is a question we all should ask. We all have slightly different goals, and each farm is a bit different so there is no one right answer. I have seen farms that just want livestock to survive until the grass greens up in the spring and this is likely to be the cheapest way to get there, though likely not the most profitable or most productive. Others have thin livestock and need or want them to gain weight through the winter. That is likely the most ex-


The highest cost per ton type feeds are generally cheaper per head per day than the cheapest feeds and sometimes they are the cheapest to feed.

pensive and again not the most profitable. Most producers, however, are looking to maintain their animals’ body condition while the weather is cold and produce at a reasonable rate. So, how to cheaply meet those needs is a critical question and almost always boils down to cost per head per day as long as it meets the needs and goals. It is very rare for the cheapest feed, when price per ton or bag is the deciding factor, to be the cheapest product to feed. Normally it takes a great deal more of these products to meet the animals’ needs and that ends up costing more in the end. The highest cost per ton type feeds are generally cheaper per head per day than the cheapest feeds and sometimes they are the cheapest to feed. They are almost always a better option than those feeds that are cheap per ton because they are generally more concentrated, and it takes a lot less volume to get your goals met. That leaves us with those mid-range feeds and there is a wide variety of those. Some are mid-range in price but really don’t meet the needs of the animals at a reasonable cost. Others are a great mix of products that get close to meeting the animals’ needs at a reasonable price and those are the ones that often make the most sense. Often the same scenarios fit when tubs and minerals are considered. Often tubs are as economical as feeds when forages are good quality and plentiful. Usually, the cheapest tubs are the most expensive to feed and animals tend to eat greater quantities each day when compared to the tubs that cost more per ton. The higher quality and higher cost tubs often offer many things that the cheaper tubs do not. They are generally more concentrated and supply the animals with more nutrition at a lower cost per head per day. How do producers make those decisions? The best advice is to ask lots of questions. Then ask some

more questions until you understand what you are getting for the money you’re spending. Ask enough questions to make sure that the money you are spending helps you meet the goals that you have set for production and don’t ever make price per ton, tub or bag be the deciding factor. That is usually one of the least relevant factors involved. Be open-minded about trying new things such as tubs instead of hand feeding range cubes or complete feeds. Ask enough questions to ensure that you are making the best decision for your animals and your bottom line.

December 2021


Bovalyx 28% B300 ®

The premier block supplement for gains and profitability

What happens when you combine a premier block supplement with the premier pasture ionophore? Answer : Cattle grow faster, pastures last longer and profits increase. Bovalyx® 28% B300 gives you all the advantages of the Bovalyx® low-moisture block program plus added benefits of Bovatec®, the leading ionophore feed additive for pasture cattle. This self-fed supplement


Cooperative Farming News

is intended for the increased rate of weight gain in pasture cattle (slaughter, stocker, feeder cattle and dairy and beef replacement heifers). Bovalyx® low-moisture technology provides a controlled, yet consistent consumption compared to other feeding methods of ionophores in a weather-resistant form. With precise intake of both nutrients and Bovatec®, cattle will get what they need

each day in a self-fed form. This supplement is specifically formulated to contain 300 grams per ton of Bovatec®. Years of Bovatec® data across many studies has shown that you can expect around a 10% improvement in rate of gain in pastured cattle. Additionally, Bovalyx® 28% B300 contains 28% crude protein. In most situations, grazed forages will be short on protein for growing cattle, therefore the supplemental protein will aid in meeting that protein requirement, in addition to providing Bovatec®. Supplemental minerals and vitamins are also an important component in a growing animal’s diet. Bioplex® organic trace minerals are included in the formula to bring in the most advanced trace mineral technology. Bioplex® organic trace minerals are more bioavailable, meaning they are used more effectively and efficiently by the animal through greater trace mineral retention and tissue reserves. Not only will this benefit a growing stocker, but yearlings will also benefit after being on a good trace mineral program prior to stress associated with shipping, receiving and handling. Research done in the Southeastern U.S. has consistently proven the benefits of this supplementation program: 1. Results from one feeding trial showed that when cattle consumed 0.4 pounds per head per day of Bovalyx® 28% B300, average daily gain (ADG) resulted in 1.06 pounds, compared to 0.55-0.66 pounds ADG of their counterparts being offered only mineral. While even taking supplement cost into consideration, this nearly doubled the income per head, resulting in greater additional profits. 2. Another trial compared feeding Bovalyx® 28% B300 to a grain mix with added Bovatec® to two groups of grazing dairy replacement heifers. Bovalyx® intake averaged 0.45 pounds per head per day, compared to 2.5 pounds of feed per day. In 114 days, the group on Bovalyx® gained 100 pounds, and the group on the dry feed with Bovatec® gained 45 pounds. When paid on pounds gained, the grazer found greater advantages to the Bovalyx® 28% B300 in not only income after feed costs, but also savings in labor and equipment. 3. A trial in Alabama grazed heifers on Bermuda grass pastures for 90 days. During that time period, the group on Bovalyx® 28% B300 had an ADG of 1.1 pounds with an intake of 0.5 pounds per head per day. The control group only offered salt resulted in a ADG of 0.69 pounds. This had a greater net profit with the Bovalyx® advantage resulting in greater gain and profitability in the end. All three of these feeding demonstrations saw clear advantages in utilizing lower quality forages in grazing programs while being supplemented with

Bovalyx® 28% B300. While we can generally expect Bovatec® to increase gains by around 10%, this would mean Bovalyx® low-moisture block with added Bovatec® could increase gains by 0.3 to 0.4 pounds on higher quality forages or 0.4 to 0.6 pounds on lower quality forages. (Note: these numbers are approximations and individual results will vary). It is easy to disregard the value of our own time and labor costs. How much time do you spend supplementing or delivering feed to the cow herd? This can nearly be eliminated through Bovalyx® self-fed supplements being available 24/7 in a controlled form. This saves you time and money, and in turn offers more flexibility in your daily schedule. Add that to the nutrient advantages and the benefits of Bovatec®, and this premier supplement easily sorts itself to the top. For more information and to gain access to Bovalyx® 28% B300, contact your local AFC feed representative: NW Alabama: John Sims (256) 260-3433 NE Alabama: Chris Wisener (256) 230-5183 S Alabama: David Allen (334) 467-0096 December 2021



Cooperative Farming News



Visiting Dogs When I hear a truck pull up in front of the house and the pandemonium of dogs barkin’ would wake a hibernating mastodon, I relax. It’s only my neighbor, D.K., come to borrow something of his back. He doesn’t get this ferocious reception because he’s on the canine list of unsavory visitors or because he has the reputation of annoying domestic animals on a regular basis. It’s because his two dogs usually accompany him on his rounds. My dogs even bark at his pickup when he drives in anticipating that his dogs will be in the back. On those rare occasions when he comes “undogged,” my dogs give him a withering glare and stomp off. It’s like they are disappointed. After all, what else have they got to do? Watch the sheep through the fence? Go to the pasture and check the cows? Sneak up on the creek in hopes of scaring the urea out of the ducks? I watched them the last time I went to D.K.’s to borrow his bush hog. My dogs were leaning out the side already clearing their throats as we neared his place. I deliberately drove by the first turn-in. Both dogs jerked their heads around and glared at me through the back window. I could see Hattie mouthing the words, “Hey turkey, ya missed it!” I turned in the second drive and we were met with

the raucous sounds of a rabbit let go in a dog kennel. I pulled to a stop as D.K.’s dogs surrounded the pickup barking at the top of their dog lungs. My dogs were leaning out over the side like seasick fishermen returning in kind, bark for bark. It was deafening. But I noticed D.K.’s dogs never got quite close enough to touch noses and mine knew just how far to lean to avoid actual contact. One might think it was all for show. Protecting their territory, as if his were shouting, “Don’t you dare get out,” and mine were screaming, “No way we’re lettin’ you jump in this truck!” Or they could just be visiting like old folks at a reunion, “HOW ARE YOU, TEX! I HEAR YOU GOT A NEW HEARING AID! WHAT KIND IS IT?” “QUARTER TO FOUR!” I’ve gotten to where I don’t worry about it much. Dogs like to bark. It’s in their job description. It probably doesn’t irritate the dogs near as much as it does us humans. They just communicate at different decibel levels. It’s part of nature. It’s possible even aphids bark at each other and we just can’t hear it. But it must drive the ants crazy. December 2021



What If We Didn’t Regulate Or Have Disease Surveillance Programs in Place

(This fictional musing of mine appeared in this publication in May 2010. With African Swine Fever in the Dominican Republic, tuberculosis cases in humans on the rise for the first time in decades, and the other diseases that won’t quite go away, this article is still relevant.) This will come as no surprise to people that know me; I ate three meals yesterday … did the day before that and the day before that. In fact, there are not many days that I don’t eat three meals a day. I am not a vegetarian, so I eat meat at most meals. Probably like most of you, I take for granted that if I want a ham sandwich, I can have a ham sandwich. If I want a hamburger, I can have a hamburger. If I want a quarter of a barbecued chicken, I can have that too. That is certainly not the case in many other parts of the world. Recently we have been hit with huge budget cuts at the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. In fact, I don’t know what changes will occur due to budget cuts between 20

Cooperative Farming News

the time I am writing this column and the time you read it. That has got me to wondering how things would be if we were not able to regulate or carry out our disease surveillance programs. It could change what I take for granted when I sit down to a meal. As I pondered the “What if we didn’t?” question, I thought about it in respect to the classic Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The rest of this column will come from the imagination of a State regulatory official trying to figure what life would be like if we didn’t regulate or carry out disease surveillance. Fast forward 20 years … (remember this is fiction and just for the purpose of getting us thinking). Driving through rural Alabama with my grandkids one Saturday afternoon, one of the kids asks, “Grandpa, why are there so many golf courses around here?” That one is easy to answer because in 2018 we lost all our beef export markets because we were not collecting enough BSE samples to satisfy our export partners that we didn’t have BSE. The market dropped

BY D R . T O N Y F R A Z I E R

drastically and those who were marginal producers lost their farms. Tuberculosis had started making a comeback in cattle herds across the country in 2012, but since we were not testing for the disease, nor requiring health certificates, bovine tuberculosis came into Alabama with a vengeance. In fact, it put most of our dairies out of business. For a while the federal government was trying to help the dairy farmers out, but the problem got so big that the federal government could no longer handle the cost. By 2020, cattle farming was a rich man’s game and there was only a fraction of the farms left that were around in 2011. In 2021 though, an Alabama cattle producer took some of his cattle to a show out west where foot-and-mouth disease somehow got introduced. (The United States had discontinued Foreign Animal Disease Surveillance in 2015 since we hadn’t had a case of foot-andmouth disease since 1927. Surveillance seemed like a waste of money.) He brought his cattle back to a show here in Alabama the next week and exposed a large number of farms. Most of our beef cattle farmers got out of the business after that because it was mostly just a hobby anyway. Some of the last farms to go are actually some of the nicer golf courses now. The grandkids were amazed by my explanation about the golf courses. But in all honesty, two of my grandsons are really showing some promise at getting golfing (the new national pastime) scholarships because there are so many golf courses you can play 18 holes for ten dollars. And most people tell me that they can’t tell the difference between the grass-fed Brazilian beef and the old grain-fed beef we used to eat. I don’t know if I would say it out in public, but there really is a difference in the meat. But for a long time, the Brazilian beef was quite a bit cheaper than domestic U. S. beef. Then about the time most of our farmers and ranchers went out of business, the Brazilian beef price sky-rocketed. They say it was something about having to pay for all their new regulations. I don’t know. I think it’s just because they don’t have much competition. A lot of people think it’s not a bad trade-off. We pay high prices to other countries for their beef and dairy products and they come to the United States and play golf on their vacations. Then the grandkids wanted to know the story about why we can’t buy fresh eggs anymore. You know that was a really bad deal. It happened back in 2014, not six months after we discontinued our avian influenza surveillance program. It was just an unfortunate turn of events. A man from North Alabama went to a poultry

show down in South Alabama. There was one exhibitor who had several of his chickens get sick and die at the show. The man from North Alabama was a school bus driver from a community that had so many poultry farms that you couldn’t swing a dead mule without hitting one. Well you can guess what happened. In about four or five days to a week, those farms had chickens dying so fast they were just having to compost them right there in the chicken house. Everybody was fairly certain that it was highly pathogenic avian influenza. However, since we no longer had any foreign animal disease diagnosticians and the laboratories were no longer set up to screen for highly pathogenic avian influenza, it took six days to get a definitive diagnosis. And by that time---well you know what they say, “No need to shut the barn door after the horse has already got out.” It completely devastated the poultry industry and it just never came back. I went on to tell the grandkids about how we used to eat hamburgers all the time. But now that it costs $10.00 a pound, we only eat it once a week and maybe on special occasions. We never eat steak because at $40.00 a pound, you can buy a lot of tofu. When the kids asked how all these things happened to cause us to lose animal agriculture here in the United States, my explanation was simple. I told them that several years ago, the economy took a severe downturn. That resulted in fewer tax dollars to fund government programs both on the state and national levels. The elected leaders had to make some hard decisions on what programs to fund and which ones to cut. And I guess they just didn’t understand the importance of agriculture. Now travel back to 2011. I’m not saying that if we stop regulating, things like I just mentioned will happen. And even though that was a fictitious scenario, it is not so farfetched that it could not happen. We try to strike a delicate balance between assuring the safety of our food, the health of our herds and flocks, and making sure the environment is not contaminated and making sure we do not restrict the farmer from doing what he does best. That is to produce the safest and most economical food supply in the world. Today we at the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries along with our friends at USDA Veterinary Services are regulating, investigating and staying on the lookout for diseases that might cause you to dramatically alter your three meals a day. Now I think I will have a double cheeseburger with a couple of slices of ham on it just because I can. December 2021



