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Solutions for a healthier,

sustainable future

What's Happening in Shelby County 

With all the challenges 2020 has brought, we are looking forward to 2021.

John DeLoach


  • State Annual Meeting December 2021

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The Shelby County Farmers Federation is now offering two $1000 scholarships to support students seeking a college education in an agricultural related field.

The scholarships are available annually to two outstanding students who will be selected from a field of applicants who meet the criteria listed below:

  1. Resident of the United States and Shelby County, AL

  2. Family is a member of the Alabama Farmers Federation

  3. College major in a field that is related to the commodities that the Alabama Farmers Federation supports.  A listing can be found on

  4. Full time student seeking an Associate Degree (2 year Community College), a Bachelors Degree, or an advanced degree (Masters, Doctorate)

  5. Complete and submit attached application for review by the scholarship committee

  6. Finalists may be required to attend a personal interview with the scholarship committee


Applications are due by April 1, 2021.  Winning applicants will be notified by May 15, 2021.

Applications are available by writing the Shelby County Farmers Federation at PO Box 94, Columbiana, AL 35051, by emailing:, or at a Shelby County ALFA Service Center.

The decision of award by the Shelby County Farmers Federation Board of Directors is final.

County President

John DeLoach


P.O. Box 94

Columbiana, AL



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John and Kate DeLoach of Vincent in Shelby County are one of six finalists vying for the title of Alabama Farm of Distinction and more than $20,000 in cash and prizes. The winner will be announced in conjunction with the Alabama Farm-City Awards Luncheon in Birmingham April 5. 

Their 1,325-acre DeLoach Farms includes 375 acres of cotton, 250 acres of soybeans, 200 acres of wheat and 150 acres of hay. The farm also boasts some of the highest yields in the area. But transforming the farm wasn’t easy for the DeLoaches.

 “I was 13 when my grandfather passed away,” John said. "Grandma talked about selling the farm, but I told her I’d come every day after school to help. At 16, when I graduated high school, I pretty much took over running the farm.”

 Twenty-six years later, their land management plan includes 20 acres of improved wetlands where John regulates water levels to provide food and habitat for waterfowl. Future plans include adding honeybees, a vineyard and agritourism with the help of son Jess.

 We feel it is an honor to have the opportunity to take care of this land for a lifetime,” John said. “And what a responsibility it is, to pass that on to future generations.”

 John is a member of the Agricultural Leaders For Alabama class and is active in the Alabama Farmers Federation, Alabama Cattlemen’s Association and Alabama Farmers Cooperative. He and Kate have been recognized at state and national levels for community service.

 Alabama Farm-City Committee Chairman Jeff Helms said he’s proud of the finalists for showcasing what it means to be a farmer in the 21st century.

 “Agriculture, forestry and related industries have a $70.4 billion annual economic impact on Alabama,” Helms said. “Our farmers provide food, fiber and fuel for a growing population, and we’re excited to honor six of our state’s top farmers for their dedication, innovation and perseverance.”

 Alabama’s Farm of Distinction winner receives a John Deere Gator courtesy of AgPro, TriGreen and SunSouth dealers; a 40-by-60' pole barn courtesy of Register Barns; a $1,000 gift certificate from Alabama Farmers Cooperative (AFC); an engraved farm sign from Alfa Insurance; and $2,500 as the state’s representative at the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year contest at the Sunbelt Ag Expo Oct. 16-18.


Each finalist receives a $250 gift certificate from AFC and an engraved plaque.


Judges Grace Ellis of the Alabama FFA Foundation, Dorman Grace of TriGreen and former Alabama Farmers Federation Commodity Director Jim Cravey visited the farms Feb. 21-22. 


The Shelby County Farmers Federation received the Award for Excellence Dec. 4. at the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 96th annual meeting in Montgomery. The award recognizes counties excelling in five sections of the Federation: organization, agricultural programs, governmental affairs, and the county’s Women’s Leadership and Young Farmers committees. Shelby County Farmers Federation President Jimmy Bice, right, accepted the award from Federation Executive Director Paul Pinyan.

Local Farmer Elected To Serve Term On Alabama Farmers Federation Board of Directors 

Steve Dunn, a Conecuh County row crop and cattle farmer, was re-elected secretary-treasurer of the Alabama Farmers Federation at the organization’s 96th annual meeting in Montgomery Dec. 4.

Elections were held during the Federation’s business session where almost 463 farmer delegates from all 67 counties chose officers and directors for the state’s largest farm organization. Officers serve two-year terms.

Dunn, Conecuh County Farmers Federation president and former state Young Farmers chairman, was re-elected to his 10th term.

Central Area Vice President Dean Wysner of Randolph County and Southwest Area Vice President Jake Harper of Wilcox County also were re-elected.

