Alabama farmers learn from urban operation at Callaway Gardens

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

PINE MOUNTAIN, GA (WTVM) - Hundreds of Alabama farmers got a behind the scenes look at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA.  It is all part of the Alabama Farmers Federation's Annual Conference.

The men and women from ALFA use the conference as a chance to pick up new ideas for their operation and to talk about their concerns for the future of farming and agribusiness.

Alabama Farmer Dennis Naze said his biggest concern is, "I am seeing agriculture do what manufacturing, textile another industries did… leaving the U.S. and going off shore."

Naze says they way he sees it, the future for young people going into agriculture is not good.  That is why it is so important to be a part of a group like ALFA. Unlike other businesses where you cannot share trade secrets, farming is different.  Naze explained, "We are like a big extended family.  It just lets us share ideas.  You learn from each other. Sometimes you learn more from each other than you do from anything else."

The farmers at Callaway ranged from poultry and cattle farmers, to pecan and recreational farmers.

Although they stepped out of their comfort zones and into the urban sanctuary of Callaway Gardens, each farmer left with a new perspective.  Dell Hill is a recreational farmer said about Callaway, "What they have done is be good stewards of the land.  Just sort of goes back and encourages you to likewise be good stewards of the land god entrusted to you."

Nedetria Talbolt and her husband have a farm in Pike County, AL.  She saw similarities in the chicken houses at her farm and Callaway's green houses.  She explained, "Even though we grow poultry and they have green houses, you see a lot of the same methods for cooling."

For more about the Alabama Farmers Federation click here.

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