AccuField® Offers Options for Managing Soaring Fertilizer Prices Fertilizer prices continued to soar to record highs as the 2021 fall harvest moved into its latter stages, leaving growers with yet another primary concern as they begin planning for next year. And while there’s not much that can be done from the farm level to slow price increases, there are options for making fertilizer applications more cost-efficient. “The need for precision soil sampling and variable-rate applications has never been greater,” said Daniel Mullenix, Senior Manager of Ag Technologies for GreenPoint Ag. “Most of the fertilizer blends we applied last year were in the $400-per-ton range, but now they’re trending in the $700-per-ton range, and there’s no end in sight.” GreenPoint Ag’s AccuField®—a full-service ag tech22

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nology and information platform—is a premiere soil fertility tool and precision agriculture platform at its core, Mullenix said. “Through this platform, we can help a grower through grid sampling their field on a fairly resolute basis—in 2 ½ or 5-acre grids—or through zone sampling their fields using historical yield data or a digital data-driven approach,” he said. “This gives us an accurate assessment of what’s happening in that field in terms of soil fertility.” Without such precision, growers may pull one or two composite samples from an entire field, costing them money in the long run. “By doing that, growers might be basing a fertility recommendation on one or two points in a field,”


Mullenix said. “Random sampling could very well cost a grower more money at a time when they can least afford it.” When pulling a random sample, it could be from a spot where fertility is high, such as an old dump site for chicken litter, gin trash, or some other soil amendment, he said. “The residual effect of the nutrient is there, and you could get a sample thinking it is representative of the entire field rather than being skewed due to a historical practice,” Mullenix said. On the flip side, a random sample could come from a spot in the field with historically low nutrient levels. With AccuField®, grid sampling or zone sampling can be used based on available yield data or field performance, Mullenix said. This allows a grower to know exactly what is happening in a field from a soil fertility standpoint. “You can spend money more wisely as you variably apply nutrients across a field to maintain nutrients, maximize yield potential, or to stick to a budget,” he said. “Considering the cost of fertilizer this year, more growers probably will be looking at budgeting. We can help growers assess what is in their soil bank from an agronomic standpoint and what they can use from their soil bank to be mindful of their budget for the coming year.” AccuField® allows for custom recommendations and custom fertility plans and can incorporate any recommendations from commercial and public testing labs throughout the southeastern U.S., Mullenix said. “If a grower likes a certain aspect of what a specific lab recommends, we can customize their soil fertility plan to include that.” Mullenix recommends soil sampling as early as possible, depending on the crop situation. “That means as soon as the crops come off,” he said. “If it’s cotton, as soon as the stalks are mowed or pulled, come in behind that, pull soil samples, and then begin putting together and executing a plan.” If soil moisture is too dry or too wet, it will skew soil sample results. Also, it is important to sample at about the same time each year to avoid seasonal variability in soil tests. Soil pH is another important factor, Mullenix said. “If we’re mindful of our soil pH, then we give the nutrients that are in the soil the maximum ability to be available to the plants. Managing soil pH in a tight window is imperative. Lime will be the cheapest and most beneficial soil amendment you’ll ever apply,

even more so this coming year.” Applying just 1 ton or ½ ton of lime at a time is no longer good enough, he said. “Rarely ever does a grower not get a good result by pulling the soil samples and then variably applying lime instead of doing a straight rate. The difference in savings on lime usually pays for the soil sampling, lab analysis, and the fee for customized recommendations for a soil fertility plan.” AccuField® is equally beneficial for tech-savvy growers and for those who prefer a hands-off approach, Mullenix said. “We have growers who want to sit down with paper maps, and they never have to log onto a computer,” he said. “Growers can work with GreenPoint Ag or their co-op to execute a soil fertility or variable-rate lime program. “On the flip side, some growers enjoy logging into AccuField to set up or tweak their plans themself. If you recognize the need on your farm for technology, let us come out and help work up a plan customized for you.” Entering its 10th year of service to growers, AccuField® has made a commitment to increase its offerings and deliverables. “Our focus in this 10th year moving forward is to capitalize on enhanced metrics and return on investment tools in bringing precision ag to life for growers in a way they might not have envisioned before,” Mullenix said. “We started ten years ago with a team of one, and now we have 12 precision ag specialists who serve a 10-state footprint. We have a multi-tier support staff to give farmers what they need and when they need it because farming doesn’t wait on anyone,” he concluded.

December 2021


co-op in the classroom ADS DESIGNED BY STUDENTS FROM Hartselle City Schools


Cooperative Farming News

December 2021



The final product is something the FFA members at Beauregard are really proud of.

Beuregard FFA:

Lee County Fair Livestock shows, funnel cakes, and the best jam in the county – nothing welcomes the season of fall quite like the county fair. These celebrations highlight the things that make communities special. County fairs give the general public an up-close look at local agriculture and give local FFA Chapters the opportunity to increase agricultural literacy in their communities. The Beauregard FFA Chapter in Lee County accepted the challenge to construct an educational booth to educate fairgoers about Lee County agriculture. Students from Mrs. Dyess’s Agriscience classes put their heads together to create the ultimate theme for their booth, “Celebrating Lee County Agriculture Under the Big Top.” Once the theme was decided, FFA members turned the shop space into a makeshift fairground, constructing a big-top tent frame and an eight-foot Fer26 Cooperative Farming News

The booth won first place at the Lee County Fair.


Students were able to utilize their woodworking skills to create this amazing display to advocate for agriculture.

For many of these students, this was the first time they learned about power tools and were able to participate in a project of this nature.

ris wheel. Students gained experience using a CNC Table Router to cut out the silhouette of Lee County for the focal point of the booth, the “Lee County Ag Facts” marquee. FFA members researched important facts about Lee County agriculture, which they proudly displayed on the marquee. And, of course, there was glitter. Allison Sheeley, a first-year FFA member, honed both her research skills and her crafting skills. “I had a lot of fun learning about agriculture close to where I live. And I liked glittering the Lee County Marquee!” While crops and livestock are important agricultural commodities in Lee County, the members of Beauregard FFA realized their own importance to Lee County agriculture. Students crafted miniature versions of themselves to place on the seats of the Ferris wheel, along with quotes about why they are excited about agriculture and being an FFA member.

“My favorite part of building the fair booth was we got to build everything in our own way,” says Christopher Gamble, a second-year FFA member. “I was really proud of what we came up with.” The chapter’s efforts were rewarded with the blue ribbon and a cash prize that will be invested back in the chapter. Perhaps the greatest reward was the pride cultivated in the FFA members for their chapter. Evan Yeatts, a first-year FFA member, captured the spirit perfectly. “I can’t believe we won. Hearing our hard work paid off was the greatest part of my week.”

The smiling faces show just how excited the students were to complete this project.

Students were challenged to think critically as they worked to design the fair booth.

December 2021



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ClantonAllen Wyatt 205-288-6298


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West Hills Elementary School is New Addition to Clean Campus Program West Hills Elementary School in Bessemer is a new addition to the Clean Campus Program this school year. We are so excited to have another Jefferson County school onboard! Teacher John Dorsey contacted me to Zoom with the school recently, and his plans are to “introduce the value of community service to students along with the importance of keeping our neighborhoods clean and litter-free.” I was able to Zoom with five classrooms of fourthand fifth-graders recently which totaled around 100 students. They learned about the Clean Campus Program and practical steps to keep our state, communities and campuses litter-free. We discussed how litter affects everything from the health of animals and people to the perception of our neighborhoods. We also discussed litter laws and how fines have increased to a minimum of $500 for littering offenses. A $500 fine will normally make individuals think twice about throwing their trash out the window! I also encouraged students to participate in our annual poster contest that will be held in April 2022. The theme will be announced in January, so be sure to have your local schools check our website for those details then. The first-place winner of our contests wins $200! Does a school near you need to hear more about the value of community service and importance of keeping our neighborhoods litter free? Please have them contact me for a Zoom or in-person visit at 334-263-7737 or I’m happy to answer any questions

about the Clean Campus Program and help your local school get up and running! Keeping Alabama litter free is up to you in 2022!

December 2021



Growing our leaders of tomorrow … One of the highest honors for any 4-H member is to become a State Ambassador. The 4-H Ambassadors Program gives teen leaders many opportunities to enhance their leadership, citizenship and communication skills, as they become the faces of Alabama 4-H. Alabama has 27 young people who currently serve as 4-H Ambassadors. These students met rigorous standards to attain this position. Each had completed at least one full club year as an active, participating 4-H member, who had demonstrated

leadership in a variety of youth development activities. The Ambassador Program also has age requirements. Each student had to be at least 14 years old by January 1 of the starting term year and be a high school sophomore, junior, or senior. Becoming a State 4-H Ambassador is an honor, but it carries many responsibilities. Ambassadors must not only have knowledge of the total Alabama 4-H Youth Development Program, but they also must have experience in planning and delivering events and activities. They must demonstrate a commit-

(L to R) First Row: Cami Cleveland, Kalen Alexander, Alana New, William McCollum, Sierra Bennett and Suzie Feist Middle Row: Rachel Allen, Olevia Rice, Abigail Lee, Blair Wyrosdick, Breanna Blackman, Willow Sayles, Leah Kate Owens, Jeremy Speros Back Row: Luke Stephens, Rebecca Rasbury, Hunter Garland, Neely Stewart, Colton Cook, Gavin Yocom, Aiden Mackenzie and Blake Harris (Not pictured: Anna-Kathryn Robinson, Kristen Walker, Briley Newman, Jade Gartman and Katie Rasbury)


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Colton Cook serves as President of the Alabama State 4-H Ambassadors for 2021. He believes that becoming a State officer was a hands-on masterclass in responsibility and communication, two of the most important skills for future employment.

Neely Stewart serves as Vice President of the Alabama State 4-H Ambassadors. She gained both leadership skills and lifelong friendships with her position, which gave her many opportunities to help others.

ment to community service and volunteerism by working with other youth and adults, individually and as a team member. State Ambassadors enjoy many benefits. They are given numerous opportunities to further develop leadership, communication, and organizational skills. These students gain a greater understanding of the 4-H Youth Development Program by planning, implementing and participating in statewide educational, leadership and service-related programs. Each Ambassador also represents 4-H and Alabama as a 4-H Ambassador Delegate. Ambassadors support the mission and vision of Alabama 4-H, as well as various local, county, regional, and statewide programs and activities through public presentations, leadership development opportunities and community service. They assist with an

innovative and high-profile Ambassador Community Service Project and provide leadership for the Midwinter Teen Leadership Retreat, Alabama 4-H State Competitive Events Day and other 4-H events, as assigned. Being chosen as a State Ambassador requires a high level of commitment, but assuming a State Ambassador Officer position requires even more dedication. For Colton Cook, President of the 2021 Alabama State Ambassadors, 4-H was a place to belong. “As an Ambassador, I wanted to provide that safe haven for people who felt like outsiders,” Colton stated, “but as President, I could do more. Being State Ambassador President gives me a platform to promote 4-H all across our wonderful state.” Neely Stewart, who serves as Alabama’s State December 2021


Ambassador Vice President, agreed. “I love helping others, ” she explained. “This position allows me to do that often. I wanted to lead my fellow Ambassadors well and listen to their new suggestions and ideas.” For Colton Cook, being a State Ambassador officer was a hands-on master class in responsibility and communication, two of the most important skills for future employment. “All the Ambassadors are from every corner of the state, so it is vitally important that we stay in touch with one another,” he added. “Since we are so far apart, it’s even more important that the advisors know that each of us can do our part.” Colton offered some advice to younger 4-H members, who might aspire to becoming an Ambassador one day: “Get involved. Start out small. Be an officer in your local 4-H club; be on your school’s student council or SGA; be on your county’s youth council. All of these leadership opportunities will lead to bigger and better opportunities.” “I encourage any 4-H’er to be a State Ambassador, because of the leadership skills and lifelong friendships it provides,” said Neely Stewart. “I am forever grateful to Alabama 4-H for how it has shaped me into the leader I am today.” June State Ambassador Planning meeting


