June 2007
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Ag Community Mourns the Death of David Anderson

David Marshall Anderson  
David Marshall Anderson, 43, died the morning of April 30, 2007, when his farm tractor was struck by a tractor-trailer truck on Highway 431, north of Guntersville.

When elected in 1997 to serve on Alabama Farmers Cooperative’s (AFC) Board of Directors at age 33, David Anderson became the youngest person to ever hold that position. He served as a director on the board of Marshall Farmers Co-op since 1996 and as president of that board since November 2003. He had also been Marshall County Farmers Federation President since 2004.

He was a full-time cattleman who worked a commercial herd with his brother, Martin, near his home in the Marshall County town of Grant. He was involved in construction projects with the National Resource and Conservation Service (NRCS) Emergency Watershed Protection program.

David was born December 7, 1963. He and his three older brothers and two sisters were reared in the country until his family moved to nearby Grant in 1969. He graduated from Kate Duncan Smith DAR High School in 1982 and attended Snead State College in Boaz for two years.

He was a member of the Guntersville Church of Christ.

He was a 2001 graduate of the Alabama Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Development Program, known as LEADERS. This two-year program is aimed at helping Alabama farmers, landowners and others improve their leadership skills and gain a better understanding of the political process. Auburn University’s Dr. Dennis Evans, Professor & Director of AL Ag & Forestry LEADERS Program, was really impressed by David. "He was one of my favorites to go through the class. He epitomized what you look for in a leader: his independence, his Christian faith and the impression I got that he wasn’t just out to help himself…he was concerned with everyone involved in agriculture. He had a young person’s enthusiasm about life and learning, always asking questions. He had such pride in being a farmer. He was a special person and this is a terrible loss. The ag family of Alabama is deeply saddened."

Marshall County Farmers Federation Board Member and poultry producer Dan Smalley remarked that he and all the board members were shocked by the tragedy. "David was fine leader and one who led by consensus. He came up through the young farmers program and I saw him develop into a fine leader." Smalley said Anderson was active in local, state and national politics when it came to farming, adding that he had lobbied at all levels on issues important to agriculture. "You always knew where David stood on an issue, but he was always willing to listen to another point of view," Smalley said. "He was the type of leader we love and need in agriculture. We are really going to miss him as a leader and as a friend."

The vice-president of Marshall County Co-op’s board, Larry King, stated that David was an asset to the local farmer’s federation, the local Co-op and did an excellent job on the state (AFC) board. "He was a good farmer, a good person and a good friend. He comes from a whole family of outstanding people. I hate that this happened. I really thought a lot of David and we’ll all miss him."

AFC’s President and CEO, Tommy Paulk said, "David Anderson was a leader.  He loved this company and took very seriously his responsibilities to the 37,000 members who own it. David had a strong sense of right and wrong and he had the courage to always stand up and speak out for what he thought was right. We could ask no more of any farmer member, any director or indeed, any leader. We will miss him greatly."

Anderson was preceded in death by his parents John and Fern Anderson. He is survived by three brothers: Martin (Kathryn) Anderson and Von (Carol) Anderson, both of Guntersville; Ralph (Linda) Anderson of Murfreesboro and two sisters: Wanda (Bob) Stricklin of Florence and Patricia Anderson of Pelham.

Funeral Services were held at Grant Memorial Chapel with internment at New Prospect Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Society at 3840 Ridgeway Drive, Birmingham, AL, 35209.