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Hester named Citizen of the Year

By Staff
Melissa Cason
Russellville native Gerald Hester was named Citizen of the Year during the annual Farm City Banquet held Monday night.
Hester, a real estate lender and former educator, has worked in Franklin County for more than 30 years and was described as a humanitarian.
"He truly practices the benevolent treatment and helps to provide assistance to others for the better of humanity," Karen Thompson, emcee, said.
Hester said he was humbled by the award, and credited his family for his success.
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart," Hester said. "I'd like to thank Kathy, my wife of 38 years, and our daughters, Leigh and Amy. Without them, I couldn't have done anything."
In addition to the Citizen of the Year award, several other awards were presented.
The Lifetime Agricultural Achievement Award was presented to Orval Pounders. The Northwest Alabama Small Farmers Association was given the Organization award.
Herbert Trulove of Red Bay was presented with the Agricultural Career Achievement Award. Truelove has been the agriculture teacher at Red Bay High School for 21 years, and he aided in the growth and development for a better education, career success and a better place to live.
Orland Britnell was awarded the Business and Industry award. Ruby Allen was presented with the Farmer's Market Manager Award. Thomas Murray was given the Innovative Farmer Award.
Farmer of the Year award was presented to Jon Petree. Charles Ezzell was named Cattleman of the Year. Linda Welborn was given the Wild Award, and Cindy Fleming and the Belgreen Envirothon team was recognized with the Education Award.
"If you notice, there are a lot more awards this year," Extension Agent Katernia Cole said. "I wanted to recognize everyone's hard work, so that's why there are so many awards presented tonight."
In addition to the adult awards, the winners for the poster and essay contests were also announced.
In the K through third grade poster category, the winners were: Logan Forsythe, first place; Morgan Collier, second place; Lili Marquez, third place; Kaley Vandiver, honorable mention; Kaitlyn Woods, honorable mention; Angelia Mims, honorable mention.
In the fourth through sixth grade poster category, Anna Smith, first place; Abby Holcomb, second place; Lesley Garcia, third place; Courtney Baker, honorable mention; Krystal Maez, honorable mention.
The Farm City essay winner was Ashley Baker. This contest was for grades seven through nine.
Farm City celebrations are held nationally the week of Thanksgiving to bring businessmen and farmers together in order to bridge the gap between since they are interdependent.