By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Farmers Federation recently announced changes to its team of governmental affairs professionals following the retirement of longtime Organization Department Director Mike Tidwell.
Brian Hardin will return to the state politics arena as Director of External Affairs. Hardin had previously worked on State House issues until being named assistant director for the Governmental and Agricultural Programs (GAP) Department in 2010. He was promoted to department director three years later.
Taking over the GAP is Mitt Walker, a 16-year Federation employee and has helped direct the organization’s efforts on federal farm policy. Walker is a familiar face on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as he frequently interacts with Alabama’s congressional delegation and their staffs regarding agriculture policy, including the Farm Bill.
Matthew Durdin, who previously led advocacy efforts at the State House, is transitioning to the Organization Department, which includes 10 field representatives across the state as well as the Young Farmers, Women’s Leadership and Member Benefits divisions. He’ll also work on state political activities, including helping candidates endorsed by the Federation’s political action committee, FarmPAC.
Federation Executive Director Paul Pinyan said the staff moves capitalize on the individuals’ strengths and also makes for a cohesive government and politics team.
“We are thankful to have these exceptional leaders in the Federation,” Pinyan said. “They share a passion for serving our members, strengthening agriculture and improving the quality of life for rural Alabamians.”