February 2008
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Dale County Couple Named Outstanding Young Farm Family

  Alabama Farmers Federation President Jerry A. Newby (l) and Federal Land Bank of North Alabama President and CEO David A. Howse of North Alabama (r) congratulate the 2007 Outstanding Young Farm Family, Chris and Monica Carroll of Dale County and their children, Brittney and Blake.
Monica and Chris Carroll of Dale County were selected as the 2007 Outstanding Young Farm Family of Alabama during the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 86th Annual Meeting in Mobile on December 2, 2007.

The Carrolls, who own and operate 4C Land & Cattle Co., were selected to compete for the award after being named the Outstanding Young Farm Family in the Horticulture Division earlier this year.

The Carrolls, along with their children, Brittney, 6 and Blake, 5, live near Ariton where they operate a diversified farm that includes cattle, poultry, commercial vegetables and timber.

The Carrolls also capitalize on what their country living has to offer city visitors. In recent years they have added hunting and farm tours as a way to make more money on the farm. Their tour season coincides with the fall harvest season and includes a pumpkin patch, hay ride, corn maze and farm animals that are enjoyed by hundreds of area school children and church groups.

The Carrolls also are known for the environmental improvements they’ve made to their farm. In addition to dozens of practices implemented to prevent soil erosion and ensure water quality, they installed special heaters that use recycled oil in their four broiler houses.

Chris is a member of the Dale County Farmers Federation Board of Directors and is a past chairman of the Federation’s State Young Farmers Committee. Monica is active on the county Federation Women’s Committee and serves as a board member on the county Farm Service Agency and the Farm Credit regional committee.

As the 2007 Outstanding Young Farm Family, the Carrolls will participate in many activities promoting Alabama agriculture during the coming year. They will receive a new John Deere Gator sponsored by Federal Land Bank, the use of a 2008 Dodge Nitro for a year, an IBM computer package from ValCom Business Centers of Alabama, a voucher for $250 in Valvoline products and $500 cash from Dodge.

As the Alabama Outstanding Young Farm Family for 2007, the Carrolls will go on to compete for the American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award competition in New Orleans in January.

Young Farmers Director Brandon Moore said the awards program seeks to honor families like the Carrolls, not just for what they are doing, but also for the inspiration they provide other farmers around the state.

"Chris and Monica have a true partnership on their farm," Moore said. "Each of them brings different experiences and backgrounds to every decision they make. They have been unafraid to try new approaches to marketing and production, and it’s important to them their children see and understand the work they do on the farm. Their farm is a true family operation."