Holladay named ‘Father of the Year’
Published 10:44 am Friday, June 22, 2012
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
The Lowndes County Cattlewomen’s Association named its Father of the Year for 2012 and recognized its scholarship winner last Thursday night at the home of Ronnie and Mitzi Holladay in Tyler (Trickem).
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The 2012 Father of the Year Award was presented by Lowndes County Cattlewomen’s Association President Cindy Fitzpatrick to Richard Holladay, son of Ronnie and Mitzi, who also lives in Trickem.
Richard and his wife Whitney, have two daughters Maggie, age 8, and Hope, age 6.
“Undeserving… honored,” Richard Holladay said of winning the award. “I haven’t been a father long enough to be a good one yet. But definitely honored,” he said.
Holladay said he was born and reared in Lowndes County, received a degree in agriculture from Auburn University and runs the family farm (Holladay Farms) which includes cattle, poultry and row crops, as well as sod and timber.
Holladay said he does business in Selma and Montgomery.
Glen Zorn, assistant commissioner of Agriculture and Industries for the state of Alabama, also presented Holladay with a certificate of appreciation from the department signed by Commissioner John McMillan, as well as a presentation from Governor Robert Bentley.
Fitzpatrick recognized Kristen Ellis of Sandy Ridge, a graduate of Hooper Academy and the daughter of Frank Ellis Jr. and Linda Ellis, as the recipient of the Lowndes County Cattlewomen’s $500 scholarship.
Ellis was valedictorian of the senior class at Hooper Academy.
“I think we need to be extremely proud of our youth. And if this is an example of what our future is, we’re in good hands,” Fitzpatrick said.
Ellis said she plans to attend the University of Alabama to major in communications.
“We’re just very proud of her,” said her father, who owns Frank Ellis Charolais Cattle and Quarter Horses located in Sandy Ridge. In addition to the Cattlewomen’s Scholarship, Ellis received a full tuition presidential scholarship from the University of Alabama.
“It’s a big help,” Kristen Ellis said of the Cattlewomen’s scholarship. “Anything extra will help pay for books and fees, housing and meal plans.” She said she is thinking of a career in public relations, journalism or advertising.
Zorn said the Department of Agriculture faces a lot of challenges and has had to cut its workforce. He said it was nothing that wasn’t expected except, “We just didn’t know it was going to be so severe and so quick.”
He said a lot of things are having to be done differently, but the department is ready for the challenge.
“The people wanted change, and we’ve got change, and we embrace change,” Zorn said.
“One of the steps that John (McMillan) and I have both talked about as we move forward… in order for us to survive, we’ve got to reach out to the people that we regulate. And rather than just regulate, we’ve got to build partnerships. We’ve got to bring you in and help you as you help us support what we’re doing,” Zorn said.
Zorn said there will be a lot of consolidation in law enforcement and said the department is looking at certified crop advisers to help do some inspection work part-time in the counties in which they live.