Parnell elected Farmers president

Published 7:28 pm Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Outgoing Alabama Farmers Federation President Jerry Newby, left, passes the gavel to newly elected President Jimmy Parnell of Chilton County at the close of the business session Monday afternoon.

Chilton County native Jimmy Parnell was elected president of the Alabama Farmers Federation at the organization’s 91st annual meeting in Montgomery on Monday.

Parnell, 48, of Stanton, was chosen to lead the state’s largest farm organization for the next two years following the retirement of Limestone County farmer Jerry Newby, who served 14 years as president.

Parnell is a fifth-generation farmer who works alongside his father, James Parnell, and brothers, Jeff and Joseph, at their family’s timber and cattle business, Parnell Inc., in Maplesville.

Parnell served on the Federation’s state board of directors from 1999-2008 and was chairman of its State Young Farmers Committee in 1997.

He has served as president of the Chilton County Farmers Federation since 2006, the same year he was named Alabama Logger of the Year by the Alabama Forestry Association.

Parnell, his wife Robin and their children, James Robert and Anna Grace, were named Alabama’s Outstanding Young Farm Family in 1999.

Parnell is a member of the Chilton County Cattlemen’s Association.

He is a 1985 graduate of Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics.

“Jimmy is a very good leader,” Joseph Parnell said. “He has very good decision-making abilities. He’s proven himself to be a good money manager, and I think he’ll be a valuable asset to Alfa bringing that skill set to the table.”

Formed in 1921, the Alabama Farmers Federation promotes the economic, social and educational interests of the state’s residents and is now comprised of about 400,000 members.

Federation leaders founded Alfa Insurance in 1946 to provide fire protection for rural residents.