Wysner is a cattle and hay producer. The Central Area includes Autauga, Bibb, Calhoun, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Fayette, Greene, Jefferson, Lamar, Pickens, Randolph, Shelby, St. Clair, Talladega, Tuscaloosa and Walker counties. He was first elected vice president in December 1999.

Harper, who is Wilcox County Farmers Federation president, is a cattle and timber farmer. The Southwest Area includes Baldwin, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Escambia, Hale, Lowndes, Marengo, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Sumter, Washington and Wilcox counties. Harper, who served as a district director from 1988-1996, was first elected Southwest Area vice president in December 2003.

Elections also were held for four district board positions, which have three-year terms.

Donald Sewell of Etowah County was elected for District 3 board of director’s seat, which includes Cherokee, DeKalb, Etowah and Jackson counties. Sewell is a row crop and cattle farmer.

Shelby County’s Phillip Hunter, a nursery owner, was elected District 6 director. The district includes Calhoun, Clay, Cleburne, Randolph, Shelby, St. Clair and Talladega counties.

Greenhouse operator Bill Cook of Montgomery County was elected as District 9 representative, which covers Autauga, Butler, Chilton, Lowndes, Montgomery and Wilcox counties.

Dale County’s Chris Carroll was elected to the District 12 board seat. He represents Dale, Geneva, Henry and Houston counties and raises crow crops, cattle and poultry.

Elected to one-year, ex-officio terms on the state board were Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Debbie Roberts of Fayette County and State Young Farmers Committee Chairman Ben Maples of Limestone County.

The Alabama Farmers Federation, with more than 357,000 members, is Alabama’s largest farm organization and is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Phillip Hunter, middle, and John DeLoach, right, of Shelby County received the Individual Leadership Award in the Commodity Division and the Young Farmers Division, respectively, from the Alabama Farmers Federation during an awards ceremony Dec. 4.

Shelby County Women's Committee received a 2 star during the Alabama Farmers Federation annual Meeting on December 4th.

Young Farmers received a Gold Star During the 96th Alabama Farmers Federation annual meeting on December 3rd.

Bee and Honey Chairman, John DeLoach gave us a lesson on making honey, during our November 20th 2017 board meeting

Shelby County Student Leader Learns Valuable Lessons During Youth Leadership Conference

Shelby County student Carolyn Hunter attended the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Youth Leadership Conference at the 4-H Center in Columbiana Oct. 2-3. The Shelby County Farmers Federation sponsored Hunter at the conference, where 46 ninth-10th grade students learned about social media etiquette, servant leadership, politics and agricultural misconceptions. Hunter is a 10th-grader at Chelsea High School.

Young Leaders Learn To Influence By Example, Trust Others
Written by Marlee Moore, Alabama Farmers Federation
As ninth- and 10th-graders traipse single-file up a hilly path, they’re not just enjoying a fall day at the 4-H Center in Columbiana.
While blindfolded, they’re learning to take directions from, rely on and serve others.
Those ideas were key tenets of the 2017 Youth Leadership Conference Oct. 2-3, sponsored by the Alabama Farmers Federation and county Federations. Forty-two students represented 25 counties.
“When you have this many personalities and backgrounds gathered, it’s a perfect chance to learn how to work with others to bring about change,” said Jennifer Himburg, the Federation’s Young Farmers Division director. “I attended the Youth Leadership Conference in high school, and those friends have become my colleagues. Ten years down the road, I believe that’ll be true for these students and the network they form.”
Students soaked up lessons about social media, teamwork and leading by example on Day 1. They learned to support, trust and communicate with each other through a ropes course, balance beam activity and canoeing.
Marshall County’s Will Aycock said he plans to use tips from the conference in his role as the Alabama FFA North District reporter.
“On social media, you have to make sure you’re being true and authentic,” said Aycock, a 10th-grader at Albertville High School. “You don’t have to talk down to people to be a leader. You can be the quiet person on the team and still get work done.”
Former National FFA officer Barrett Keene encouraged students to focus on those they’re leading, as opposed to personal achievements.
“Leadership is not merely a position through which you tell other people what do to,” said Keene, who works in leadership development for car manufacturer Tesla. “Our lives are of substantially more value when we are freely giving and loving to those around us.”
Emma Martin of Geneva County said Keene’s session will make her a better SGA officer and leader at Slocomb High School.
“Now I know how to be a better leader and that leadership is not being bossy,” the ninth-grader said. “A real leader always helps people.”
Patriotism was on the program for Day 2, as reenactors from the American Village in Montevallo taught students to fold, raise and honor the U.S. flag. A political leadership session with Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall followed. To close the conference, students learned about Federation history and debunked agricultural misconceptions.