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Listen to the Breeze Structure, Wind and Treestand Placement

Whitetails are always using their extremely sensitive smell to their advantage and will not spend a great deal of time in an area where the air currents aren’t to their advantage. (Photo Credit: Lynn Bystrom)

“Pink-light” was breaking over the horizon and the timber was waking up around me. I was perched in a treestand overlooking eight huge, fresh scrapes, but I puffed my “wind-checker” and watched the particles go floating off exactly where I didn’t expect them to. I considered getting out of my setup so as not to foul the area – but it was too late. Some dry leaves let me know “he” was headed my way. The buck appeared over the top of the ridge, but because the thermals were now warming and the air current rising, the conditions had switched to being in his favor. The big 5x5 walked in my direction until he came upon one of those scrapes about 18 yards away. With the thermal sucking my scent toward him, I thought I had better take the first opportunity that arose. I held at full draw until it 34

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BY T O D D A M E N R U D felt like my arms were going to fall off, when he final- breaks, steeper angles, edges or turns that will force ly turned his hind-end around to get a better vantage or encourage the animal to go one way over another. to work the licking branch – now was my chance. I re- If you try and foretell their travel patterns this way first, leased and was able to watch the buck topple over after when you add the trees, brush and blowdowns back to a 100-yard dash. the picture it can sometimes seem obvious where they Out of all the avenues this buck could have taken will pass. in the middle of 2,000 acres of timber, why did he pick Why not influence whitetails to travel where you the route of my vantage? More importantly, why did “I” want? It’s possible to create your own trails by using choose that spot? Many hunters have questions about a pruner through brush or a weed-whacker through tall treestand placement. Every situation is different and grass and weeds. Mature bucks can often be found there aren’t any rules where there aren’t exceptions to around the thickest, nastiest cover you can find. Howthem. However, over the years I’ve learned some gener- ever, when traveling through the thick cover they will al practices that will help in most situations when plac- usually, unless forced, travel the easiest route they can ing a treestand. find - the path of least resistance. You can also fell trees Much of choosing the proper stand site has to do to force them to go a certain direction. Create your own with “structure.” As with most animals, whitetails trav- “human-made” funnels. el from place to place using cover and terrain to their advantage. Learning to recognize the transition areas, access points and travel corridors of whitetails is a key to stand placement. One of the first things you should do when approaching a new spot is to obtain a satellite image, aerial photo or topographical map. Smartphones make this easy. The first spots to focus on are the funnels. No matter where you hunt – big timber, agricultural land or suburban lots – there are funnels in your hunting area. With a funnel, their movement is confined, and wherever you can restrict their movement to a smaller zone there will be more traffic and it’s easier to position yourself to remain undetected from their supernatural snout. I like to use either the satellite image or aerial photo in conjunction with a topographical map. It’s often difficult to see terrain breaks on a photo taken from above, but the topographical map will point out elevations. Funnels aren’t always created by obvious physical obstructions. Oftentimes they’re created by subtle terrain changes that guide, or force, movement one way or another and most often these terrain changes can’t be seen on a picture taken from above so the topo map can be valuable. When looking over an area I like to imagine the terrain without any trees or Here, the author poses with a buck that was influenced into shooting range by a deep drop-off on a ridge and several blow-downs. When you can restrict a buck’s movement to a smaller zone, it becomes debris first. Look for the points, terrain much easier to play the wind. (Photo Credit: Todd Amenrud) December 2021


We know that a whitetail’s number-one defense is its extremely responsive sense of smell. To experience consistent success, we need to learn how to battle this defense and maybe even use it to our advantage. Aside from reducing odors on our person and cutting down on the foreign odors we leave behind, we also need to understand how whitetails use the air currents to their advantage. Scent elimination is extremely important. We need to reduce foreign odors to a minimum. Everything that I bring into the whitetail’s domain will be treated with the Scent Killer system to destroy smells at the molecular level. I really like Scent Killer Gold Spray because of

its “Hunt Dry” technology. This can be sprayed on your hunting clothes and will work for days after drying. Besides reducing offensive odors, we also have to learn how to play the wind and thermal current. They are the “hallway” and “elevator” that carry smells to a deer’s nose. You have to know how to place yourself within their terrain so you can “see them” before they “smell you.” Learning air current patterns is also a secret to predicting whitetail movement. Everybody knows what the wind is, but most whitetail hunters don’t pay enough attention to thermal current. The heating and cooling of the air combined with different temperatures emanating from various sourc-

Besides reducing offensive odors, we also have to learn how to play the wind and thermal current. They are the “hallway” and “elevator” that carry smells to a deer’s nose.

As the author experienced in the beginning story, conditions are constantly changing in the wild. Use a quality system of scent elimination to protect yourself in case the circumstances aren’t what you planned on. (Photo Credit: Todd Amenrud)


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es makes the air current do some strange things. In the West, because of the mountainous topography most veteran hunters are familiar with thermal, but it’s also important in flat areas, too. It could be as simple as when hunting a clearing, paying attention to where the sun will rise. When the sun comes up it shines on one side of the clearing first. The sun warms the air and the current rises on that side of the clearing before it does anywhere else. Pay particular attention around water, rocks, dark conifer trees or anything that may retain a different temperature than the air. The sun warms these things, and they hold on to the heat and will influence airflow. When the temperatures differ, you’d be amazed at how the air current may be swirling around. Many mediocre hunters lick their finger, stick it in the air, and point downwind to the spot where they’ll place their stand. Here’s where they fail - often the sign they are observing has been made under totally different conditions than the wind blowing that one specific direction. A whitetail will not spend a great deal of time in an area where it can’t use its nose efficiently. A buck may never use that trail or enter that area under

those specific conditions. You can’t just set up downwind of an area and think, “Well, he won’t smell me here,” and expect to have luck. My first thought about a spot is “under what conditions will a whitetail want to be in this area.” I want a buck to feel comfortable with the chosen site, but also under the conditions that I want to hunt the site. You need to set up for how a whitetail plays the wind. My best advice is to purchase some sort of wind-detection device or unscented cotton. With a “dust-puffer” you can actually see how the air current is blowing. Aside from this being a great tool to physically play the wind, when you actually see the air current it really helps to teach you some of the secrets of deer movement. Cattail duff or milkweed seeds also work great for this. Milkweed seed is my favorite – the light fluffy “puff balls” will easily float on the breeze and can be seen from further away than the other options. Once you find a good spot, it’s probably a good idea to set up multiple stand locations so that you can play different wind directions and conditions, yet hunt the same deer. At a given time, I may have as many as a dozen different stand locations to pursue one specific buck. This way you won’t burn a stand and ruin your chances at a mature buck by pushing your luck and hunting a site when the conditions aren’t in your favor, which is NEVER a good idea. More bucks are harvested each year while hunting from treestands than by any other method. If you examine the site’s topography and structure, and then take the wind and thermal into consideration, success will come for you.

With a wind detection tool you can puff fine particles into the air and actually see how the air current is flowing and how smells are being carried to a deer. (Photo Credit: Todd Amenrud)


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December 2021


Asian Venison Tacos INGREDIENTS 8 Tablespoons soy sauce, divided 6 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided 1-1/2 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 4 Tablespoons honey, divided 2 Tablespoons lime juice 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce 1 Tablespoon red pepper paste 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar 2 cloves garlic smashed 1- 1/2 pounds venison hindquarter sliced in half horizontally 12 mini flour tortillas 4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce 1/4 cup shredded Napa cabbage 1/4 cup shredded red cabbage 10 scallions sliced on the bias INSTRUCTIONS 1. For marinade, combine 5 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Coat the venison with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 2. Meanwhile, prepare the Cabbage Dressing and the Korean Taco Sauce. For the Cabbage Dressing, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 ta38

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blespoon honey, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and lime juice in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside. 3. For the Korean Taco Sauce, combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, the 3 remaining tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, hoisin sauce, red pepper paste, rice wine vinegar, and garlic in a medium bowl. 4. Remove venison from refrigerator. Heat cast-iron skillet until smoking hot, and then add both pieces of venison. Brown for 3 minutes. Turn over for another 2 to 3 minutes until medium rare. Transfer venison to a cutting board and let rest. 5. Meanwhile, place 3 tortillas in a large, dry, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until pliable, about 20 seconds per side. Repeat with remaining tortillas. 6. Add lettuce, cabbage, and scallions to bowl with Cabbage Dressing. Toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. 7. Cut venison into strips across the bias. 8. Fill tortillas with cabbage mixture, venison, and drizzle with Korean Taco Sauce.

About Stacy Lyn Harris Stacy Lyn Harris is a best-selling cookbook author, blogger, TV personality, public speaker, wife and mother of seven children. She currently lives in Pike Road, Alabama, with her husband Scott and their children. Stacy Lyn regularly appears on cable and broadcast television as a guest chef and sustainable living expert. Her critically-acclaimed “Harvest Cookbook” was published in 2017 and contains many of her family’s favorite recipes, along with stories from her life growing up in the Black Belt and tips she’s learned along the way.

FUTURE LEADERS PROGRAM Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc. For more information on this program please contact Samantha Hendricks at

AFC’s Future Leaders Program is designed to provide our cooperative system the next generation of key employees, equipped to handle the challenges of agribusiness management. FLPs will be exposed to all aspects of the Co-op, as well as the opportunity to attend organized training sessions. Through a variety of store experience and continued education, the FLPs will gain the tools needed to be successful in the agribusiness sector. Continuing Education Customer Service Crop Nutrients and Feed Team Building Merchandising Sales and Finance


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December 2021


Alabama Barn Quilt Trail What started as an art of necessity has become art on the country roads of Alabama

Dallas Balch Barn Killen, Alabama “Tumbling Star”


o you have a beautiful, old quilt in the back of your closet? The kind that has a quilt pattern unique and special to your family? When you think of a quilt that has been passed down from generation to generation, you may not realize the history behind it and patchwork itself. “Patchwork can be traced as far back as medieval times. It was brought to this country by immigrants and popularized out of necessity,” said Dale Robinson, Alabama Barn Quilt Trail President. “They fulfilled the need to stay warm on cold winter nights. It wasn’t until late in the 20th century that quilting began to be recognized as an art form.” The Alabama Barn Quilt Trail is bringing this art form to the country roads of Alabama to give new life to historic barns. These classic, old barns have unique and colorful quilt squares painted and displayed on them for the public to enjoy. “The purpose of the Trail is to promote agriculture and agritourism, as well as preserving the history and architecture of the old barns,” said Regina Painter, Founder of the Alabama Barn Quilt Trail. “We want to promote the art and history of the old quilts.” The idea originated in Adams County, Ohio by Donna Sue Groves in 2001 and spread to other states. “The first time I saw these blocks was in Tennessee around 2013 when I visited a quilt show and saw them on some barns,” Painter added. “As a fabric quilter, I loved them and wanted to see them in Alabama.”


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Bill and Vickie Pruett Barn Cullman, Alabama

Rick and Rhonda Moultrie Barn Tuscumbia, Alabama “Patriotic Star”

Ricky Aycock Barn Tuscumbia, Alabama “Log Cabin”

The first block of the Alabama Quilt Trail was hung in December 2015 on the barn of Mr. and Mrs. Dallas Balch in Killen, Alabama. “It beautifies the countryside even more,” Painter said. “It creates a scavenger hunt of sorts for men and women, young and old, to participate in and enjoy together. It maps a path across less-traveled areas to give visitors an opportunity to see the countryside.” The goal is to bring tourists into the state of Alabama to tour the trail with the hopes of patronizing restaurants, gas stations and other local businesses and benefit the economy. “It’s hard to quantify the benefit of the trail but we can attest to the number of emails, Facebook messages and comments we receive every day,” Robinson said. “In that respect, we know that the trail is indeed bringing visitors from all over the U.S.” Anyone can qualify to have a barn quilt block on the trail. “The main criteria are that the prospective applicant’s barn must be clearly visible from a public road and offer a safe place for the public to pull off and take pictures,” Robinson said. “Other than that, we like for the barn to be in good repair and the area around the barn to be neat. We prefer the old wooden barns, but we have many metal barns and sheds on the trail too.” The quilt patterns must be taken from traditional quilt designs. “We encourage applicants to look for an old family quilt that we can replicate for their pattern,” Robinson added. “That makes their barn quilt more special to the family.” The quilt blocks are hand painted for each individual barn and if you don’t have a barn to participate, the Barn Quilt Trail offers a barn quilt painting class for anyone interested in painting their own block. Partici-

Charles Rose Barn Moulton, Alabama

pants choose a pattern and the size block they want. “The classes are extremely popular and sell out quickly,” Robinson said. Historic, wood barns are disappearing from America’s landscape and most are being replaced by steel buildings. “By placing hand painted replicas of traditional quilt blocks, the Barn Quilt Trail hopes to bring attention to these old barns, as well as the old family quilt,” Robinson added. “And by doing so, we might spark interest in preserving these historical structures and quilts.” For more information on the Alabama Barn Quilt Trail visit or find them on Facebook. See Quilt Trail Map on page 42-43 for locations of all Quilt Barns in Alabama.

