Strategic Plan to Grow Alabama's Agriculture, Agribusiness, Forestry, and Forest Products Industries 2015–2020
Governor Robert Bentley, in March 2013, expressed his support for Alabama's largest economic sector — agriculture, agribusiness, forestry, and forest products — as he announced results of a comprehensive economic impact study that reveals the four interrelated industries generated $70.4 billion a year for Alabama's economy and employed nearly 600,000 Alabamians.
On the heels of this study, the next logical sequence is to determine what steps must be taken to continue to grow this economic sector. Pursuant to this, Governor Bentley authorized Commissioner John McMillan to begin the process of formulating a Strategic Plan for building the long-range profitability and expansion of agriculture, agribusiness, forestry, and forest products
Commissioner McMillan brought together representatives from Alabama's major stakeholder groups as well as Auburn University's College of Agriculture, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System as a steering committee. On July 14, 2014, more than 100 leading farmers, foresters, agribusiness owners, educators, and government officials met in the Alabama State Capitol for a day long conference.
- Deputy Under Secretary Karis Gutter, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Aubrey Bettencourt, California Water Alliance
- Brian Klippenstein, Protect the Harvest
- Kate Hall, Biotechnology Industry Organization
- Dr. Bill Batchelor, Auburn University College of Agriculture
- Dr. Gary Lemme, Alabama Cooperative Extension System
- Brian Davis, Alabama International Trade Center
- H.S. “Smitty” Thorne, Alabama Port Authority
- Ken Muehlenfeld, Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
- Alan Rose, New Sprout Organic Farms
- Del Marsh, President Pro Tempore, Alabama State Senate
Following the presentations, stakeholder groups met to identify their recommendations for the Strategic Plan based on the following criteria.
- Identify five measurable production/processing/marketing goals for your commodity that will contribute to Alabama's economy and employment
- Develop an implementation strategy to remove barriers to your success and foster success.
- Identify specific public policy and regulatory changes (local–state level) necessary to allow your segment of Alabama's agriculture and forestry industry to achieve your goals.
- Identify the research and Extension issues you need addressed to achieve your goals
- Identify the communications needs you have from state agencies, commodity groups, agricultural and forestry advocacy groups, and land grant universities (Alabama A&M, Auburn, and Tuskegee Universities) to allow you to achieve your goals.
- Beef Cattle Strategic Plan
- Catfish - Aquaculture Strategic Plan
- Cotton Soybean and Wheat Feed Grains Strategic Plan
- Dairy Strategic Plan
- Equine Strategic Plan
- Horticulture (Fruits and Vegetables)
- Greenhouse Horticulture
- Hay Forage Stragegic Plan
- Honey Bee and Horticulture
- Meat Goats Strategic Plan
- Pork Strategic Plan
- Poultry Egg Strategic Plan