Chris and Elizabeth Langley of Camp Hill in Chambers County were recognized for having Alabama’s 2017 Farm of Distinction at the Farm-City Awards Thursday in Birmingham.
As this year’s winner, Langley Farms received $12,000 in cash and prizes and will represent Alabama in the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year contest at the Sunbelt Ag Expo Oct. 17-19 in Moultrie, Georgia.
Chris Langley began farming as a teenager, raising goats, rabbits, chickens and pigs. He later used proceeds from sales to purchase his first beef heifer and logging equipment.
Today, Chris Langley Timber and Management Inc. operates three fully mechanized logging crews, and Langley Farms includes a 320-cow commercial beef herd on 2,650 acres of timber, hay and grazing land.
“My philosophy of farming is the harder you work and the more you put in it, the more you’ll have and get out of it,” Chris said. “You’ve got to be mechanical minded, creative and think smart at all times. And if you do those things, you will be successful.”
The Langleys were selected for the Farm of Distinction title from six finalists including Tony Beck of TWB Farms in Crenshaw County, Dakota and Amanda Caraway of Caraway Farms in Covington County, Todd and Hope Cassebaum of Cassebaum Farms in Baldwin County, Bill and Carol Freeman of Timberland Cattle in Lamar County and Nick and Freida McMichen of McMichen Farm in Cherokee County.
Alabama’s Farm of Distinction received a John Deere Gator from SunSouth, TriGreen and AgPro dealers; a $1,000 gift certificate from Alabama Farmers Cooperative (AFC); $2,500 from Swisher International; and an engraved farm sign from Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance. All six finalists will receive a $250 AFC gift certificate.
Judges Jim Allen of AFC, Chris Cline of AgPro and Dr. Deacue Fields of Auburn University visited the farms March 1-3.
Alabama Farm-City Committee Chairman Jeff Helms said the Langleys are an outstanding example of the faith, family values and work ethic that make agriculture great.
“Chris and Elizabeth are a true team,” Helms said. “They’ve passed on a love of farming to their four children and generously share their experience, passion and farm with others interested in agriculture. We were blessed to have an outstanding field of finalists and are excited to have the Langleys represent Alabama at the Sunbelt Expo.
The Langleys are county and state leaders in the Alabama Farmers Federation and Alabama Cattlemen’s Association. Past honors include being named the state’s Outstanding Young Farm Family in 1996.