By Ashley Graves
The Cullman Times
Judy Williamson knew before arriving at the Cullman Civic Center Thursday night her husband Tom — or "Big Doc" to most — was going to receive an award.
But little did she know she too would be receiving the award along with him.
As part of the annual Farm-City banquet, the Williamsons were named the 2013 City Family of the year.
"This is unbelievable," Tom said. "There could not be a more important award to me. Serving with this committee for the years I have, it's the best group of people. I've told many that this is the best group of people you'll ever get to associate with, and I've been on a lot of committees. This means the world to me. I appreciate each and every one of you so much, and also my wife for putting up with me for all the stuff I've gotten her into."
In addition, 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 Carter Gay, a third grade student at East Elementary; Carson smith, a second grade student at Good Hope Primary, placed second, while Abigail Kusz, a third grade student at Holly Pond Elementary, won third. In the fourth through sixth grade division, Chandan Makwana, a fifth grade student at St. Paul's, won first place; Sunshine Hoffman, a fifth grade student at West Point Intermediate, placed second; Kelly Grace Pickett, a fifth grade student at Hanceville Elementary, placed third.
Austin Hammons of Cullman High School was the ninth-through-twelfth grade Farm-City video winner.
Also recognized was Laney Hembree of West Point High School, who was awarded as outstanding FCCLA member. Josh Arnold of Cullman Area Christian School was awarded outstanding 4-H member, and Courtney Walker of West Point High School was awarded outstanding FFA member.
Before the announcement of the City Family for the upcoming year, Whitney Haynes, the 2011 Farm-City Chair, recognized Phillip and Nancy Garrison as the 2012 Farm Family of the year by presenting them with a portrait.
Cherrie Haney, current Farm-City Chair, commended the Farm-City committee for all their hard work, and thanked everyone for turning out Thursday night.
"I want to thank each of you for taking time out of your busy schedule to come out and celebrate with us," Haney said. "This is a partnership between the farm and the city. We're partners in progress. It takes both to keep Cullman number one in agriculture and industry."
Last month, roughly 30 people participated in the annual Cullman County Farm-City tour, which served as part of this year’s activities. The tour made stops at Royal Technologies, the North Alabama Horticulture Research Center, and Goldvine Farms, operated by the Garrisons. Other activities in the month of October included the librarian banquet, proclamation breakfast, and Farm-City Day at the Festhalle. The banquet served as a kickoff for National Farm City week, which ends Thanksgiving Day.
Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at email@example.com