Cleburne County Beef Producer Named 2016 Alabama Farm of Distinction
Gibbs Farms in Cleburne County was named the 2016 Alabama Farm of Distinction during the Alabama Farm-City Awards Luncheon April 7 in Birmingham. Seated are Nan and Wendell Gibbs. Standing, from left, are Farm of Distinction sponsors Jim Allen of Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Tom Tribble of John Deere, Kenneth Williams of Snead Ag Supply, Lester Killebrew of SunSouth, Jay Hamlett and Lynne Morton of TriGreen, and Jimmy Parnell of Alabama Farmers Federation.
One of the nation’s leading producers of Simmental-Angus beef cattle, Gibbs Farms of Cleburne County was named Alabama’s 2016 Farm of Distinction during the Alabama Farm-City Awards April 7 in Birmingham.
"I want everybody to know we’re real and know we’re trying hard to be as good as we can be," said Doug Gibbs, who manages the day-to-day operation of the farm owned by his parents, Wendell and Nan. "Any cattle I place in a customer’s pasture I want to know they’re 100 percent successful."
As this year’s winner, Gibbs Farms will receive over $12,000 in cash and prizes, and will represent Alabama in the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year contest at the Sunbelt Ag Expo Oct. 18-20.
Alabama Farm-City Committee Chairman Jeff Helms said the Farm of Distinction contest recognizes family farming businesses that excel in production, management, stewardship and innovation.
"This was the 30th year we’ve honored an exceptional agricultural operation with the Farm of Distinction award," Helms said. "The list of recipients includes some of the finest farms in the Southeast, owned by families who are among Alabama’s greatest agricultural leaders. Gibbs Farms is one of the most respected producers of Sim-Angus breeding stock in the country, and we’re proud to have the family representing Alabama at Sunbelt."
Alabama’s Farm of Distinction received a John Deere Gator from SunSouth, TriGreen and Snead Ag dealers; a $1,000 gift certificate from Alabama Farmers Cooperative; $2,500 from Swisher International; and an engraved farm sign from Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance.
Founded in 1961 by Wendell and Nan Gibbs, the farm began as a small poultry and commercial beef operation. Today, Gibbs Farms spans three states and includes 750 acres of owned land and over 1,000 acres of leased and rented pasture. Each year, the Gibbs family markets close to 500 Sim-Angus bulls and heifers through its state-of-the-art sale barn and ships two or three 50,000-pound loads of feeder cattle to Kansas. In addition, the farm has 26 bulls leased to major breeding companies and sells semen from 13 others.
"We’ve been blessed," Doug said. "If we can help preserve our heritage and our industry and put a good face on agriculture, we are all about that. Anybody who wants to get in the cattle business has an open invitation to come and get anything from Gibbs Farms. We’re all about helping."
Wendell is a past president of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association and Beef Cattle Improvement Association. The Gibbses have three children, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. They are members of Macedonia Baptist Church.
Gibbs Farms was selected for the award from a field of six finalists that included Tate Farms of Madison County, Trantham Farms of Calhoun County, Hollingsworth Farms of Hale County, Richardson Farms of Washington County and Stroud Farm of Pike County. All six finalists received a $250 gift certificate from AFC.