Don Wade Barn Killen, Alabama “Glory Star”

December 2021


11 100 5 57 113 74 14 15 2 36 4 16 30 37 56 85 26 49 32 1 33 25 6 67 84 52 39 101 42 3 9 34 40 83 20 61 78 43 7 8 10 23 73 104 90 108 69 75 21 95 38 114 47 99 96 79 27 12 18 77 45 112 59 48 98 51 22 13 105 103 106 80 94 19 64 91 50 89 110 88 66 92 65 72 35 93 109 111 86 41 76 24 107 53 63 28 31 54 82 87 68


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Location Map Map numbers shown are approximate. Please refer to the address in the list below for exact locations.

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1. The May Barn 8000 County Road 200, Florence, AL 35633 2. Dallas Balch Barn 105 County Road 431, Killen, AL 35645 3. Don Wade Barn 6401 County Road 25, Killen, AL 35645 4. Charlie Thompson Barn 3719 Co Road 48, Lexington, AL 35648 5. Dunhoff Barn 544 State Line Road, Loretto, TN 38467 6. Opal Romine Barn 8761 Hwy 207, Anderson, AL 35610 7. Lovelace Barn 5260 County Road 41, Florence, AL 35633 8. Mark & Tia Waddell Barn 50 County Road 226, Florence, Al 35633 9. Doug & Doris Hamner Barn 2312 Highway 64, Killen, AL 35645 10. Fran and Kenneth Michael Barn 2281 County Road 33, Killen, AL 35645 11. Geraldine Smith Barn 7810 Hwy 207, Anderson, AL 35610 12. Charles and Aileen Robinson Shed 7441 County Road 200, Florence, AL 35633 13. Pam and Chuck Erickson Shed 1393 Albert Mann Road, New Hope, AL 35670 14. Michael and Anna Brown Barn 13250 County Road 8, Florence, AL 35633 (2 Blocks) 15. Rick & Rhonda Moultrie Barn 105 Reid Avenue, Tuscumbia, AL 35674


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16. Kelly & Eula Carter Barn 8425 Alabama Highway 101, Lexington, AL 35648 17. Caperton Shed 5703 Coosa Co Rd 56, Weogufka, AL 35183 18. Ricky and Wanda Hargett Barn 12516 Al Hwy 187, Russellville, AL 35654 19. David and Marilyn Jordan Barn 1661 Highway 177, Russellville, AL 35654 20. Mark and Amanda Sharp Barn 670 Co Road 259, Florence, AL 35633 21. Waldon James Barn 4160 Hawk Pride Mountain Road, Tuscumbia, AL 35674 22. Ricky Aycock Barn 3770 Old Highway 20, Tuscumbia, AL 35674 23. Rachel R. Robinson 300 Hwy. 64, Killen, AL 35645 24. Frank & Kim Whitman 1249 County Road 1319, Cullman, AL 35055 25. Coussons Hardware & Convenience 5221 US-72, Killen, AL 35645 26. Farm House Sanctuary 8775 Co Rd 5, Florence, AL 35633 (7 Blocks) 27. Paul and Sheryl Hester Barn 4055 Hawk Pride Mountain Road, Tuscumbia, AL 35674 28. Wade Nixon Barn 1662 Sentry Road, Hamilton, AL 35570 29. Adam & Ashley Buchanan Shed 16 Dixie Lane, Vincent, AL 30. Barker Home Place 21000 Lovell Road, Athens, AL

31. Roland & Teresa Harris Barn 1195 Sentry Road, Hamilton, AL 32. Daniel & Chelsea Robinson Barn 22659 Bridges Road, Toney, AL 33. Anthony & Kitty Hackney Barn 34 County Road 430, Killen, AL 34. Chuck & Diane Craig Barn 75 County Road 566, Rogersville, AL 35. James Duke Barn 775 Hidden Acres Way, Hamilton, AL (5 Blocks) 36. Bill Steen Barn 7940 Highway 72, Killen, AL 37. Larry & Jeanette Thornton Barn 24354 Cotton Belt Road, Elkmont, AL 38. Depew Nash Barn 160 County Road 165, Rogersville, AL 39. Lawrence & Janice Smith Grain Silo 715 County Road 222, Florence, AL 40. Randy Bates Barn 105672 US Hwy 72, Athens, AL 41. Darlene Norris Barn 1741 County Road 1682, Holly Pond, AL 42. Joe Dickerson Barn 6906 County Road 25, Killen, AL 43. J.B. Harris Barn Fennel Road, Leighton, AL 45. J.B. Harris Office 6339 Alabama Hwy 157, Leighton, AL 46. Fort Mitchell Historic Landmark 561 Highway 165, Fort Mitchell, AL 47. Charles Rose Barn 720 County Road 150, Moulton, AL (4 Blocks) 48. Louallen Farms 1974 County Road 177, Moulton, AL 49. Isom’s Orchard 24012 US Hwy 72, Athens, AL 50. Juanita Womack Barn 2382 Nat Key Road, Falkville, AL 51. Sherry Stone Barn 1244 Church Street, Boaz, AL 52. Don & Chris Murdock 14607 AL Highway 117, Henagar, AL 53. Kimberlee Hamrick Block 320 Graves Cemetery Rd., Blountsville, AL 54. Travis and April Sharpe Barn 180 County Road 848, Logan, AL 35098 55. Charlotte Doster Barn 1005 County Road 112, Columbia, AL (2 Blocks) 56. Gayle Black Barn 11185 Snake Road, Athens, AL 57. Rickey & Pam Ritter Barn 6067 County Road 51, Lexington, AL 58. Todd Farms 19326 US Highway 431 S., Headland, AL 36345 59. Louise Sanderson Barn 527 Rainbow Avenue, Rainsville, AL 35976 60. Bethany Johnson Barn 251 County Road 39, Woodland, AL 36280 61. Donna Doll Barn 5521 County Road 21, Scottsboro, AL 35768 62. Max Till Barn 8683 County Road 7, Repton, AL 36475 63. Vince & Melissa Freeman 1746 Greenbrier Drive, Cullman, AL 64. Lucy Warhurst 4630 County Road 48, Russellville, AL 35654 65. Carol Glass 2603 County Road 244, Russellville, AL 35654 66. Lana Flannagin 1168 County Road 58, Moulton, AL 35650 67. Ernest and Ann Brooks 388 County Road 65, in Killen, AL 68. Ashville House Quilt Shop 35 3rd Street, Ashville, AL 35953 (3 Blocks) 69. Lee & Kimberly Johnson 260 Petty Circle, Scottsboro, AL 35678 70. Vernon & Hilda Baggett 3139 County Road 15, Repton, AL 36475 71. Simmey & Teresa Brickhouse 777 County Road 11, Repton, AL 36475 72. Cook Farms 984 Todd Ridge Road, Albertville, AL 35951 (2 Blocks) 73. Angie Kennedy 7401 Co.Rd. 31, Killen, AL 35645

74. Don & Diane Robinson 715 County Road 277, Florence, AL 35633 75. Alvin & Jackie Poss 332 County Road 123, Rogersville, AL 35652 76. Bill & Vickie Pruett 2766 County Road 747, Cullman, AL 35058 77. Myra Lang 2309 Brashers Chapel Road, Guntersville, AL 3597 78. Ralph & Linda Hardee 324 County Road 22, Pisgah, AL (4 Blocks) 79. Cathy Frick 8634 County Road 19, Grove Oak, AL 80. Lisa Sulkowski 4475 County Road 106, Mentone, AL 35984 81. Danny & Nicole Smith 766 Tabernacle Road, Monroeville, AL 36460 82. Mandy Barnett Cole 514 Valley Drive, Attalla, AL 83. Helen May 6585 County Road 200, Florence, AL 35633 84. Naydene Cook 4261 Co Rd 60, Pisgah, AL 35765 85. Paul & Anne Bernauer 57 St. Florian Road, Florence AL 35634 86. Justin & Sheerah Pruett 290 County Road 421, Cullman AL 87. Jennifer McCracken 1750 Little Wills Valley Rd., Attalla, AL 35956 88. Wilson’s Fabric Outlet 1524 US-431, Boaz, AL 35957 (2 Blocks) 89. James L. Parker 169 Parker Road, Union Grove, AL 35175 90. Brian & Beverly Meeks 375 Peck Sutton Road, Grant, AL 35747 91. Opal Horton 1680 Old Horton Rd, Albertville, AL 35950 92. Randy & Joquitta Posey 137 Scott Dr, Cullman, AL 35055 93. Tommy & Sherry Nix 207 Bunt Stancil Rd, Spruce Pine, AL 35585 94. Jimmy & Ann Gillentine 1140 Buchanan Peninsula Rd, Cherokee, AL 35616 95. Lou Ann Poole 379 Butler Ln New Hope, AL 35760 96. Henry & Connie King 3223 Merrill Mountain Road, Grant, AL. 35747 97. McMillan Family (Meadowlake Farms) 10145 Stemley Road, Talladega, AL 35160 98. Linda Barnes 831 Alexander Road, Boaz, AL 35956 99. Rudy & Margie Wooten 2055 Hwy 231, Arab, Al. 35016 (3 Blocks) 100. Ricketts/Adomyetz Barn 1201 County Road 71, Killen, AL 35645 (2 Blocks) 101. McCrary Farms/McVille Manor. 356 McVille Lane, Huntsville, AL 35811 102. Birmingham Zoo 2630 Cahaba Road, Birmingham AL 35223 103. Jennifer Plunkett 3731 Brow Road, Boaz, AL 35956 104. David & Patsy Davis 1972 County Road 15, Boaz, AL 35957 105. Kate White 385 Snider Road, Guntersville, AL 106. David Richards 14339 Co Rd 52, Geraldine, AL 107. Dr. Paul Protz 23 Co Rd 24, Crossville Al. 108. John and BethAnn Ziebarth 1444 Honeycomb Road, Grant, AL 35747 (3 Blocks) 109. Jima Jonus 4055 McVille Road, Boaz, AL 35957 110. Marvin Jolley 6539 McVille Road, Albertville, AL 35951 111. Byars Family 443 Blue Bird Trail, Albertville, AL 35951 112. Jim Burleson 768 Lemmond Road, Somerville, AL 35670 113. SMJ Farms Barn 700 County Road 111, Killen, AL 35645 114. Mike & Jan Gillespie Barn 3874 County Road 434, Moulton AL 35650

December 2021


Angie and Glenn pose for a Christmas photo with their three grandsons, in front of the Superhero Christmas tree created by Angie.



Angie Dunnam thinks all children should have an adult who believes the sun rises and sets on them. Angie wants to be that person to her three grandsons. She plans fun activities to make Christmas a magical memory for her grandsons.

44 44 Cooperative Cooperative Farming Farming News News

ngie Dunnam believes that every act of love lives on forever. You see, Angie is a grandmother to three young boys, who are the joys of her life. The boys call her “Cookie” and spending time with them is like Christmas all year long for Angie! In fact, when Christmas comes, she doesn’t ask for much, because she knows she already has the greatest gifts she could ever receive. Angie Dunnam lives in the small farming community of New Prospect, between Chilton and Coffeeville, Alabama. She is married to Glenn Dunnam, a contractor and pastor of New Prospect Baptist Church. The couple have two children, who have blessed them with three grandsons. The boys refer to the Dunnam home as “Cookie’s house,” because Angie has created special areas just for their entertainment. In one bedroom, she has a “book nook,” filled with books, carefully selected for each grandson’s interests. In the sunroom, Glenn and Clayton (the oldest grandson) have built a teepee for the kids to hang out and play. In her kitchen, Angie

keeps a small oval table with a battery-operated train to entertain the boys while she cooks. In the middle of that table is a candy oasis, packed with the boys’ favorite goodies. “Cookie’s house” is a child’s delight with treats in many places, all right at the eye levels of three little boys. “I was ‘raising’ my kids,” she laughed, “but these are my grands, so I can sugar ‘em up and send ‘em home!” Outside, Angie has created “fun stations” throughout the yard. In one area, she has a dinosaur garden; in another, “CRC Farm” (for Clayton, Raylon and Canaan); and in still another, a “Mud Kitchen,” where the boys can “cook” with real mud. “Little boys are supposed to get dirty,” she laughed. “When they come to my house, I want them to enjoy their visit and remember the things they did with me. That’s why I keep plenty of things to entertain them.” When Christmas rolls around, however, Angie Dun-

nam transforms into “Cookie - in overdrive!” In January, she starts her yearlong quest to gather and screenshot hundreds of fun, simple, low-cost ideas for her boys’ Christmas surprises. Right after Thanksgiving, Cookie and the boys go to work, creating a magical Christmas wonderland! Cookie’s Christmas trees are always masterpieces, and she keeps her plans a secret until her big reveal! Last year, her tree had a “Super Hero” theme, with blue lights, red balls and matching stars. Hanging on the branches were masks of Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Hulk and Batman. Beneath, she had placed a replica of Gotham City, complete with standing characters for the boys to sit and play. This year, she has used a woodlands theme with forest animals galore. The boys are avid outdoorsmen, so she has transformed her sunroom into a huge forest, filled with animals and seasonal decorations. Her tree, however, was the real surprise! For the first time, Angie used a live tree that Glenn had cut for her. She took the top of a discarded plastic tree and

Angie Dunnam’s home is “grandkid” friendly. In her kitchen, a table holds a train set and a “goodie depot” so the boys can play and snack while Angie cooks.

