The Lawrence County Extension Office announced the winners of the 2021 Farm City Contest this week at an annual Farm City state celebration this year entitled Down to Earth: Agriculture Sustains Alabama.
“Lawrence County has over 30,000 residents, most of whom ancestors had ties to the land because they worked the land on some level to survive,” said expansion coordinator Donna Shanklin. “Today the majority don’t work in the country – they go to their local grocer or vendor to get their food and fiber. Farmers need local traders to supply the supplies such as seeds, pesticides and gasoline to grow the crops we consume. Local traders need the farmers to buy the goods they buy. For several decades, Alabamers have used the Friday before Thanksgiving and the days before Thanksgiving (November 19-25) to remember the Farm City connection. “
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Shanklin said the Farm City Committee decided not to hold an annual Farm City Banquet this year, but instead continued the “tradition of recognizing youth who choose to attend one or more farms City competitions have decided ”.
Every year in the run-up to Farm City Week, the Lawrence County Farm City Committee holds contests during the program, including a poster contest, essay contests for multiple ages, a statewide peanut essay contest, a local beef poster contest, a local coloring page sections for children from kindergarten to third grade.
The Farm City Essay Contest judges found that the subject of Down to Earth: Agriculture Sustains Alabama generated a variety of student responses, from those that were more factual – about farming practices like no-till to crops to cover – to others who “seek to bring the human element to the answer, such as those who mention the farmers’ work ethic and connection with the plants and / or animals they raise,” Shanklin said.
She said cash prizes totaling more than $ 1,000 were distributed among the contest winners in varying amounts depending on the contest category.
2021 Farm City Contest Winner
In the Farm City poster competition for kindergarten through third grade students, Moulton elementary school student Lillian Johnson took first place and MES student Pruitt Woods took second place. In the same competition for fourth to sixth grade students, Speake elementary school student Ronin Crosier took first place and Speake student Willow Crosier took second place. The Farm City Essay Contest for grades 10-12 awarded Lawrence County High School student Katie Jett first place and homeschool student Cooper Naylor second place.
Naylor was also the first place winner in the Farm City Multimedia competition and he took first place in the Senior II division of the state peanut essay competition.
LCHS students Katie Jett and Dorean Kirby also received awards in the Peanut Essay Competition, Senior II Division. In the Senior I class, LCHS student Micarlie Gower took first place and LCHS student Kailey Blevins won second place. In middle school, homeschool student Colton Naylor took first place.
The winners of the Beef Poster Contest included Hatton Elementary student Jazmine Garcia in first place and second and third place winners Ragen Jones and Tristin Deason, also from Hatton Elementary.
Coloring page winners included Mt. Hope students Madilyn Blankenship, Grayson Lopp, Harley Dobbins, and Luke Newton, and Moulton Elementary students Sadie Ligon, Brae Bowling, Crimson Myers, Olivia Plaxco, Cayse Cavin, and Sadie Morgan.
“In 2021, the theme of Farm City: Down to Earth: Agriculture Sustains Alabama should remind us how sustainable agriculture leads us all,” Shanklin said. “Conservation practices are not just for the farmer; everyone has a role. The farmer’s job is to use the land in such a way that the farmer and land will be preserved for generations, and the role of the non-farmer is to understand the importance of these conservation practices (cover crops, irrigation, crop rotation, etc.). “
Every year, the Farm City Committee works to ensure that Lawrence County’s Farm City Week is respected and that local farming and conservation efforts are recognized, Shanklin added.
“The Lawrence County Farm City Committee is made up of individuals interested in reminding people that we are all working together to create a community,” Shanklin said. “The members of the committee include people from all walks of life – from row farmers to foresters to extension workers, teachers and mothers and fathers. The committee works towards this goal all year round. “
Sponsors of the Farm City 2021 Competitions and the annual Farm City Pizza Farm include the Lawrence County Farmers Federation, Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, Alabama Farm Credit, Lawrence County Industrial Board, United Way of Lawrence County, Thompson and Associates Attorneys at Law and the Lawrence County School System.
To join the Lawrence County Farm City Committee or for more information on Farm City Week and its events, please contact Shanklin, who also chairs the committee. Shanklin can be reached through the Lawrence County Extension Office 256-974-2464 or by emailing [email protected]