2017 County Annual Meeting


Shelby County Farmers Visit State House

Shelby County Farmers Federation leaders visited the State House this week to meet with legislators. From left are Area Organization Director David Farnsworth; Rep. Corley Ellis, R-Columbiana; Shelby County Farmers Federation Board Member Phillip Hunter; Rep. April Weaver, R-Alabaster; Shelby County  Vice President John DeLoach; and Rep. Matt Fridy, R-Montevallo

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe is planting seeds of hope for students across the state through its aptly named Herbs Offering Personal Enrichment (HOPE) project. A...t Shelby County High School (Alabama), FFA members and special education students work hand in hand growing herbs like basil, parsley and rosemary for local Taziki's restaurants and learn life skills along the way.  Shelby County Farmers Federation donated $5,000 toward the building of the greenhouse.



Shelby County’s Lauren Grace Wilson received second place in the 2016 Alabama Farm-City Multimedia Contest for 10th-12th grades during the organization’s annual luncheon and awards program in Birmingham April 6. Wilson, who lives in McCalla, is an 11th-grader at Hope Christian School. 


Shelby County’s Kinley Bell received first place in the 2016 Alabama Farm-City Essay Contest for 10th-12th grades during the organization’s annual luncheon and awards program in Birmingham April 6. Bell, who lives in Chelsea, is an 11th-grader at Hope Christian School.

Josh and Amanda Slaughter were recognized during the County Board Meeting that was held on Monday, March 20th, 2017, for winning the State Beef Award.  Pictured from left to right, Amanda Slaughter, Josh Slaughter and Vice President of the Shelby County Farmers Federation, John DeLoach.



Alabama Farmers Federation members were in Washington, D.C., March 7-10 to meet with Alabama’s U.S. Senators and Representatives where they discussed immigration and regulatory reform, biotechnology, the Endangered Species Act and the upcoming farm bill. Shelby County members had breakfast with Congressman Gary Palmer. From left are John and Kate Deloach of Vincent, Rep. Palmer, and Frances and Doug Schofield of Shelby.

Washington Legislative Conference Energizes, Excites Farmers

Morale was high as nearly 140 Alabama farmers returned from the nation’s capital March 7-10, buoyed by promises of regulatory reform and increased interest in agricultural issues.

The visit starkly contrasted trips during the previous administration, said Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell.

“Being in D.C. confirmed my belief that agriculture will experience real change under the Trump administration,” Parnell said. “We’ve seen this with his order to review the Waters of the U.S. rule and look forward to other improvements over the next few years.”

Speakers during the 2017 Washington Legislative Conference continually hit home the importance of immigration and regulatory reform, trade, biotechnology and the farm bill.

During briefings March 8, U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) encouraged farmers to share ideas about the upcoming farm bill.

“The beauty of doing farm bills every five years is you get to address the things you didn’t get right,” Conaway said. “We’re going to get this bill done, and we’re going to get it done on time.”

Farmers also heard from Special Assistant to the President and Director of White House Messaging Strategy Cliff Sims, who founded Yellowhammer News, and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Public Policy Executive Director Dale Moore.

This was David Lee’s first trip to Washington, D.C., and the Lowndes County Farmers Federation president said visiting with Alabama’s delegation encouraged him.

“I’ve always heard to ‘call your senator,’ but never felt like I was able to communicate with leaders in our nation’s capital,” Lee said. “Now that I’ve met our leaders and many staffers, I feel they are more approachable to me and ready to hear my local needs.”

During the Congressional barbecue March 8, AFBF President Zippy Duvall advised farmers to establish relationships with Congressional leadership.

“You have to come and be seen,” said Duvall, a Georgia farmer. “Those who show up are the ones who make a difference. It’s so important for farmers to look their congressmen and senators in the eye and say, ‘This is important to me, my family and my community.’”

Attendees met with Alabama’s U.S. representatives during Congressional breakfasts Thursday, followed by meetings with U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby and Luther Strange, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Supreme Court nominations, confirming Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary and improving Alabama’s trade opportunities peppered the conversation.

Other events included visiting the U.S. Department of Agriculture and British Embassy, as well as a moonlight monuments tour.



Shelby County Young Farmers Josh and Amanda Slaughter won the Beef Division of the Outstanding Young Farm Family (OYFF) competition at the 2017 Young Farmers Conference. Nearly 400 Alabama young farmers met in Montgomery March 3-4 for farm tours, networking, the OYFF contest and legislative updates. The Slaughters live in Harpersville. From left are Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell, Amanda and Josh.




From greenhouses to golf greens, row crops to research stations and cattle to kiwi, nearly 400 young farmers were in Montgomery March 3-4 learning lessons from lucrative farmers.

With representatives from 55 counties, the 2017 Young Farmers Conference was the largest in Alabama Farmers Federation recent history. The State Young Farmers Committee varied the conference format this year by replacing workshops with farm tours.

