By Marlee Moore
The Alabama Farmers Federation invested in the future of the state’s No. 1 industry by awarding 80 Auburn University (AU) students from 55 counties with $123,500 in scholarships.
Students, who are pursuing degrees in agriculture, forestry or related programs, were recognized during a scholarship reception Sept. 23 at Ham Wilson Livestock Arena.
“It’s a pleasure of our organization to give back to you,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell, an AU agricultural economics graduate, as he addressed the recipients. “Auburn was an integral part of forming the Alabama Farmers Federation in 1921, and we’re committed to investing in Auburn students. We’re working to provide for the next generation of leaders, who will make a huge difference for Alabama and agriculture.”
The Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation contributed $1,250 for each county Federation providing $500.
Fifty-five students received the $1,750 scholarships. Some counties fully fund additional scholarships. They are Baldwin, Chilton, Covington, Dale, Henry, Houston, Jefferson, Lee and Madison counties. The R.W. Donaldson Endowed Scholarship, named after a longtime Cullman County Farmers Federation member and cattleman, was also awarded to Rusty Yancy.
Cherokee County Farmers Federation President John Bert East told students he appreciated their interest in agriculture, a $70 billion industry in Alabama.
“It makes us proud that we can help you financially and see you mature and be successful,” said East, a cattle and row crop farmer from Centre. “This is an investment in Alfa’s future and your future.”
Recipients included Greene County’s Cal Logan. The senior from Eutaw thanked the county and state organizations for support — through scholarships and relationship-building.
“It’s a great honor to be awarded this scholarship and represent the Farmers Federation,” said Logan, who studies forestry. “Being part of the Alfa Farmers community has allowed me to meet great people and be part of great things, in addition to easing the financial burden of my education.
As the parents of scholarship recipient Noah Runyan, Russ and Linda Runyan shared their thanks for Auburn, the Farmers Federation and scholastic efforts from their three children.
“We’re proud, thankful, grateful and blessed – not just financially but because our children have the desire to apply for honors like this and achieve their dreams,” Linda said.
Russ echoed his wife. “I thank the county chapters and state level for paying it forward, investing in young men and women who will be in our field for years to come,” he said.