2017 Commodity Conference



Morgan Creek Vineyards & Winery

Morgan Creek Vineyards and Winery is a winery in Harpersville, Alabama. Regionally well-known, it is one of the eleven wineries in the state. Founded by the Brammer family in 2000 on an initial 30 acre family farm, it began with a production of 600 cases (7200 bottles), that sold in 6 stores. In 2009, the winery produced 15,000 cases, selling in 400 stores across Alabama and Mississippi, and expanded its acreage by 85 acres. Morgan Creek produces "Southern wines such as muscadine, blueberry and apple," and a red wine called "Vulcan Red," named for the Vulcan statue in nearby Birmingham. Its wine was included on the list of "100 Things to Eat in Alabama Before You Die." 



Pursell Farms

Deeply rooted in Sylacauga, Alabama, the Pursell family has been in the business of growing for more than 100 years. Their story begins in 1904 with the founding of the Sylacauga Fertilizer Company. By the end of the 20th century, the company, Pursell Technologies, had developed innovative technology that revolutionized the agronomy industry. The company had also moved to scenic Pursell Farms. 

On the farm, David Pursell, the third generation of family leadership, had a visionary idea: invite the product's end users (golf superintendents) to see the product firsthand. To achieve this, FarmLinks was built in 2002 as "the world's only research and demonstration golf course." Today, Pursell Farms has evolved into a premier regional family farm resort available for Alabama corporate retreats, leisure getaways, Orvis sporting clays and weddings. 


Talladega National Forest

The Talladega National Forest offers a peaceful atmosphere that is filled in wild game, camping, and hiking utopias. The forest also features picturesque scenic waterfalls throughout its striking setting. Before it was bought by the federal government in the 1930s, the area that comprises the Talladega was extensively logged and represented some of the most abused, eroded wastelands in all of Alabama. Pine forest regrowth now hosts a diverse eco-system. The total forest covers 392,567 acres (613.39 square miles) at the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains. 


Blue Bell Creameries

Founded in 1907 in Brenham, Texas, Blue Bell is an American ice cream producer. For much of its early history, the company manufactured both ice cream and butter locally. In the mid-20th century, it abandoned butter production and expanded to the entire state of Texas and soon much of the Southern United States. The company's corporate headquarters are located at the "Little Creamery" in Brenham, Texas. In 1996, Blue Bell opened a third manufacturing facility in Sylacauga. Despite being sold in a limited number of states, as of 2015 Blue Bell is the fourth highest-selling ice cream brand in the United States as a whole. The visitors to the Sylacauga plant can enjoy the vintage ice cream parlor on the second floor that overlooks the production floor. 


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