By Lauren Moore, Public Affairs Specialist
A Family Business
Willie Scott Smith is a pine tree grower in Greene County, Alabama.
Smith owns Andrew Smith and Sons Farm Inc. with his four brothers, an operation established by their father in 1984. Pine trees on the operation span over 350 acres and are sold to a lumber mill.
Smith handles the administrative side of the business.
“I really enjoy the business aspect,” Smith said. “I do the bookkeeping, run reports and keep up with data.”
In addition to his duties on the pine tree operation, Smith worked in financial services for 30 years until he retired in 2005. He is also actively involved with his church, where he sits on a district trustee board and presides over the administrative council and choir.
Serving His Community
Smith has been on the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee in Greene County for three years.
County committee members are elected by their peers and are a direct link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers on the committee help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level, help decide the kind of programs their counties will offer and work to make FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers.
Each year, FSA accepts nominations for a certain Local Administrative Area (LAA) and the LAA up for election rotates each year. After learning the county committee seat in his LAA was up for election, Smith decided to run.
A Great Opportunity
“I thought it was a great opportunity. By joining the county committee, I became more aware of what is available to farmers,” said Smith. “I really enjoy being a part of the committee and what we do.”
His advice for producers interested in getting involved with their county committee is to stay informed on current FSA programs and how they can benefit agricultural producers in their community.
“County committees are important because they help get information out to their peers about what is going on,” he said.