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May 9, 2019


Business Financial workshop luncheon with Mother's Day theme draws more than 100 to Moody Civic Center BY CINDY FISHER Leeds Tribune Staff Steve Sink with Edward Jones hosted his third annual “Invest in Yourself: A financial workshop for women” last week at the Moody Civic Center. A crowd of about 150 ladies were served lunch while learning how to accomplish financial goals, like retirement, estate planning and savings for future nursing home needs. The event also highlighted woman-owned businesses in Leeds and Moody. Originally Sink said they wanted to host a nice event for female clients in early May to honor and celebrate motherhood. The first year, 2017, they had about two dozen attend, almost all of whom were clients or personal friends.

“In 2018 we encouraged ladies to invite a friend or two, and we added a component of highlighting some of our favorite woman owned businesses in the local community,” he said. “The second year grew to about 55 ladies in attendance.” Last week, at the third annual event, there were 126 RSVPs. “We are excited about next year when we plan to introduce “adopting” a local woman’s charity, such as Ann’s New Life Center or St. Clair Sav-aLife by having a “baby shower” where attendees may contribute to the cause,” he said. Sink says if attendance doubles next year, they will have to move it to the Moody Civic Center gymnasium. Because women, on average, live longer (than men),

and because they are frequently called upon to be caregivers — first to their own children, then to their parents, their husbands and other family members — they often reach retirement with smaller retirement account balances, and lower Social Security and pension incomes. This can add up to a higher risk of outliving their money. Branch Office Administrator Shannon McCrary, who coordinates the decorations, door prizes & menu, said this is her favorite event every year. “It was marvelous again this year,” she said. “We love that is growing each year and to see the ladies enjoying the food and the fellowship and benefiting from some useful information.”

About 150 women attended the financial workshop at Moody Civic Center.

Juliana Eraso, Nancy Johnson, Christy Ellard, Karen Carroll, Melodie Fenno and Julie Styes.

Steve Sink with Edward Jones talks with an attendee after the event.

Judy Kirkland with ERA King, JoAnn Higginbotham, attorney, and Hilga Kerry with ERA King.

Odenville beekeeper optimistic about new statewide program to streamline honey production practices BY BLAKE ELLS Leeds Tribune Staff Beekeeping is an important industry in Alabama, but there are no standard procedures for beekeepers across the state. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System hopes to change all that. The Extension System has created a new beekeeping program that includes educators from Auburn University and Alabama A&M University. Local beekeeper Jimmy Carmack spent 19 years on the Alabama Farmers Federation honeybee committee. He’s currently the president of the St. Clair County Beekeepers Association, and he also served as the vice president of the Jefferson County Farmers Federations. His Alabama Pure Honey is packaged in Odenville, and it can be purchased at many grocery stores in the area including most Piggly Wiggly locations, Whole Foods, BJs Produce in Pell City, Mills Pharmacy, Moody Produce and Pioneer General Store. Carmack said he is optimistic about the decision by the Extension System to develop a universal method of best practices, as it will simplify communication with other beekeepers throughout the state. But this step is an exploratory one, and time will tell if it is effective. “No one knows everything about beekeeping,” Carmack

said. “I’ve heard [field expert and Auburn graduate Dr. James] Tew say in the past, ‘If you could be a bee for five minutes, you’d know more than everyone in the world has known for thousands of years.’” Tew, now an emeritus professor at Auburn University and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s bee specialist, spearheaded the move to establish some guidelines. The new team will guide the System’s beekeeping educational efforts. Dr. Geoffrey Williams, an assistant professor in Auburn’s entomology and plant pathology department, will provide researchbased information on emerging bee topics and will coordinate a portion of his research to support the Extension apiculture program. Extension Agent Jack Rowe, who is affiliated with Auburn, will lead the development of the apiculture education programming, including the annual Bee Symposium that Tew has led for many years. Phillip Carter, who is affiliated with Alabama A&M University, will inspect colonies for pests and diseases as well as collect honey bee swarms as needed and remove colonies in structures when deemed a health hazard. Carter’s Alabama A&M colleague Allyson Shabel will focus on creating materials to support beginning keepers as

Beekeeper Jimmy Carmack operates his honey production in Odenville and St. Clair County. well as pollinator plant classes for adult and youth audiences.

Bees pollinate many agricultural plants, and their honey is an industry unto itself.

According to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, up to 16,000

bee colonies in Alabama produce more than $1.25 million in honey.

Profile for Mike Kurov

The Leeds Tribune | May 9, 2019  

The Leeds Tribune | May 9, 2019  

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