BY Maggie Edwards

Bibb County native and Auburn University student Taylor Edwards received a $1,750 scholarship from the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation and the Bibb County Farmers Federation. Edwards was recognized during the Alabama Farmers Federation scholarship reception Sept. 25 at Lazenby Farms in Auburn. Edwards is senior studying agricultural communications. From left are Federation President Jimmy Parnell, Edwards, Federation District 5 Director Joe Anders and Federation Central Area Vice President Jon Hegeman.

Eighty Auburn University (AU) students reaped the benefits of the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation (AFAF) during the Alabama Farmers Federation annual scholarship reception Sept. 25 at Lazenby Farms in Auburn.

AU junior Faith Lane spoke on behalf of her peers and thanked the Federation for its investment in the future of the country.

“For more than 50 years, the Federation has provided scholarships to individuals preparing for careers in agriculture and forestry,” said Lane, who was raised on a multigenerational farm in Lowndes County. “These scholarships are not just money received to earn a degree. These scholarships are the gateway for the next generation of leaders.”

As the cost of college tuition continues to increase, scholarships help fill in the gaps, Lane said.

“I always dreamed of attending AU and majoring in agriculture so that, one day, I could give back to my community,” she said. “The Federation has helped me make my dream a reality.”

Lane is a member of AU Young Farmers, Collegiate Cattlemen’s Association, Ag Ambassadors and Ag Student Council. She is pursuing a degree in agricultural business and economics.

“These scholarships encourage us to be lifelong advocates for the agricultural industry in Alabama,” Lane said. “Thank you, Alfa, for investing in our education and our lives.”

During the program, over $150,000 was awarded through a special partnership between AFAF and county Farmers Federations. The program provides $1,750 scholarships to land-grant university students.

“Anytime your child receives money for school it is a blessing,” said Blount County’s Amy Burgess, a parent of scholarship recipient Abby Burgess. “My daughter has worked hard to master her 4-H, FFA and Jr. Cattlemen Association projects. This award comes full circle for her and the goals she set for herself.”

Burgess expressed her gratitude to the Federation and AFAF for pouring into generations of “movers and shakers” in the agricultural industry.

The current generation includes students who were awarded special scholarships honoring individuals who played an integral part in the agriculture industry. William Bradberry of Cullman County received the Donaldson Memorial Scholarship; Savannah Busby received the Jimmy Witt Memorial Scholarship; and the Mike Henry Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Blount County’s Corley Williams.

Additionally, Will Cowan of Lee County received the Alabama Catfish Producers Scholarship.

Federation President Jimmy Parnell encouraged the group of recipients to focus on the importance of hard work, think critically and create a good network.

“I want to challenge each of you to stretch — think outside the box and try new things,” said Parnell, an alumnus of the AU College of Agriculture. “You are the next generation of agriculture, and you have tremendous opportunities in front of you.”

Scholarships from the Federation have been awarded to AU students since 1983. AFAF was founded in 2009 as a platform to support agricultural education and is primarily funded through Ag Tag sales.

The 2024-2025 scholarship application opens Nov. 1 and can be found at

Click here for a full list of recipients. 

View more photos from the event on the Federation’s Flickr and Facebook pages.