Sitting in the steps with Cookie are (l to R) Clayton Paul, Angie Dunnam, holding Canaan Dunnam, and Raylon Hadley.

December 2021


attached it to look like a beaver had chewed the top off, causing it to collapse to the side. Sitting beneath the tree, looking smugly at his artistry was an adorable beaver! Her grands loved it! Many of Angie’s fun times revolve around preparing Christmas food together. The boys make snow globe cookies, snowman bark, Cookie Monster cupcakes with Oreo mouths, reindeer out of pretzels and M&Ms, snowmen out of marshmallows (to dip in their hot chocolate) and much more. One of their annual projects is putting together a graham cracker Choo-Choo train. First, Cookie makes the basic frame, and then each grandson decorates his own car. Their masterpieces become part of Cookie’s annual Christmas decor. Holiday breakfasts at Cookie’s house are very special. The boys decorate their pancakes and waffles to look like Santa, using whipped cream and fruit, and Cookie prepares exactly what they like. “I love to see the smiles on their faces,” she said proudly. “They’re so grateful for anything.” Christmas gifts are another special thrill, but Cookie goes a step farther. She surprises the boys by stacking all their gifts together to create special holiday characters, like snowmen, reindeer or Santas. The boys never know what to expect, because no two years are ever the same, and Cookie keeps everything a secret until it is time to unwrap their gifts! “The wonder in their eyes amazes me!” she added. “They love all of this!”

Clayton Paul helps his brother, Raylon Hadley, to put whipped topping on his Christmas train. Raylon then decorates with M&Ms, sprinkles and other candies.

Decorating Cookie’s home is another holiday tradition for the boys. This year, Angie had pre-cut the pieces, so the boys could easily create snowmen on all her doors. They also fashioned woodland art pieces by painting their feet, stepping onto paper and then adding antlers for their personal reindeer pictures, which now adorn Cookie’s walls. Another seasonal project

Three generations of the Dunnam family enjoy their Christmas traditions together. Glenn Dunnam reads the Bible, and the family celebrates the birth of Christ. (L to R) Clayton Hadley, Candice Hadley, Angie Dunnam, Glenn Dunnam, Clayton Paul, Raylon Hadley, Corwren Dunnam, Christopher Dunnam, and Canaan Dunnam.


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The boys helped Cookie create these reindeer treats for a Christmas event. They fit her forest theme, and the boys decorated them.

was pinecone trees in Styrofoam cups, which the boys decorated with their own special touches. They also made snow from baking soda and conditioner and then created their own snowmen. “I want them to use their imaginations and learn at the same time,” she smiled, “but I always learn more from them than they do from me!”

Angie Dunnam believes that her grandsons should touch and handle Christmas decorations that are special to her. For example, she has two Nativities that the boys put out each year. She has always allowed them to play with each character, and she has shared Bible stories, so that each child truly understands the birth of Jesus. She also allows the boys to set up her gingerbread houses on a lower cabinet, where they can play with each one. On Christmas Eve, the Dunnam family carries on a special tradition, started many years ago. Glenn reads the Christmas story, and together, the family prays and talks about the true meaning of Christmas. Afterward, family members enjoy a special birthday cake, baked just for Jesus by Cookie and the boys. Being together, sharing good times and making special memories are most important to this family, because these moments will become the stories that the boys pass on to their own children. “I believe every child needs at least one person in their life who thinks the sun rises, and the moon sets with them!” Cookie said. “I want to be that person to my grandsons!” Angie Dunnam gives selflessly of herself to bring happiness to others. She is a devoted grandmother whose unconditional love shows three little boys the real meaning of Christmas.

Al abam a Beef Cattle Im pr ovem ent Association’s

North Alabama Bull Evaluation Center Sale Saturday, December 11 at 12:00 Noon Cullman Stockyards, Cullman

Come Build Your Herd on 49 Years of Trusted Per formance Data Angus, Charolais, Hereford, Simmental & Simmental Composite Bulls A LS O F E AT U RED : B C I A G E NET I C V E RIF IED R EP LA CE MENT H E IFE RS For More Information, Contact: Michelle Elmore (205) 287-1080 Gifts for the Dunnam grands were hidden inside these cute snowmen.

December 2021


Spice Up Your Holiday with

Christmas Carnitas L AU R A T U C K E R


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When planning your Christmas dinner menu, what foods typically come to your mind? A traditional Southern Christmas dinner usually consists of ham or turkey, enough casseroles to feed a small army and an array of homemade desserts that will undoubtedly put you into a blissful food coma that can only be remedied by an afternoon nap on the couch. For most of us, Christmas dinner is deeply rooted with family traditions and heirloom recipes that have been passed down for many years. We tend to feel a little nostalgic as we pile on the ham and a second helping of dressing and green bean casserole onto our plate, knowing that these foods are always bringing us a little comfort and joy during the holiday season. But what if I told you that it’s okay to switch things up a little bit? Hang with me here – I know that may sound a little bit crazy to some. The idea of not doing what you’ve always done may not sound nearly as exhilarating to others as it does to me, and I completely understand that. I love and respect family traditions, and nothing speaks truer to my heart than diving into a plate full of Southern food during the holidays, but there’s an abundance of truth in the old saying, “Variety is the spice of life.” I am certainly not suggesting that you ditch the family traditions, but rather add a little something unconventional or unexpected to your holiday menu! Many families find themselves having multiple holiday dinners with extended family, which can mean having the same or similar meals over and over again. In situations like this, I think it’s a great idea to switch things up a bit and serve something that may not typically be considered a traditional Christmas dinner. These Christmas Carnitas, for example, are perfect for feeding a small crowd and feature a beautiful variety of colorful and fresh ingredients that are perfect for the cheery holiday season! Carnitas are very similar to a taco in how they’re served, but differ from traditional tacos in the cut of meat that is used. Carnitas are traditionally made using pork shoulder that is cooked low and slow, creating a beautiful fork-tender meat that nearly melts

in your mouth. I chose to zhuzh this dish up a little and make the carnitas festive by only choosing Christmas-colored toppings such as red and green bell peppers, fresh salsa, Pico de Gallo, jalapenos, cilantro and crumbled cotija or queso fresco cheese to resemble fresh fallen snow - something we don’t typically see too often here in Alabama! The beauty of this meal is that the slow cooker takes care of the bulk of the work for you, freeing up more of your time to spend with family. Once you’ve got your pork shoulder simmering away in the slow cooker, all you’ll need to do is chop a few veggies and you’re good to go! Here’s what you’ll need to get started: December 2021


Christmas Carnitas Ingredients: For the carnitas: 4-5 pounds pork shoulder 1-1/2 cups vegetable or beef broth 1/2 cup orange juice 1/2 cup salsa 5 teaspoons minced garlic 1 Tablespoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon oregano For the toppings (think Christmas colors!): Corn tortillas Red and green bell peppers, diced Fresh jalapenos Cherry tomatoes, cut in half or diced Pico de gallo or fresh salsa Cilantro Lime wedges Guacamole Crumbled cotija or queso fresco cheese Sour cream

Instructions: Place pork shoulder into the slow cooker and pour wet ingredients over the meat. Sprinkle remaining herbs and spices over the pork shoulder, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Prep your vegetables ahead of time by pre-slicing and dicing and arrange on a platter for people to easily build their own carnitas. When the pork shoulder is finished cooking, remove from slow cooker and drain off excess liquid. Place meat in a serving dish, shred and serve. Be sure to heat up the tortillas before serving as well! My Christmas wish for you this season is that you get to spend quality time with your loved ones at the dinner table - especially after the unprecedented times we’ve been facing over the last year and a half. Fellowship, laugh, and enjoy a home-cooked meal and the company of others, no matter if you’re serving up a traditional ham or turkey, or if you’re going a less-traditional route and cooking up something fun and unique. Food has such a magical way of bringing us all together to experience something wonderful that goes far beyond what’s on the plate, and that’s truly something to be excited about this holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my table to yours!


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A Tropical Christmas Tree Norfolk Island pine (Auracaria heterophylla) is a houseplant often sold during the Christmas season because it looks a bit like a Christmas tree – especially when decorated with lights and ornaments. Small trees do well on a table top, and larger ones make good floor specimens that then remain as a nice houseplant after the holidays. Not really a pine, this tree is a tropical relative of the monkey puzzle tree. In New Zealand, where it is native, trees grow to 200 feet tall. No worries, it won’t burst through the roof. Here it makes a nice potted plant that must be protected from freezing weather, but will stand well on a patio in spring, summer and fall. Indoors it needs bright light on a sun porch or south-facing window. If you are looking for something a little different for another room of the house, or even as a gift for a houseplant-loving friend, consider the bright-green-needled, Norfolk Island pine.

too. Seedlings are sometimes seen in produce departments for folks to include in a morning smoothie. Trays of wheat seedlings sown so thickly that they look like sod also provide a munchy for cats and dogs that live exclusively indoors. And for gardeners, it’s also a pretty, tall, wintertime green grass for containers! Planted in fall or late winter, the seedlings grow during mild weather to make a nice pot of green grass through winter and early spring. The green is so fresh and bright that it doesn’t matter if there are no flowers. And the tall, grassy texture is interesting and different for use as a winter annual. So, if you are looking for something different for an empty garden pot, sprinkle some wheat seeds into a pot and see what you get.



Norfolk Island pine makes a good houseplant Christmas tree.

Wheat in a Container? A plant with many faces, wheat isn’t just about the grain. Wheatgrass, the tender young seedling leaves of wheat plants, are regarded as a healthy dietary supplement for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They contain many vitamins and minerals,

Wheat makes a pretty annual grass for winter and early spring.

December 2021


These Herbs Can Take a Chill With a little help from their friends, a few culinary herbs will yield regular harvests of leaves through winter. Even a small plant can be useful since it is used only a pinch at a time. Although garden centers may not have herbs at this time, potted plants are often found in supermarket produce sections at this time of year. It’s a logical way to market fresh herbs to cooks, but we gardeners know how to take them further. These plants will be tender because they have come out of heated environments, but the naturally hardiest species – dill, rosemary, cilantro, thyme and mint—can be carefully moved to a cold frame, greenhouse, or low tunnel during a mild spell to acclimate and grow through winter. They will respond with spring-like growth, especially after the days grow longer. In spring, the rosemary and thyme, which are perennial, can be moved to permanent places in the garden. The dill and cilantro are annuals, so they will bloom and die. Mint is best moved to a container because its runners can spread like a weed. Next winter, the garden-acclimated mint, thyme and rosemary will withstand frost.

Hummingbird feeders make a nice gift.

Help Greens Through Winter The on-and-off nature of winters can be hard on leafy greens. A freeze following a period of unseasonably warm weather is more likely to damage lettuce, mustard, and other leafy greens than a slow, steady chill. And, when we experience an unseasonably long cold spell, winter greens such as lettuce, mustard, collards, and many others just don’t grow much, especially during the shortest days. However, a little help from a frost cloth can provide just enough freeze protection or extra warmth to keep the plants going. Once the days start to lengthen, the plants that have been protected respond with continued growth yielding well into spring. We cover all of our greens under a low tunnel fashioned from gray, ½-inch-diameter, UV-sunlight-stable, schedule 40 PVC conduit as the support for a 7-foot-wide length of frost cloth. To make the hoop, each end of the PVC length simply slips over a short piece of rebar pushed into the ground a few inches.

Rosemary is one of the most cold-hardy herbs.