“While workshops can be very beneficial, there's nothing like visiting with other farmers on a beautiful March day and seeing how they make a living,” said State Young Farmers Committee Chairman Jerry Allen Newby of Limestone County. “I learned a lot during this conference that I can take back home to north Alabama, and I think other young farmers did, too.”

The conference began Friday evening with dinner and a performance by country and Southern rock band Trotline.

Saturday at breakfast, conference attendees received a legislative update and were encouraged to attend the Federation’s skeet shoot fundraiser in November. The shoot benefits the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation (AFAF), which funds scholarships and Alabama Ag in the Classroom.

Participants then hit the road for farm tours across central Alabama.

Tour A included stops at Parnell Inc., a cattle and timber operation; Wright’s Nursery and Greenhouse; and Autauga Farming Co., a row crop and cattle farm.

A former member of the State Young Farmers Committee, Dallas County’s Heather Wright owns Wright’s Nursery and Greenhouse with her husband, Davey.

“I think the relationships we build and the things we learn during conferences are vital to our survival as a farm, business and family,” Wright said. “It's important we stay educated, keep gaining knowledge, participate in agriculture organizations and keep up with what's going on in the political world.”

Tour B headed to east Alabama and made stops at Hornsby Farms, a fruit and vegetable operation; Southeast Kiwi Farming Cooperative; and Auburn University’s E.V. Smith Research Station.

Jefferson County’s Will Dodd, 25, said he enjoyed meeting new friends and learning how the Federation can work with Alabama’s young farmers to continue a thriving agricultural tradition in the state.

“Given the labor intensive schedules of Alabama's farms, it's nice for Young Farmers to take a weekend and socialize with other young people in the profession,” said Dodd, who runs the nonprofit Heirloom Harvest, which helps Alabama produce farmers expand their markets. “The opportunity to tour farm operations and share experiences and advice on most effective practices only leads to a more productive agriculture economy for our state.

Tour C visited Talladega County’s Pursell Farms’ golf course and resort destination and Coosa County’s Pinthlocco Plantation, a quail preserve.

Attendees captured favorite tour moments by participating in an Instagram contest. Winners were Ali Grace Eiland of Pike County, Jordyn Upchurch of Clay County and Dodd.

Saturday evening, young farmers bid on Yeti coolers, jewelry, picnic tables, tools and more to raise $10,765 during a live auction benefiting the AFAF.

Preliminaries for the 2017 Outstanding Young Farm Family contest were held during the conference with finalists announced at the closing banquet. Ben and Jessica Johnson of Fyffe DeKalb County, Beth Hornsby of Auburn in Lee County and Eric and Carrly Lovvorn of Heflin in Cleburne County will compete later this year for more than $60,000 in prizes. The overall winner will be announced at the Federation’s Commodity Conference in Birmingham Aug. 5.

Commodity division winners who competed in the OYFF contest were Justin Hill of Eastaboga in Calhoun County, Bee & Honey; Josh and Amanda Slaughter of Harpersville in Shelby County, Beef; Elizabeth Hornsby of Auburn in Lee County, Horticulture; Jonathan and Sara Sanders of Roeton in Coffee County, Peanuts; Eric and Carrly Lovvorn of Heflin in Cleburne County, Poultry; Ben and Jessica Johnson of Fyffe in DeKalb County, Soybeans; and Barret Stephenson of Eufaula in Barbour County, Meat Goat & Sheep.

 Farm-City  2016

Congratulations to Mallory for being a County Winner.  Good Luck at State. 


A few of theFarm-City School Winners


Shelby County Board Members attended the 95th Annual State Meeting in Montgomery on December 4th-6th.

Shelby County Young Farmers worked hard on building raised beds for Chelsea Park Elementary School.

Ribbon Cutting of the  newly renovated Alfa Dorm at the 4-H Center



Auburn University student and scholarship recipient Charles Waid of Calera was recognized during the Alabama Farmers Federation 2016 Scholarship Recipients Luncheon Aug. 27 at the Ham Wilson Arena in Auburn. Waid graduated from Calera High School and studies biosystems engineering.The $1,750 scholarship was funded by the Shelby County Farmers Federation and the Federation’s Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation. From left are Federation President Jimmy Parnell, Waid, Shelby County Farmers Federation Jimmy Bice and Federation Central Region Vice President Dean Wysner.

About Alabama Farmer's Federation

We are Alabama’s largest farm organization comprised of and representing agricultural and associate members in all 67 Alabama counties. The Alabama Farmers Federation strives to protect and improve the ability of farmers engaged in production agriculture to provide a reliable supply of food through responsible stewardship of Alabama’s resources.

Visit our ALFA website for more information.

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