In addition to other informational displays around the tent, the Alabama Grocers Association will display food items manufactured in the state. Those include famous brands such as Alaga Syrup, Milo’s Famous Tea, Golden Flake, Conecuh Sausage, Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls, Red Diamond, Wickles Pickles and more.

“The Grocers Association will have coupons and samples of some of the best-tasting food in America that's made right here in Alabama,” Pinyan notes.

Entertainment in the spotlight tent is sponsored by First South Farm Credit and will feature professional rodeo clown and entertainer Trent McFarland of Hope Hull, Ala. His act, which will be performed several times throughout the day, features fancy trick roping along with an in-your-face style of comedy. He will also stroll around the show grounds between performances to encourage visitors to come to the spotlight tent.

Alabama Spotlight State sponsors and volunteers include the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Alabama Farmers Federation, Bonnie Plants, Beck’s Turf Farm, First South Farm Credit, Alabama Agribusiness Council, Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, Alabama Poultry & Egg Association, PolorCool and SunSouth John Deere.

Other committee members and contributors include the Alabama Catfish Producers, Alabama Grocers Association, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Alabama Forestry Association, Alabama Farmers Market Authority, Auburn University and Alabama Agricultural Statistics Service.

“While Alabama was known as the Cotton State since the mid 1860s, Alabama agriculture has become incredibly diversified,” says Commissioner McMillan.

The state ranks 13th nationally in livestock production and produces more than 11 percent of total poultry production in the country. The state is historically a leader in cotton production and remains as one of the top peanut-producing states in the country, he notes.

“Agriculture is a $5 billion industry in Alabama, and we're excited about introducing all those who attend the Sunbelt Ag Expo to what our state has to offer. I think they’ll find that our claim of Alabama agriculture being well-grounded is more than a slogan, it's real,” Pinyan concludes.

rroberson@farmpress.com