A Good, Easy Gardener Gift No matter how hard they might be to buy for, most gardeners are usually happy with a Christmas present that they can use outdoors. This year consider a simple bird feeder to add to the list of potential gifts. Hummingbird feeders are especially economical for the recipient because sugar water is much more economical than bird seed. It takes only one cup of sugar to make a quart of sugar water that will last for several days. It a nice touch to include an ant moat that can be the difference between success and frustration by keeping ants from getting to the sweet treat inside the feeder. 52

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It’s easy to make a low tunnel to protect greens.




“When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was a founding father who was instrumental in America’s early beginnings. Jefferson was considered the main drafter of the Declaration of Independence and on July 4, Congress approved the final draft. Ironically, Jefferson died on July 4, 1826. During his lifetime, Jefferson was governor of Virginia in 1779, became a U.S. minister to France in 1785, was elected vice president under President John Adams in 1796, was elected president in 1800, doubled the size of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in

Jefferson Memorial, Washington D.C.

1803. This led to the Lewis and Clark expedition known as the Corps of Discovery being charged with exploring the Louisiana Purchase and the Pacific Northwest. In addition to his contributions to American Government, Jefferson added a few items to the American plate. Carrying his love of French food back to America, we now have ice cream, macaroni and cheese, and French fries, thanks to Jefferson. Many more interesting facts about Thomas Jefferson can be found at


December 2021


Quick Zero in Six Shots December is a great time to get a quick shot at a coyote while you are feeding cows or you might get a shot at a deer. The last thing you want to happen is to have your sights be off on your scope. If the rifle bounces around in your truck or you accidentally drop it, the scope can get off sight. A quick way to sight in or zero the scope on your hunting rifle is to set up a target at 25 yards. Place the gun in a solid position on a shooting table in a gun vise or use sandbags to hold the rifle steady. Fire three rounds after aligning the cross hairs on the bull’s-eye. Look through the scope to see where the three bullets hit. While the rifle is in an unmovable position, move the cross hairs on the scope with the windage and elevation adjustment until the cross hairs line up in the center of the three bullet holes. The gun should be roughly sighted in at this point. Fire three more shots to determine if your scope is exactly on target. This way, you can sight your rifle in with no more than six shots, and this will save you

money. Further shots may be required to zero the gun in at 100 yards and beyond.

Homemade Mineral Feeder Mineral feeders for cattle are expensive. They can range from $200 to $300, and if they are made of steel frames, they will corrode and rust out quickly due to the salt. The food-grade 55-gallon drums make an excellent mineral feeder for suspending from rafters or tree limbs. With nothing more than a reciprocating saw, a hanging bracket and a section of rope, you can build one for the cost of a used barrel.

A food-grade 55-gallon plastic drum makes an ideal mineral feeder.

As you saw out the hole with a reciprocating saw, leave the top portion of the hole attached. This upper flap will act as an awning or rain shield. Make sure the hole is large enough for cattle to stick their heads in with no obstructions.

Pasture Prescribed Burns With six bullets, you can zero your hunting rifle.


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December is an ideal time to conduct a prescribed burn on pastures. Just as forests get great benefits

A propane torch burner makes an efficient prescribed burn starter.

Creating small grazing paddocks allows cattle to more cleanly graze winter stockpile forage

from a burn, a pasture can get benefits as well. A prescribed burn can help eliminate annual warm-season weeds and seeds in overgrown fields, add nutrients to the soil, and create ideal conditions for spring growth of new plants. Before conducting a prescribed burn, make sure you have plenty of clean firebreaks. In addition, contact your local forestry commission for a burn permit. Next, check the weather conditions and wind speed the day of the burn. Finally, alert your neighbors and have plenty of water on hand in case the fire gets out of control. An ATV spray tank full of water can quickly extinguish escaping flames.

of the tougher grasses, and they will often consume more of the undesirable weeds they wouldn’t normally eat. Finally, in this densely-packed grazing style, you’ll get the added bonus of free nitrogen in the form of the cattle droppings. Be sure to rotate the cattle regularly so they graze the entire pasture. This December when you are celebrating the true meaning of Christmas with your friends and family, don’t forget to visit your local Co-op. It’s a great place to buy Christmas gifts for agriculturalists and outdoor enthusiasts.

Stockpile Winter Grazing Forage such as fescue, rye grass, and clover makes ideal winter grazing if it is stockpiled. Subdividing some paddocks with solar-powered electric fencing will allow you to get the most out of this winter forage. Subdividing into smaller paddocks forces cattle to clean graze the forage instead of picking and choosing. Even though some forage may be tougher, the intensive grazing model will force cattle to intake more

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perry County #3516

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cherokee County #3611

47+/- AC - This is the perfect business opportunity for someone who loves the outdoors and has a green thumb! Haynes Plant Farm is a 47+/- acre tract with a 60,000 square foot nursery/greenhouse operation. The farm is currently operating as an active, income producing business. Haynes primary focus is vegetable plant production for established customers from all over AL,TN,MS, and GA. $484,900

172+/- AC - Properties along the Cahaba River are rarely available for purchase, and this tract has approximately 1/2 mile of frontage on what is our longest free-flowing river in the state. The property lies along the east side of the river. The timber on this property is a good mixture of 20–25-year-old pine plantations, 4-8 year old pine plantation, and upland and bottomland hardwoods.$346,400

210+/- AC - Once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase over 200 acres of undeveloped & unrestricted property on beautiful Lake Martin. Imagine waking up every morning with a waterfront view and having endless options of how to spend the day on your property. You could launch the boat and spend the day out on the lake fishing or joyriding. If you like to hunt, you could ease your way through the mature pine and hardwood bottoms in search of a trophy deer in the fall or a weary old gobbler in the spring. $1,495,000

1472+/- AC - This is an extraordinarily rare opportunity to buy a large tract with long tern timber investment and recreational uses. There are numerous recreational opportunities on this property including deer hunting, turkey hunting, duck hunting in the duck swamp, ATV riding and more. The property has of 132+/- acres of hardwoods, 35.75+/- acres of natural pine, 90 acres of open productive land and 1126+/- of pine plantation in varying pre merch age classes planted. $2,395,250

blount County

932+/- AC - Large timber investment opportunity! The tract is comprised of different age classes of planted pine and mature hardwood stands. There is also an 8+/- acre pond and Little Chatahospee Creek flows through the property giving water access for the wildlife year-round. Scattered throughout the property are small food plots and there is a good road system that traverses the rolling topography allowing for ease of access. $1,958,040

1,153+/- AC - An incredible opportunity is available to own one of the highest points in Blount County, McAnnally Mountain! This is a mixture of pine and hardwood with road frontage and internal roads with an excellent deer and turkey population. $2,421,300 - SALE PENDING!

covington County #3522

30+/- AC - Property consists primarily of row crop farmland currently planted in corn. This property has the potential to make an excellent homesite for someone wanting to live in the country, build a home, and have their own open land to grow crops/garden, raise cattle, or just to hunt. $110,000

tallapoosa County #3499

304+/- AC - Boulder Creek Plantation is a well-managed and meticulously maintained wildlife preserve situated on 300+/- acres in north-central Tallapoosa Co, Alabama. Located just 10 miles from Alexander City, AL, 47 miles from Auburn, AL, 81 miles from Birmingham, Al, and a short distance to Lake Martin. $3,700,000

chambers County

clay County #3591

60+/- AC - About 55 of those are fenced and currently house cattle. There’s a small creek that runs through the middle of the property that makes it easily accessible for farm animals. Power, water, and County utilities are accessible on the Hwy 49 road frontage. There is also dirt road frontage across the back of the property on Stanford Circle. $220,000 NEW PRICE! $214,900

lownes County #3324

255+/- AC - This property has been managed to produce big deer, turkey, and ducks. There is a well established road system throughout the property making all areas easily accessible. $499,000 NEW PRICE! $382,500

Merry Christmas WISHING YOU A


RANDALL UPCHURCH PoultrySouth Co-Founder 256-239-5379


Cooperative Farming News


PoultrySouth Co-Founder 844-855-0680


Twinkling THE CO-OP PANTRY Lights

It seemed to me to be an awful lot of work for only about three or four weeks of use, and to me all those decorations just weren’t what Christmas was all about. Why did our new-to-us little church even bother? Maybe it was the time I grew up in, or maybe it was living in a rural area which made me ask such questions. I’m not sure. My parents always stressed that Christ was truly the reason for the season and all the hoopla wasn’t important. And maybe it was somehow tied to how some of those decorations of long ago, ALWAYS made me physically sick!

For the first few Christmases of my young life, EVERY CHRISTMAS NIGHT I wound up at our small rural hospital’s emergency room seeing our family doctor Dr. Wittmeier. Struggling to breathe, I sometimes wound up in an old-time oxygen tent whose shiny plastic was scary to a toddler who lived in the country. The first couple of years, the doctor and others figured my problems were just caused by the “excitement” of Christmas. But my skinny little frame really didn’t get that excited about much of anything. Then many trips to an “allergy specialist” in “far away” BirDecember 2021


mingham led to some other conclusions. mas was far from our minds. I came from a more We always spent Christmas Day at my grand- “reformed” back-to-the-basics Baptist Church while parents’ house in Oneonta, along with most of the Mack grew up in what can almost best be described others in the ever-growing family of their seven chil- as a worshipful small country church. dren, their spouses and numerous offspring like me. Then summer led to fall and fall led toward winter. Granny ALWAYS had a REAL Christmas tree, usually Our little church bulletin listed a time on a Wednesa cedar, which Grandpa carefully cut from a nearby day night for “decorating” the church. We went not wooded area. Guess who was allergic to that beau- knowing what to expect. tiful sparkling tree? Add to that allergy the fact that Big plastic tubs that had been stored elsewhere way back then many of my aunts and uncles smoked were brought in. Each one was filled with things des(this was well before the dangers of cigarettes were ignated for different areas of the sanctuary. Candle documented) and filled the house with those vapors arrangements were placed in each window. Small and you had the recipe for disaster – or the recipe white lights hung everywhere across the front it for a gasping preschooler to be raced to the hospital seemed. And a beautiful manger scene was placed after a day of merry-making. on the baby-grand piano I am privileged to play each So from then on, in our own house, we had an “ar- week, surrounded by fluffy clouds of lacy white fabtificial” tree and we didn’t put up ric intertwined with many more of many decorations because they those tiny white flickering lights. would collect dust which was It all looked nice and we enjoyed also a way my allergies could be them throughout the month of set off. A tree with giant ChristDecember. Then we all got togethAfter many mas lights (which wouldn’t work er and faced the task of stowing weeks of not if even one light had shorted out) them away in those big plastic and shiny Christmas bobbles tubs once again. Really didn’t knowing if I that we didn’t dare touch, or they mean all that much to either of us, would even be would break. Our only other decbut they did look pretty … but yes on this earth orations were my daddy’s work they WERE a lot of work! socks that we hung on the manThen came 2020. What a year! at Christmas, tle on Christmas Eve. Evidently I spent five and a half weeks each twinthose decorations were enough during August and September kling light because Santa always seemed fighting COVID. had a special to find our house which my alI was able to return to church lergist described in some of my in October 2020, but after hearing glow! old records (which I now have) as the minutes of a business meetbeing “in a rural hollow beside a ing (which I had attended) reread creek.” a few weeks later, I realized I didn’t Somewhere along that time, even remember being at those we got our manger scene. Back first few services! then you could get the most beautiful elaborate Soon the bulletin had a familiar announcement. figurines at the five and dime store. We had Mary, We would all meet to decorate the church! Joseph, baby Jesus in a manger, a cow, a donkey, I couldn’t be of much help so I mainly just sat in three wise men and a couple of shepherds (one with a pew while Mack and the other men climbed ladders a lamb across his shoulder) with several carefully to place the twinkling lights. I was able to place the painted sheep which surrounded them. There was a manger scene amid its fluffy white bed of twinkling little wooden barn to house them all and it was clear- lights atop the piano, with the figures now-safely ly beautiful! That first year I tucked a tiny plastic cat sheltered in a manger which Mack had built. AND I behind the manger, because in my mind a cat would don’t think I had ever seen anything so beautiful!!! surely be there worshiping too! That manger scene After many weeks of not knowing if I would even sat on our TV throughout all my growing-up years be on this earth at Christmas, each twinkling light (and I kept it until it was destroyed in my little fami- had a special glow! ly’s house fire back in 1983!). We would go to church on Sunday mornings and So when we joined our new little non-denomi- Sunday nights, and it was so peaceful and beautiful national church back in the spring of 2019, Christ- to sit amongst the lights and feel God’s Spirit filling 58

