By Lauren Estes
The Cullman Times
Local farmer Jeremy Calvert did not realize he would one day be awarded for doing what loves to do.
A soft-spoken and shocked Calvert walked to the Cullman Civic Center stage with his family Thursday night and humbly claimed his family was undeserving of the honorable award. His speech came just after the Calvert’s were named 2014 Farm-City Family of the year. Jeremy’s wife, Julie and his son, James, accompanied him at the 2013 Farm-City Banquet on Thursday night.
“We don’t feel deserving of this award,” Calvert said. “There are a lot of other families who deserve it more than us. It’s not everyday that someone gets honored for doing what they love to do. We have what God allows us to have and we thank him everyday for it.”
Congressman Robert Aderholt’s wife Caroline Aderholt was the featured speaker for the banquet and shared a few of the experiences she had while growing up on a farm and encouraged attendee’s not to lose sight of where life began.
“Don’t ever be ashamed of where you came from, money can’t buy what you have here,” Aderholt said. “I encourage you to travel to other places and experience other culture, it truly will make you appreciate what you have here. Appreciate it, and learn to defend and protect it.”
Aderholt said she was impressed with the banquet’s attendance and hopes the event continues to grow.
“I was so excited to see such a large crowd,” Aderholt said. “People don’t attend the type of events like they once did, but the importance of this event should be understood now more than ever. For the non-farm families and kids who didn’t grow up learning about growing your own food, many will not understand where it comes from. They might simply think parents get it from Walmart or the grocery store. For Cullman County it’s easier to see the importance of agriculture more than other places.”
Farm City Committee Chairman and self-proclaimed city boy, Brian Lacy said he was encouraged by Aderholt’s presentation, especially the comical farm stories.
“I was thrilled with the turnout, we usually have a lot of support and we are very appreciative of that,” Lacy said. “I personally did not grow up on a farm so I always enjoy hearing the stories. I thought Mrs. Aderholt’s message was great and it just shows you can go on to do anything in you want in your life.”
Several other awards were given throughout the evening, including winners of the school poster contest. In the Kindergarten through third grade division, first place was awarded to Preston Gay, a second grader at Welti Elementary; Carson Smith, a third grade student at Good Hope Elementary placed second; and Anna Martin, a third grade student at Good Hope Elementary won third. In the fourth through sixth grade division, Holly Pond Middle School sixth grader Christian Bagwell won first place. Abigail Kusz, a fourth grader at Holly Pond Elementary won second place; Parkside Elementary fifth grader Landan Taylor placed third.
The outstanding FCCLA member was Kristin Quick with the Cullman Area Career Center. Abigail McClellan, a student at Abundant Grace Christian Academy was the Outstanding 4-H member. Payden Smith of Holly Pond High School was named Outstanding FFA member.
Lauren Estes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 25-734-2131, ext. 137.