Alabama Farmers Federation Annual Gathering, Smart to coach playoff

Dec 7, 2015

Farmers from all across Alabama are meeting in Montgomery today.

The state capital is hosting the ninety-fourth Alabama Farmers Federation Annual gathering. The group meets every year to elect leaders, recognize volunteers, and discuss agricultural issues. This year over one-thousand two hundred farmers will be in attendance.

Mary Johnson is the director of news services for the federation. She says awards will be given out to both members and volunteers who played a major role in agriculture…

 “The meeting is mostly to recognize the outstanding county federations and what they’ve done throughout the year. The outstanding individual members, what they’ve done throughout their entire time as federation members. And then we also picked a few people who are exemplary in other things.”

 This year Alabama Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey is receiving the Federation’s Service of Agriculture Award. It’s the highest honor the organization hands out.

Number two Alabama claimed a record 25th Southeastern Conference Championship this past Saturday, defeating Florida 29-15 in Atlanta. 

The Crimson Tide defense set the tone as the Gators only totaled 180 yards of offense.  They scored only one offensive touchdown late in the fourth quarter on a long pass from quarterback Treon Harris to C.J. Worton.

Coach Nick Saban is proud of his defensive unit…

“Our staff does a really good job of tracking what the other team is doing and what we need to do but nothing different than what we’ve practiced and what the players know.  So and they did a nice job of executing.  (They) did a good job up front stopping the run.  They were behind the sticks a lot and we did a good job on third down.”

Alabama moves on to the College Football Playoff.  They face Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.  The semifinal game kicks off at 7 p.m. on December 31st.

Kirby Smart will continue in his current role as Alabama's defensive coordinator through the College Football Playoff as he begins work as Georgia's coach.

Smart, the former Georgia player and assistant, returned to his alma mater today for his introductory news conference. He was formally approved as Mark Richt's successor during a meeting by the Georgia athletic association executive committee on Sunday. He then quickly began meeting with Georgia recruits.

Smart will have about one week for more recruiting and his search for assistants before the Crimson Tide begins practice for the playoff semifinal.

If Alabama plays in national championship game on Jan. 11, that could keep Smart from devoting his full attention on Georgia for more than a month.