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our little building and our hearts. I was sad when everything had to be placed back in the many-colored rubber totes! I am writing this article in early October for you to read in December. And guess what? Last week in our Sunday bulletin there was a “look ahead” noting a time to get together to decorate the church I still don’t have all my strength back and haven’t regained all my energy, but I plan to be there to help all I can. And I’m already looking forward to those beautiful decorations and how they just exemplify God’s wonderful sacrifice to us by sending His only Son to die for us those many years ago. And I think that this year, instead of our Wednesday night services being held in the Fellowship Hall that we move them into the sanctuary for the month of December so that we can get those added days of enjoying those peace-filled decorations. I know that when Jesus was placed in that likely-straw-filled manger, there were no decorations adorning the walls. Not only were there no Christmas decorations, there were no nursery decorations of pink and blue, with animals, building blocks, and other designs to encourage the young parents faced with a tiny life to tend. But there was a star outside that shone so brightly it led folks to his whereabouts,

Jeff Register Building & Truss

even later, for weeks. And there was such a spectacle of angels singing and glowing in a nearby shepherd fold that they HAD to go into town to see what all the excitement was about. But most spectacular of all, was tiny baby Jesus. The animals in that cave-manger were aware I’m certain. Because all creation worships Him. And Mary’s heart was so full! She kept each special thought and word of encouragement and hid them in her heart. So whether you deck out your whole house, simply put up a tiny table-top tree, or have no decorations at all, this season is still for you! Each tiny light, each shiny ball, each wad of tinsel, or simply that warm feeling of God’s Spirit in your heart, all represent the same thing: God’s love for you! That little baby did not stay in the manger! “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) May your Christmas be simply-lived and Christfilled, from Mack and Suzy and all the critters at McCray’s Old Field Farm! (Suzy and Mack live on a small homestead in Blount County and can be reached on Facebook or at




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Holiday Season is not the time of the year you want a

Food-borne Illness

Preparing for the holidays, we will encounter a variety of sumptuous food offerings - from eggnog and unique cookies to appetizers and roasted meats. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) Food Safety Agents and website are offering recommendations to consumers to help them avoid foodborne illness while enjoying these seasonal feasts. From office parties to traditional get-togethers at home, many kinds of foods will be present throughout the month. People should remember food that has been sitting out for more than two hours invites bacterial growth which can lead to foodborne illness. Folks that are more at risk for foodborne illnesses are the young under the age of 5, the elderly and those with a weakened immune system who are going through treatments or have been in the hospital. The best thing to do is to follow the Four Basic Food Safety Steps when preparing food to help reduce foodborne illness. Those steps are: • Clean - Wash hands and surfaces often. • Separate - Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat and poultry apart from cooked foods. • Cook - Use a food thermometer to be sure meat and poultry are safely cooked. • Chill - Refrigerate or freeze promptly. 60

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The Holiday Buffet Foods that have been sitting out for too long on the buffet or table at holiday parties can cause foodborne illness. Many parties go on for several hours and food is often left at room temperature. Be wary of any foods - hot or cold - that have been left out for more than two hours. This is also known as the “Danger Zone” – when food is between 40ºF-140ºF it allows bacteria to multiply. Any perishable foods on the table that are not served with a heating source (chafing dishes or slow cookers) or chilling source (nesting serving dishes in


bowls of ice) should be discarded after remaining for two hours at room temperature. Safely cooked hot foods like turkey, ham, stuffing, chicken fingers and meatballs, should be served hot and replenished frequently. While on the buffet, hot foods should be kept at a temperature of at least 140 ºF. Cold foods, such as chicken salad or potato salad, should be served and kept cold - at or below 40ºF. A helpful hint is to prepare extra serving platters and dishes ahead of time, store them in the refrigerator or keep them hot in the oven (set at approximately 200250ºF) before serving.

Helpful Resources Alabama Cooperative Extension System Food Safety website and food blog and our Facebook site with Alabama Cooperative Extension Food Safety. Come Like our page to keep up-to-date on our program and Zoom offerings all throughout the year.

The Dessert Table Bacteria can also multiply quickly in moist desserts that contain dairy products. Keep eggnog, cheesecakes, cream pies and cakes with whippedcream or cream-cheese frostings refrigerated until serving time. Some of America’s favorite holiday foods may contain raw eggs or lightly cooked eggs. Most commercially-sold eggnog is pasteurized, meaning the mixture has been heated to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria that may have been present in the raw ingredients. However, if you’re making your own eggnog, be sure to use a recipe that calls for slowly heating the mixture to 160ºF. This will maintain the taste and texture while also killing bacteria. Do not allow children (or adults) to eat raw cookie dough or lick the beaters after mixing batter containing eggs. Raw eggs could be contaminated with Salmonella – a leading cause of foodborne illness.

There is no place like home for Food Safety is a handout covering food safety when shopping for foods, storing foods, cooking foods correctly, serving and storing leftover foods. ACES Local County Extension Office and Regional Food Safety and Quality Agents are available to answer questions you may have on Food Safety and Quality. Holiday Buffets Fact Sheet A concise onepage summary about common types of foodborne bacteria associated with holiday foods. The fact sheet also provides recommendations from USDA’s Meat and Poultry hotline that will help you have a safe holiday party. This is from USDA. Cooking For Groups Brochure Helps hosts of large dinner gatherings and parties prepare and serve food safely for large groups. This is from USDA. Fight BAC website There are many other food safety websites too that you can find great information on. Just be sure they are from a reliable source such as Extension or other educational sites. If you find yourself in a pickle and need some help with holiday food safety questions, please call your local County Extension Office or Angela Treadaway at 205-410-3696. December 2021


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Cooperative Farming News



The Christmas Guitar In 2010, I began volunteering my services at an addiction recovery program for men. The program required that these men spend one year away from all their addictive influences at a halfway house in Huntsville, Alabama. Every Monday night, I loaded my guitar and Bible into my truck and made the forty-mile drive to the halfway house. Each night I visited, I would conduct a Bible study with the men and encourage them in their journey to sobriety. Before each Bible study, I’d lead the men in a time of inspirational singing as I played my guitar. As the years went by, several of the men at the halfway house took a special interest in my guitar playing. Several of them told me of their desire to learn how to play the guitar. In 2014, there was one particular young man in the program who came up to me and asked, “When are you going to teach me how to play?” At first, I thought he was just making “small talk” with me, so

I didn’t give it much thought. But, as the months progressed, he continued to plead with me to teach him. So, when I saw that he was truly sincere about learning to play, I agreed to teach him a little bit each week after the Bible study was over. Now, the biggest obstacle to teaching him how to play the guitar was that he didn’t have a guitar of his own. So, I had to teach him on my guitar. It’s sort of difficult to show another person how to play a guitar if there aren’t two guitars in the room. I’d show him how to make a chord on my guitar, then hand the guitar to him, and he’d try to hold his fingers on the frets as I had shown him, but he’d forget the placement. So, I’d have to take the guitar back from him and show him again. We’d go back and forth like that frequently, so we didn’t get much accomplished since I only had a few minutes to teach him during each visit. Well, one Monday night, just a little over a week before Christmas, the young man asked me to show him some more chord progressions on my guitar. I looked at him and said, “We’re gonna have to get you a guitar for these guitar lessons to be effective!” I told him that I’d be

Since it was so close to Christmas, all of their used guitars were sold out. I was about to walk out of the store, but something inside me told me to inquire further. December 2021


on the lookout for a good used guitar for him so he could continue to practice even when I wasn’t around. I said, “If you’re serious about this, you need to pray that I can find a good, cheap guitar for you somewhere.” He agreed to do so, and I packed up my guitar and headed out. On my way home that night, I had to stop by a music store to pick up a new tuning key for my guitar. After paying for my merchandise, I decided to look around in the used guitar section to see if I could find one to buy for the young man at the halfway house. Since it was so close to Christmas, though, all of their used guitars were sold out. I was about to walk out of the store, but something inside me told me to inquire further. I asked the girl behind the counter, “Do you by chance have an old, used guitar hidden somewhere that you could sell to me pretty cheap?” She asked, “What do you need it for? Who will be playing it?” I told her about the young man at the halfway house who was recovering from drug addiction. She said, “We don’t have any in the store, but I personally have a good, old guitar at home that would be perfect for someone to learn on and practice on. It would be just right for this guy.” I asked, “So, how much do you want for it?” Her reply thrilled my soul. She said, “Oh, I’ll just give it to you for free. You see, I myself went through a drug recovery program just four years ago, and it changed my life. To give this guitar to this guy would be a way for me to ‘give back’ and help someone else out of the same mess I was once in.”

Now, I had no idea what that used guitar looked like or sounded like. But, the way things had lined up and worked out so perfectly, it was obvious to see God’s fingerprints all over the situation. To me, it was a “Christmas Miracle!” Less than one hour earlier, I had told the young man, “You need to pray that I can find a good cheap guitar for you somewhere.” Those prayers were answered quickly! It wasn’t just “cheap” ... it was “free!” The details still needed to be ironed out, though, since the young lady lived in Huntsville and I lived in Hartselle. She agreed to bring the guitar with her to the music store on the next Monday (just four days before Christmas) so I could pick it up on my way to the Bible study. Now, I had no idea what that used guitar looked like or sounded like. But, the way things had lined up and worked out so perfectly, it was obvious to see God’s fingerprints all over the situation. When I went to pick up the guitar that night, I was amazed at how beautiful the old 64

Cooperative Farming News

guitar looked. It had a shiny, emerald green, rosewood top that looked practically new ... and it sounded fantastic! I thanked the young lady for giving this beautiful gift to the young man she had never met before, and then I headed to the halfway house. Oh, that you could have seen the look on that young man’s face when I walked through the front door of the halfway house holding that guitar! As I handed it to him and wished him a Merry Christmas, he was thanking me over and over again, but I had to stop him. “I can’t take any credit for this,” I said. “You see this guitar is being given to you by a young lady who just four years ago was in the same situation you’re in right now. When I told her about you, she wanted to give this to you as her way of helping someone who’s in the same situation that she was in. Maybe four years from now you’ll be able to do the same thing for someone else.” What a beautiful Christmas Guitar story that turned out to be! That reminds me of another Christmas Guitar story that happened over four decades earlier for another young man who wanted to learn how to play the guitar. That young man woke up on Christmas morning 1978 to find a beautiful, classical guitar with a bow on it underneath the Christmas tree. That guitar became the young man’s constant companion. He learned to play it as he shut himself in his bedroom for hours at a time and diligently practiced week after week. When the young man became more adept at playing the guitar, his pastor asked him to lead the worship service at his home church. As the young man’s musical talents continued to develop, he was asked to play and sing at conferences and youth rallies. He would go on to lead worship services in congregations all across North Alabama. And, in the distant future, he would play his guitar at a drug recovery program for men, and would spark the musical interest of another young man who wanted to learn to play the guitar, just like he did. So, you see, the beauty of the first Christmas Guitar story I told is overlapped by two other stories. Had a young lady with a used guitar not recovered from her drug addiction, this story would have never been told. Nor would it have ever happened had a young man not received his own Christmas Guitar four decades earlier, and surrendered the use of that guitar in service to his Lord. You just never know how the story of your life will influence the story of someone else’s life! God is such an awesome conductor! He can use both our failures and our victories and blend them together into a beautiful story that will bring a blessing to other people’s lives. He is the One who orchestrated this story. You can trust Him to orchestrate the story of your life as well. Merry Christmas from Grazing Grace!


