March 2011
Featured Articles

Appointments are Announced for State Ag-Related Offices

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed N. Gunter Guy, Jr., as commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Guy, an avid hunter and angler, is a native of Alabama and lives on a family farm near Pintlala.

"I am honored to have been selected by Governor Bentley for this position," he said. "I have a lifelong love of the outdoors and am looking forward to overseeing the agency responsible for managing much of Alabama’s natural resources."

Guy is a graduate of Auburn University and the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Most recently, he practiced law with the firm of Ball, Ball, Mathews & Novak, P.A., in Montgomery.

One priority Guy will have is helping fulfill Gov. Bentley’s directive to state agencies to create jobs. Rebuilding the hotel and convention center at Gulf State Park will be a priority.

"We need to get a first class facility built on the Gulf Coast so in-state and out-of-state groups will have a place to meet in Alabama," Guy said.

Guy is married to the former Patsy Lynn Wright of Montgomery. They have two children: Catherine, who attends Auburn University, and Ashley, a student at Hooper Academy.

Marion County Farmers Federation President Kenneth Real of Detroit has been elected chairman of the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC). Real, who is a member of the Federation’s State Forestry Committee, has served on the commission since March 2006.

Johnny McReynolds of Russellville was re-elected as vice chairman, which he has held since November 2008.

Real, a registered forester in Alabama and Mississippi is a 1977 graduate of Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry. He has 33 years of forestry experience and is president and owner of Realwood, Inc., which he started in 1993. He was procurement manager for Hankins Wilson Lumber Company in Houston from 1983 to 1993. Prior to that, he was procurement forester for Tennessee River Pulp and Paper Co. in Ackerman, MS. In addition to his service to the Alabama Farmers Federation, he is a member of the Alabama Forestry Association.

McReynolds is a registered forester in Alabama and Mississippi. He is vice president of Homan Industries where he has worked for the last 23 years. Previously, he served as president and forestry consultant of Woodlands Managers, Inc. in Russellville. From 1971 through 1985, he was procurement manager with Champion International in Courtland. McReynolds earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Economics from Mississippi State University in 1968, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management in 1971.

Members of the House Agriculture Committee recently met to formally organize and to adopt the Committee’s rules for the 112th Congress.

Both U.S. Reps. Martha Roby, R-AL, and Terri Sewell, D-AL, were chosen to serve on the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee. That committee oversees programs and markets related to cotton, cottonseed, wheat, feed grains, soybeans, oilseeds, rice, dry beans, peas, lentils, the Commodity Credit Corporation and risk management, including crop insurance, commodity exchanges and specialty crops.

Roby, who represents Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, also was chosen to serve on the Conservation, Energy and Forestry Subcommittee. That committee has jurisdiction over soil, water and resource conservation, small watershed programs, energy and bio-based energy production, rural electrification, general forestry and forest reserves other than those created from the public domain.

Sewell, who represents Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, also was chosen to serve on the Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee. That committee oversees rural development, farm security and family farming matters, research, education and extension, biotechnology, foreign agriculture assistance and trade promotion programs.

Two lawmakers who grew up on Alabama farms were named chairmen of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees during the organizational session of the Alabama Legislature.

Rep. Chad Fincher, R-Semmes, will lead the House Agriculture and Forestry Committee, while Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, will serve as chair of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. Alabama Farmers Federation Executive Director Paul Pinyan said the appointments are good news for Alabama farmers.

"Chad and Tom understand the importance of agriculture to this state. Their fathers serve on Farmers Federation boards of directors in Mobile and Lee Counties, and their mothers have been active in the Women’s Leadership Division," Pinyan said. "They appreciate the impact the Farmers Federation has had in this state, and we look forward to working with them as they lead the policy discussions affecting agriculture and forestry in the future."