A multi-generational farming family with deep Cullman County roots will take on a new role as Farm City ambassadors for the coming year, as Ross and Judy York of York Farms were revealed Thursday evening as the local organization’s 2020 Farm family.
The Yorks, who primarily farm soybeans, corn, and wheat on hundreds of acres in holdings based just south of Cullman’s Peinhardt farm, were presented at the annual Farm City banquet as the successors to outgoing City family Jay and Melissa Betts. With a focus on bolstering the ties between urban and rural economies and cultures, Farm City designates an ambassador family from each sector in alternating years.
Farm City committee member and local business owner Phillip Garrison, who’s known the family for years, introduced the Yorks as a “salt of the Earth” family who on Ross’ side have worked the land in Cullman County through four generations (with the fifth already fully involved). Judy works as a recovery nurse at Cullman Regional, and said that she married into the farming life. But as Garrison noted in his remarks (and Judy couldn’t deny), she’s “very, very supportive of the farm.”
In addition to its primary crops, York Farms grows a diversity of produce in Cullman County, including potatoes, alfalfa, hay, cabbage, and watermelon. The Yorks are regular members at Cullman First Church of the Nazarene.
Also honored at this year’s Farm City banquet was Alabama Cooperative Extension Service agronomist Eddie McGriff, for the committee’s special Outstanding Service to Agriculture Award. Three local students were also honored for their outstanding roles in local agricultural programs, including:
• Outstanding FCCLA Member: Kate Rains (Cullman High School)
• Outstanding 4-H Member: Leslie Boren (Vinemont High School)
• Outstanding FFA Member: Chase Lawrence (West Point High School)
As it does each year, the committee also presented the top prize takers in its annual poster contest:
- 1st Place: Maggie Phillips (Good Hope Primary School)
- 2nd Place: Mark Szedon (Cold Springs Elementary School)
- 3rd Place: Scarlett Harbison (Fairview Elementary School)
- 1st Place: Avery Hines (St. Paul’s Lutheran School)
- 2nd Place: Emmylou Earley (Cold Springs Elementary School)
- 3rd Place: Katie Chamblee (Sacred Heart School)