What is in this article?:
• As a result of his success as a beef cattle and row crop farmer, Andy Wendland has been selected as the 2011 Alabama winner of the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award.
• Wendland now joins eight other state winners from the Southeast as finalists for the award.
Others in operation
Wendland’s sister Suzie Rhodes is a partner in charge of financial management. Their father Milton “Buzz” Wendland is semi-retired, but is still available for guidance and advice. Bill Lipscomb has been with the farm since 1974 and works as farm manager.
Andy met his wife Dawn while they were students at Auburn University. Dawn works as a kindergarten teacher at Autauga Academy and teaches kindergarten children at Church Street United Methodist Church in Selma, Ala.
The Wendlands have five children. Katie will attend Auburn University this fall. Drew will be a senior in high school. Will Howard is a high school sophomore. Dan is an eighth grade student and Emma is in fourth grade.
Wendland says, “I’m fortunate I grew up farming. I love what I do. No two years are the same. There’s a constant challenge to remain frugal and profitable, and to keep up with management and technology. My goal is to improve our production, refine our practices and be successful. We have a great team here helping us work toward that end.”
Jeff Helms with the Alabama Farmers Federation is state coordinator of the Farmer of the Year awards for Alabama. Ralph Golden, area organization director with Alabama Farmers Federation, nominated Wendland for the award.
Golden has known Wendland for many years, and admires how he improved the farm. Golden says, “This is a farm with more than 100 years of family tradition, but it is also a modern farm with a strong community presence. The Wendlands are very generous people.”
As the Alabama state winner of the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo award, Wendland will now receive a $2,500 cash award and an expense paid trip to the Sunbelt Expo from Swisher International of Jacksonville, Fla., a jacket and a $200 gift certificate from the Williamson-Dickie Company, and a $500 gift certificate from Southern States.
He is now eligible for the $15,000 that will go to the overall winner.
Other prizes for the overall winner include the use of a Massey Ferguson tractor for a year from Massey Ferguson North America, a custom made Canvasback gun safe from Misty Morn Safe Co., and another $500 gift certificate from the Southern States cooperative.
Also, Williamson-Dickie will provide another jacket, a $500 gift certificate and $500 in cash to the overall winner.