The 2019 Farm City Luncheon brought Lawrence County Chamber members, local leaders, students, Lawrence County Extension members, Women’s Committee members of the Farmer’s Federation, and other farm and city residents together at the Coffey Center in Trinity last Tuesday.
The luncheon that was held on Nov. 19, recognized county students who got involved with this year’s Farm City theme, “Keep Alabama Growing,” by drawing posters, writing essays and putting together multi-media presentations, Extension Coordinator Donna Shanklin said.
Austin Blankenship, a recent graduate of Auburn University, gave an overview of the economic impact of agriculture in the county and introduced eight “Know Your Farmer” cards to provide young attendees. His cards provided a snapshot view of just a few of the people who provide food and fiber to the world from Lawrence County, Shanklin added.
Farmer snapshots included: Gabriella Cochran, Larry LouAllen, Kurt Johnson, Anna Brakefield, Mark Yeager, Mitchell Henry, Tony Blankenship, and Sharon Vest.
This year’s annual luncheon was made possible through the partnership of Farm City organizers and the Lawrence County Chamber, according to Shanklin.
“Craig Johnston, Chamber Director & Farm City Committee member, coordinated with the Chamber members to make the partnership happen,” she said. “There were over a dozen sponsors of the Farm City events and the luncheon, and it would not have been as successful if not for its sponsors and committee member involvement… The Women’s Committee of the Farmer Federation provided the luncheon decoration, and a friend of a committee member provided a ‘Keep Alabama Growing’ cake.”
Shanklin said Lawrence County Superintendent Jon Bret Smith was also in attendance and was very supportive in promoting the Farm City programming in schools this year.
Students who participated in the poster contests and placed in first or second place will have their submissions turned into the state Farm City poster competition.
Other poster submissions have been placed at various locations on the Moulton square for everyone to enjoy, Shanklin said.
Farm City Poster winners from kindergarten through third-grade category included first-place winner Parker Johnston of Moulton Elementary School and second-place winner Peyton Williams, also of MES.
For grades fourth through sixth, MES student Kendall McVay received the first-place award, and Speake student Auburn Hill won second place. Corey Naylor, a homeschooler, was named the Farm City Multimedia contest winner.
Home school student Cooper Naylor won first place in the Farm City Essay Contest in the category for seventh, eighth and ninth graders. Lawrence County High School’s Julia Schuman came in second.
In the same contest, LCHS student Katie Jett placed first, and Brooke Graham, also of LCHS, placed second in the category for grades 10 through 12.
Winners were also selected for a Peanut Essay Contest. Ages 9-11 saw first, second, and third place winners Isabel Arriaga, of Moulton Middle School, Kaidence Borden, also of MMS, and home school student Colton Naylor.
In the category for ages 12 through 13, first place was awarded to Cooper Naylor and second place went to Stella McDonald, two Lawrence County home school students. In the 14 to 15-year-olds category, LCHS student Rylee Phillips received first place, LCHS’ Adi Proctor was named second-place winner, and Madison Holley, also from LCHS, won third place. Brooke Graham, another LCHS student, won first place in the 16 to 18 poster contest age group.
The 2019 Farm City event also saw winners from a coloring contest, which included over 500 entries from county students in grades kindergarten through sixth, Shanklin said.
Winners were selected in a random drawing and included Hatton first-grader John Hamby, Hatton fifth-grader Landynn Browning, Hazlewood fifth-grader Madison Thigpen, Speake second-grader Loretta Jones, East Lawrence fifth-grader Lila Mae Witt, Moulton sixth-grader Hunter Nelms, Mt. Hope third-grader, Savannah Downs, Moulton fifth-grader Haley Smith, Moulton sixth-grader Joseph Espitia, and Mt. Hope fifth-grader Cole Murphy.
Farm City is a statewide program that has occurred in most counties since 1955. The program aims to deepen the understanding of the relationship between rural farmers and urban workers.
Most of the programming in Lawrence County focuses on youth and increasing awareness for the farm to table process, Shanklin said.