The third week in November is recognized as 2020 Farm-City Week in Lawrence County after local 4-H students met with municipal leaders this week authorizing the countywide celebration of farm industry.
Mayors and mayoral representatives of Courtland, Hillsboro, Town Creek and Moulton met with County 4-H students to name Nov. 19-25 Farm-City Week.
“For over 60 years during Thanksgiving week, the American people have observed Farm-City Week to express gratitude for the bounty with which God has blessed our land and to recognize the achievements of the farmers, rural townspeople, and city residents who make our nation’s agricultural production and distribution system so successful,” proclamations signed by municipal leaders state.
Farm-City Week is celebrated in Lawrence County each year with events and competitions including coloring page, poster and media contests, Lawrence Extension Coordinator Donna Shanklin said.
Along with the nationwide Farm-City 2020 theme, “Sweet Grown Alabama,” Lawrence County also incorporated a 4-H essay contest with the theme “Peanuts: Feeding the World,” Shanklin said. Winners of each contest receive a monetary award, and students who are awarded in the Farm-City contest also receive a prize for their teachers to use in the classroom.
Shanklin said more than 400 coloring pages were submitted in Lawrence County this year. Ten students—Mariah Austin, Tatum Blaisdell, Allie Cook, Harley Dobbins, Bethany Perry, Preston McCay, Chipper Melson, Jacob Newell, Sydney Setzer and Kendall Watkins—from kindergarten to the 6th grade were randomly selected as coloring page winners in Lawrence County.
In the kindergarten through 3rd-grade category, Farm-City Poster contest winner Pruitt Woods, of Moulton Elementary, won first place. Woods’ teacher Kim Johnson was also awarded. Chance Durbin, also of Moulton Elementary, was awarded second place in the same category.
Poster contest winners for 4th, 5th and 6th grade were Moulton Middle School’s Rebecca Burgreen in first place and Achilles Kirby in second place. Moulton Middle teacher Sheila Holley received the classroom prize.
Shanklin said four Farm-City Essay winners were also named this week. For grades 7 through 9, Homeschool student Samantha Setzer won first place and Lawrence County High School student Bailey Woods won second place. In grades 10 through 12, LCHS’ Elise Armstrong won first place and Katie Jett, also of LCHS, won second place. LCHS teacher Jill Woods received the classroom prizes, Shanklin said.
Jett also won first place in the Farm-City Multimedia contest. Homeschool student Cooper Naylor won second place.
Lawrence County’s Peanut Essay contest winners included MMS students Alivia Chamness, first-place winner, Alivia Templeton, second place, and Gracie Mitchell, third place, in the category for students ages 9 to 11.
Homeschool student Stella McDonald won first place in the Peanut Essay contest for ages 12 and 13, and Jett and Naylor placed first and second in the category for 14 and 15-year-olds.
Shanklin said Farm-City first place entries are sent to Montgomery for consideration in a statewide contest; first-place Peanut Essays are sent to Henry County for statewide consideration.
Lawrence County 4-H program assistant Marsha Terry said COVID-19 pandemic-related school closings did not appear to impact submissions to the 2020 contests.
“School participation in the Farm-City program is critical for its' success,” Terry said. “We thank the teachers who encouraged youth in their programs to submit an entry.”
As part of Farm-City Week, the program committee produced videos discussing beef production, beekeeping, backyard chickens, water quality, peanut production and loblolly pines, among other topics, which can be accessed on the Lawrence County Extension Office Facebook page, Shanklin said.
“The Farm-City Committee thank all the local organizations and businesses that make the Farm-City events possible, including Lawrence County Industrial sponsors, Alabama Farm Credit, Farmers’ Federation, the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, and Lawrence County United Way,” said Shanklin.