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PHOTOS BY MARÍA CAMP Jack Hargett, Bonnie Hargett, Sharon Vall and Bob Vall are among passionate members of the Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association. Association President Steven Smith, secretary/treasurer Jack Hargett and director Bob Vall keep the wheels rolling as active leaders in the group.

Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association stays active in community

By María Camp for the FCT


Oct. 12, the Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association cooked free hamburgers for the participants of a Red Cross blood drive that was held at the Russellville Fire Department.

Steven Smith, president of the Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association, said this is one of many activities his chapter participates in throughout the year, including donating beef to all the schools in the county in observance of October as Beef Month in Alabama.

The organization promotes beef consumption and the cattle industry in general. This is done through a variety of community activities. Two places the Association promotes beef are 4th Street Grill in Red Bay and 43 Grill in Russellville, Smith said.

Also on Saturday, the Franklin County chapter handed out brochures at 43 Grill in Russellville. Some of the brochures contained recipes. Other promotional items included stickers, vehicle plates and coloring/activity books for kids. Members greeted customers and gave out the brochures and other promotional items.

The Franklin County group has the largest membership of any chapter in the state, among 68 chapters – one for each county and one for Auburn University. In 2017 Franklin membership consists of 582 members. Last year marked the first year FC had the largest membership in the state.

“The largest contribution we make to the community is through the scholarships we provide,” Smith said. The group holds six fundraisers per year, selling ribeye sandwiches to raise money. All the money raised goes to scholarships in the county. Through the life of the program, to date, a total of $162,000 has been given to local schools.

Through the Thomas Harbin Scholastic Fund, started three years ago, $3,500 has been generated for local schools. Harbin was active in the organization.

The group also participates in Cowboys in the Classroom. Cattlemen donate books to local school libraries and read to students in second through fourth grades.

This year, for the first time, there is also a Junior Cattlemen program for Franklin County. Nov. 4 there will be a field day for Junior Cattlemen at Barry Pounders’ farm.

Jack Hargett, one of the members, said, “We try to stay involved and do a lot of things for the community.”

Bob Vall, another member, said, “It’s about giving back. The community supports us as well.”