Garlic Bread Leftover Turkey Potpie 1 Tablespoon olive oil 5 ounces mushrooms, sliced 4 Tablespoons butter 1 onion, finely chopped (brown, white, yellow) 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 carrot, peeled, chopped into 1/3-inch pieces 4 Tablespoons flour (plain/all purpose) 2-1/2 cups milk 4 cups cooked chopped turkey or chicken 1-1/2 cups frozen peas 1 teaspoon chicken or vegetable stock powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper Garlic Bread Topping 4 Tablespoons salted butter 2 garlic cloves, minced 5 packed cups bread chunks 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated (optional) 1 cup mozzarella or other melting cheese, shredded or sliced (or enough slices to cover most of top)

Heat oven to 350 F. Topping: Stir together melted butter and garlic. Place bread chunks in a bowl, drizzle over butter, toss. Set aside. Brown mushrooms: heat oil in an ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until browned - about 4 minutes. Remove. Sauté garlic & onion: Lower heat to medium high. Melt butter in same skillet. Add onion and garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Add carrot then cook for 1 minute. Add flour, cook for 1 minute. You’ll have a pasty mix. Don’t worry if it looks dry (depends how sweaty your onions get). Make roux: while stirring, add half the milk and mix quickly to dissolve the paste into the liquid (this happens quite quickly). Add remaining liquid and stir. Add stock powder, salt and pepper, stir. Thicken sauce: Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring regularly. It should start steaming and bubbling a bit, and the sauce will thicken. Thickness test: coat back of wooden spoon, you should be able to draw a line across it. Add turkey, peas and mushrooms, and mix into sauce. Top with bread, spread to cover surface. Grate over Parmesan if using, top with melting cheese. Bake: Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until the cheese gets some brown spots. Tent foil over so it doesn’t stick to the cheese, then bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Creamy Broccoli Casserole 1-2 pounds broccoli florets, small to medium 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter 4 garlic cloves, minced 6 Tablespoons plain flour 2 cups milk, preferably warm 1-1/2 cups chicken broth/stock, preferably warm 1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese, freshly grated 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese Salt and pepper Topping 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1-1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted December 2021


Heat oven to 350 F. Mix topping ingredients in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute until it smells incredible. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. While whisking, slowly pour in half the milk. Once fully incorporated, whisk in the remaining milk plus the chicken broth. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, whisking every now and then and more towards the end, until the sauce thickens so that it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Turn off heat, add cheeses, stir in (don’t worry if it doesn’t melt fully). Then do a taste test and add a bit of salt if required. Add broccoli and stir well to coat. Pour into a casserole dish, pat down to fill. Sprinkle over topping, cover with foil then bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes until the topping is deep golden and the broccoli is tender. Stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Fondant Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes 3 pounds sweet potatoes, 3 thick ones 1-1/2 Tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted 1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil 3/4 teaspoon salt, kosher 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1- 1/4 cups chicken stock, low sodium (or vegetable stock) 1 garlic clove, finely minced Maple Butter Pecan Sauce 1/2 cup pure maple syrup 2 Tablespoons butter, unsalted 1/3 cup pecans, chopped 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon Pinch of salt 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves 66

Cooperative Farming News

Fondant Potatoes Heat oven to 465 F. Cut the potatoes into inch discs. Place the potatoes in a large roasting pan or baking sheet with tallish sides (we’re adding liquid later). Drizzle with butter and oil, sprinkle with half the salt and pepper. Squidge around, turn potatoes, sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Turn, continue roasting: Carefully turn potatoes, then roast for a further 15 minutes. Baste, add stock: Spoon the butter/oil collecting in the pan over the potatoes. Then carefully pour the stock in around the potatoes, and scatter the garlic into the liquid. Return to the oven, and roast for a further 15 to 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed/ evaporated. The exact time depends on the height of pan walls / how heavy-based your pan is, etc. Transfer potatoes to serving platter, scraping up some of the pan juices as you go, and piling them high on the plate. Pour over Maple Butter Pecan Sauce and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves just before serving. Serve warm - or at room temperature! Maple Butter Pecan Sauce Place pecans in a saucepan or small skillet over medium high heat. Stir for 30 seconds until you can smell the pecans. Add remaining ingredients, then once the butter melts and it starts bubbling, simmer on medium heat for 1-1/2 minutes until it reduces and thickens slightly (it gets thicker as it cools). Transfer to serving jug. Serve over potatoes.

Soft Christmas Cookies 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup margarine, softened 1-1/2 cups white sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Sift flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients until fully absorbed. Cover dough, and chill for 2 hours. Heat oven to 400 F. Grease cookie sheets. On a clean floured surface, roll out small portions of chilled dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are barely brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire. Note from Mary: The easiest way to decorate is to sprinkle with colored sugar sprinkles before baking.

Sugar Cookie Icing 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract clear 1-1/2 Tablespoons light corn syrup Beat powdered sugar, vanilla, corn syrup and 1 tablespoon milk in a small bowl until smooth. Add milk a little at a time to reach desired consistency. Stir in food coloring to reach desired color. Decorate cookies and allow icing to set. Note from Mary: If icing starts getting too stiff, cover with a damp tea towel.

Christmas Tortilla Roll-ups with Salsa 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 1 package ranch dressing mix 1 jar (4 ounces) pimentos, drained and patted dry 1 jar (4 ounces) green chilis, drained and patted dry 1 can (2.25 ounces) sliced black olives, drained and roughly chopped 2 green onions, chopped 1/ 4 cup chopped yellow pepper - plus a piece cut into a star shape 3/4 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese 4 12-inch green flour tortillas 10-12 cherry tomatoes Salsa for serving In a large bowl, mix together the softened cream cheese and the ranch dressing mix until evenly combined. Then add the pimentos, green chilis, black olives, green onions, yellow pepper and cheddar cheese. Stir gently until they’re evenly distributed in the cream cheese. Divide the cream cheese mixture on the four tortillas. Then, using a spatula, spread the mixture on each tortilla in an even layer. Keep the mixture a 1/2 inch from the edge. Roll up the tortillas. Set them on a plate and cover it with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or until firm. Then using a serrated knife, cut the tortillas into 1/2inch slices. Stack in layers to form a “tree.” Garnish with cherry tomato “ornaments” and a yellow pepper “star.” Serve with salsa. December 2021


Orange Beach - 4820 Main Street Admission Call 251-224-1000 SANTA ON MAIN December 2, 2022 Atmore - Main Street 4:30 - 7:00 p.m. Call 251-368-3305 CITY OF CENTRE CHRISTMAS PARADE December 2, 2022 Centre - Main Street Call 256-927-8455

CHRISTMAS PARADE December 1, 2021 Grove Hill - Downtown 4:00 p.m. Call 251-275-4188 CHRISTMAS ON THE RIVER December 1-4, 2021 Demopolis - Downtown Call 334-289-0270 NORTH POLE STROLL December 1-31, 2021 Athens - 100 N Beaty St. Call 256-232-5411 MOBILE SCAVENGER HUNT: PARADE THROUGH MOBILE December 1-31, 2021 Mobile - 111 S. Royal St. 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Call 833-202-7626 CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AT PALISADES PARK December 1-31, 2021 Oneonta - Palisades Park 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Call 205-274-0017 MAGIC CHRISTMAS IN LIGHTS AT BELLINGRATH GARDENS AND HOME December 1-31, 2021 Theodore - Bellingrath Gardens and Home - Admission 5:00 p.m. Call 251-973-2217 ICE SKATING AT THE WHARF December 1- January 18, 2022News 68 Cooperative Farming

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS FESTIVAL December 2-25, 2022 Montgomery - Montgomery Zoo and Wildlife Learning Museum Admission - 5:30 - 9:30 p.m. Call 334-240-4900 CITY OF CENTRE CHRISTMAS PARADE December 3, 2022 Birmingham - Main Street Call 256-927-8455 FAIRHOPE'S MAGICAL CHRISTMAS PARADE December 3, 2022 Fairhope - Downtown 7:00 p.m. Call 251-928-2136

CHILI COUNTRY CHRISTMAS December 3, 2022 Brundidge - We Piddle Around Theater - Admission - 6:30 p.m. Call 334-685-5524 THE LOVELIEST VILLAGE HOLIDAY FAIR December 3-5, 2022 Auburn - Downtown Auburn Call 334-501-3281 51ST ANNUAL MONTGOMERY GEM, MINERAL & JEWELRY SHOW December 3-5, 2021 Montgomery - Garrett Coliseum Admission Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Sunday: 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Call 334-356-6866 CHRISTMAS LIGHT FESTIVAL 2018 December 3-25, 2021 Montgomery - Montgomery Zoo Admission - 5:30 - 9:30 p.m. Call 334-240-4900 JINGLE JOG 5K December 4, 2021 Auburn - Downtown Auburn 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Call 334-501-3281

GCAA ART MARKET December 4, 2021 CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK Gulf Shores - First Presbyterian December 3, 2022 Church Foley - Heritage Park Pavilion & John Call 251-948-2627 B. Foley Park - 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Call 251-943-1300 YULE Y'ALL: HOLIDAY MARKET AND WHISKEY TASTING IT’S ALL BLACK & WHITE BULL December 4, 2021 AND FEMALE SALE Huntsville - Lowe Mill Arts & December 3, 2022 Entertainment - 11:00 - 7:00 p.m. Montgomery - Montgomery Call 256-533-0399 Stockyards - Noon Call 334-797-4870 MILLBROOK CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL December 4, 2021 CHRISTMAS PARADE 2021 Millbrook - Village Green Park December 3, 2022 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Opp - North Main Street Call 334-285-7231 Call 334-493-3070 LIVING HISTORY CREW DRILL CHILI COUNTRY CHRISTMAS December 4, 2021 December 3, 2022 Mobile - USS ALABAMA and Brundidge - We Piddle Around Submarine USS DRUM - Admission Theater - Admission 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. Call 1-800-GANGWAY Call 334-685-5524

MONROEVILLE'S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARADE December 4, 2021 Monroeville - Downtown Call 251-743-2879 CHRISTMAS, CRAFTS AND COOKIES AT OLD CAHAWBA December 4, 2021 Orrville - Old Cahawba Archaeological Park - 10:00 a.m. Call 334-872-8058 SOUTHERN SUPERIOR SIMANGUS & ANGUS BULL SALE December 4, 2021 Waverly - Cato Farm Call 678-687-5421 EUFAULA CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES December 4-5, 2021 Eufaula - Downtown Admission - 1:00 - 6:00 p.m. Call 334-687-3793 PHOTOS WITH SANTA December 4-19, 2021 Foley - OWA Call 251-923-2111 DOWNTOWN AUBURN CHRISTMAS PARADE December 5, 2021 Auburn - Downtown Auburn 4:30 p.m. Call 334-406-2787 8TH ANNUAL DADEVILLE'S SPIRIT OF A HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS PARADE December 5, 2021 Dadeville - Downtown - Events begin at Noon - Parade begins at 3:00 p.m. Call 256-825-4019

GOVENOR’S MANSION CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT TOURS December 6,13, & 20, 2021 Alabama Governor's Mansion 5:00 p.m. Call 334-834-3022

NORTH ALABAMA BULL EVALUATION CENTER SALE December 11, 2021 Cullman - Cullman Stock Yards Sale begins at Noon Call 256-734-4531

A COLONIAL CHRISTMAS LUNCH & TOUR December 6 - 16, 2021 Montevallo - American Village Call 205-665-3535

CHRISTMAS MARRIOTT GRAND NATIONAL December 18, 2021 Auburn - Auburn Marriott Opelika at Grand National Call 334-737-2114

CHRISTMAS PARADE December 7, 2021 Greenville - Commerce St. 6:00 p.m. Call 334-382-3251 DICKENS DOWNTOWN December 7, 2021 Northport - Downtown Fee for Participants Only 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. Call 205-758-8651 CHRISTMAS IN A RAILROAD TOWN December 10, 2021 Opelika - Downtown 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. Call 334-745-0466 OLE-TIME CHRISTMAS December 10-11, 2021 Troy - Pioneer Museum of Alabama Admission 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Call 334-566-3597 REINDEER EXPRESS December 10-12, 2021 Opelika - Municipal Park 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. Call 334-705-5564

WIREGRASS MESSIAH COMMUNITY SING-ALONG December 5, 2021 Enterprise - First Baptist Church 4:30 p.m. Call 334-406-2787

VICTORIAN FRONT PORCH CHRISTMAS TOUR December 10-14, 2021 Opelika - North Opelika Historic Neighborhood District Call 334-745-4739

HISTORIC HOMES TOUR December 5, 2021 Marion - Marion Female Seminary Bldg. - Admission 12:30 - 5:00 p.m. Call 334-406-2787

ANNUAL CHRISTMAS FEST December 11, 2021 Bay Minette - Downtown 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Call 251-937-5665

***Please note that some of these events may be postponed or canceled due to COVID-19. Please contact the event directly in order to find out more information about the event.***

“What’s Happening in Alabama” Policy The AFC Cooperative Farming News publishes event listings as space allows, giving preference to agricultural events of regional or statewide interest and those that are annual or one-time events. The magazine assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information submitted for publication and advises calling ahead to confirm dates, locations, times and possible admission fees. To be included in the calendar, send listings to: Cooperative Farming News Calendar of Events P.O. Box 2227 Decatur, AL 35609 -oremail to Calendar of Events at *Please include name of event, where it will be held (both town and physical location), a phone number for more information, and an email or website.* *Event Listings must be received at least two months in advance and will be accepted up to a year in advance.*

December 2021



Cooperative Farming News

College Scholarships available through Alabama Farmers Cooperative:

AFC & Auburn University & the John H. and Willodene Mathews Scholarship Deadline for Scholarships: December 31, 2021

Visit our website at for more information. December 2021


Agricultural Land Solutions WHAT WE OFFER: • Purchase or Refinance of Real Estate Farmland, timberland and pastureland (no minimum acreage size)

• Purchase or Refinance of Homes with Larger Acreage Preferably 10 acres or more

• Finance of Improvements to Real Estate

Construction, greenhouses, grain bins, barns, etc.

For more information contact: Rachel Holland 251.446.6022 – Terri Metts 251.267.3161 – John Winters 251.743.3161 – Dawn Hollingsworth 850.675.6066 *Subject to credit approval. Rates may vary based on credit history and terms. Rates subject to change without notice. Additional terms may apply.


Cooperative Farming News

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