Republican gubernatorial candidate Lindy Blanchard was in Cullman on Wednesday to discuss agricultural and economic issues. She talked about how important the ag industry is in Alabama.

“The agriculture industry in Alabama creates hundreds of thousands of jobs for our people and adds billions to our economy each year,” Blanchard said in a statement. “Alabama’s hardworking farmers deserve a governor who will invest in them as much as they’ve invested in ensuring a safe and abundant food supply for our people."

After the state failed to fund the Alabama Farmer’s Federation planned Ag Center in Clanton, the Alabama Farmer’s Federation's President Jimmy Parnell asked Blanchard and her husband, Johnny, to keep the project alive with emergency funds.

“When Jimmy Parnell, last summer, was reaching out for help, Johnny and I gave $275,000,” Blanchard said at a stop at the Agriplex facility in Cullman. “I, as governor, would see to it that that does not go to waste."

Blanchard also visited with a working farm family at Dingler Poultry Farm.

The Dinglers explained that they raise broilers for Integrity Foods. They receive the young chickens from the hatchery and then care for them for the next five weeks when they are big enough for processing.

The Dinglers explained how their cost of electricity, water, and other inputs have gone up due to inflation and rising energy prices.

Blanchard said that Alabama should strive to be more self-sufficient.

“We can make (semiconductor) chips in Alabama,” Blanchard said. “We can make baby formula.”

An ongoing issue in Alabama is the agriculture exhibition center in Montgomery. Blanchard addressed the aging facility at Garrett Coliseum.

“Our farmers need to know that their next governor will put them first when it matters most,” Blanchard said.

The Alabama Farmer’s Federation wants to build a new agriculture exhibition facility at an Interstate 65 exit. The Montgomery facility was built in 1953 and supporters of a new facility argue that that 69-year-old facility has not aged well.

Some want to keep the ag center at Garrett Coliseum and they argue that the state could do repairs for far cheaper than buying land and building a new one.

Blanchard is challenging incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey.

Blanchard, Lew Burdette, Stacy George, Ivey, Tim James, Donald Trent Jones, Dean Odle, Dave Thomas, and Dean Young are all running for the Republican nomination for governor.

Yolanda Rochelle Flowers, Patricia Salter Jamieson, Arthur Kennedy, Chad “Chig” Martin, Malika Sanders Fortier and Doug “New Blue” Smith are all running for the nomination in the Democratic primary.

Both primaries are on May 24.

The winner of the Democratic primary will face the winner of the Republican primary in the general election on Nov. 8.

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