BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
Alabama State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazier was invited to speak at the Greenville Kiwanis Club’s Farm City Week on Nov. 19.
Frazier gave an entertaining speech to the attendees who were a mix of farmers, citizens, business owners, and Kiwanians.
“Let us not regulate ourselves until we are unproductive,” Frazier said and he added, “We must have systems that are sustainable.”
He recounted a proverb, “A country with lots of food has many problems but a country with no food has one problem.” and later added, “We must take advantage of the agricultural systems around us.”
Frazier then spoke of the productivity of American farming by stating one dairy cow in this country produces the same amount of milk as four dairy cows in Mexico.
“It is because of the genetics and selection of the dairy cows and their feed management,” he said.
Frazier went on to add, “Victory loves preparation and if we are going to be successful we must prepare and we must know about the sustainability of the food we have.”
He went on to state Alabama is the number two chicken broiler producer in the country. Alabama produces over 22 million broilers every week.
“It is all because of genetic selection. We’ve got the right breeder, the right hen, the right rooster and we are able to have the broiler grow to over eight pounds in 56 days.
“Not through hormones, not through medication, just through proper care of what they’re doing. Proper feed and proper selection and that’s how we are going to feed the world,” added Frazier.
Frazier said that by the year 2050 the world’s population will be nearing nine billion people and global food production will have to double.
“Food is something that brings us all together and agriculture touches everybody when they set down to enjoy a meal and the fellowship of one another.
“If you know a farmer, shake their hand.
“I’m honored to be here today and have a wonderful holiday,” he concluded before recognizing Cedar Creek Plantation as an Alabama Century and Heritage Farm.
”The recognition means the farm has been owned and operated by the same family for over 100 years,” Frazier stated.
The Century and Heritage Farm program was started in 1976 and has recognized over 650 farms in Alabama. Butler County has 11 farms recognized by the program.
Cedar Creek Plantation was purchased by Oscar and Bell Boutwell on Aug. 23, 1917. Their grandson John Boutwell owns and operates the farm where he grows timber and hay.
There are several historic structures remaining on the property including a country store built in the 1930’s, a mule and feed barn built in the 1940’s and a tractor shed built in 1955.
A certificate, also presented by Frazier, from Gov. Kay Ivey stated, “This farm has been owned by the same family for over 100 years and reflects interesting and important historic and agricultural qualities. The farm demonstrates a durability and love of the land that is the heritage of the State of Alabama.”
John Boutwell said, “I grew up with row crops and bailing hay and now we are timber farmers, but we are totally sustainable. We grow more wood every year than we harvest.
“Our trees are sequestering about seven tons of carbon dioxide a year. I plant trees, I grow trees, and I harvest trees and sells trees. It’s the best job on earth.”
Percy Thompson presented Frazier with a Bates Turkey on behalf of the Butler County Farmers Association for his presence at the Farm City Week meeting.