Caleb Bristow of Henry County is the new executive director for the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, a division of the Alabama Farmers Federation. His first official day is today (Feb. 16), but he was introduced to peanut farmers at the APPA Annual Meeting in Dothan, Feb. 12.
Federation Governmental and Agricultural Programs Director Brian Hardin said Bristow’s strong work ethic was developed growing up on a family farm in Columbia, Alabama.
“We are fortunate and thrilled to have Caleb join the APPA and the Federation family,” Hardin said. “He will provide excellent leadership with his natural talents. Caleb is a smart, hard worker who has a great ability to connect with people and make them feel comfortable.”
Bristow’s family raises nearly 3,000 acres of peanuts and cotton and has a herd of beef cows. He is a two-time Auburn University graduate, earning his master’s degree in agronomy (weed science) in 2012 and his bachelor’s in agronomy and soils in 2010.
Bristow said the Federation’s reputation as a conservative, family-friendly organization that represents farmers on the state and national levels, were among the things that attracted him to the career move. But mostly, he said, it was an opportunity for him to help farmers.
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” Bristow said. “I am ready to work not only with farmers, but also for farmers.”
In addition to working with farmers to help improve their livelihoods, Bristow said he would also be a “peanut promoter.”
“Peanut farmers produce a delicious, healthy food that is safe and affordable,” Bristow said. “Helping encourage consumers to eat more of what our farmers grow is an exciting opportunity I’m looking forward to.”
APPA President Carl Sanders said Bristow represents the future of peanut farming.
“Caleb’s energy and enthusiasm will serve farmers well as we navigate a new farm bill and spring planting begins,” Sanders said. “His first-hand knowledge of the peanut industry will allow him to understand what our farmers need and help them get it.”
Hardin and Sanders both praised the work done by Jim Cravey, who has served as APPA interim executive director for more than a year. Cravey, who retired from the Federation in 2006 as Commodity Department director, will continue to work for APPA through Bristow’s transition.
Bristow, 26, and his wife, Freda, live in Headland. He previously was a manager and salesman for Kelly Ag in Headland and is a member of Gamma Sigma Delta, Auburn’s Honor Society of Agriculture. He can be reached at the APPA office in Dothan at CBristow@AlPeanuts.com or (334) 792-6482.