Previous state winners from Alabama include: Ricky Wiggins of Anderson, 1990; George Kiser, Sr. of Foley, 1991; Allen Bragg of Toney, 1992; Sykes Martin of Courtland, 1993; David Pearce of Browns, 1994; Glenn Jones of Blountsville, 1995; Raymond Jones of Huntsville, 1996; Dan Miller of Greensboro, 1997; Homer Tate of Meridianville, 1998; Eugene Glenn of Hillsboro, 1999; George T. Hamilton of Hillsboro, 2000; Bert Driskell of Grand Bay, 2001; Charles Burton of Lafayette, 2002; Bruce Bush of Eufaula, 2003; John B. East of Leesburg, 2004; James A. Wise of Samson, 2005; Glenn Forrester of Columbia, 2006; Billy Gilley of Holly Pond, 2007; Lamar Dewberry of Lineville, 2008; David Wright of Plantersville, 2009; Shep Morris of Shorter, 2010; Andy Wendland of Autaugaville, 2011; and Sam Givhan of Safford, 2012.

Alabama has had one overall winner with Raymond Jones of Huntsville being selected as the Southeastern Farmer of the Year in 1996.

A distinguished panel of judges will visit Dee River Ranch, along with the farms of the other nine state finalists, during the week of Aug. 12-16.

The judges for this year include John McKissick, a longtime University of Georgia Extension ag economist from Athens, Ga.; farmer Brian Kirksey of Amity, Ark., who was selected as the overall winner in 2008; and John Woodruff, retired University of Georgia Extension agronomist from Tifton, Ga., who specialized in soybeans for many years.

(For an in-depth look at the Dee River Ranch irrigation undertaking, see Alabama's Dee River Ranch: state of the art irrigation technology on display. You might also be interested in Dee River Ranch named Alabama Farm of Distinction. Other information about the operation can be found at Cover crops making a difference at Alabama's Dee River Ranch).