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Hixon earns statewide honors for farming impact

first_img Book Nook to reopen Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies Are… Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Third generation cattle farmer Bill Hixon stands with his grandchildren after being inducted in the Alabama Cattleman’s Association Livestock Hall of Fame. Hixon, who operates a Century farm in PIke Couunty, has passed on his commitment to farming and agriculture to his children and grandchildren. Inset below, Hixon stands with Dr. J. Lee Alley after the induction ceremony.Every now and then, people get what they deserve. Bill Hixon got what he deserves.On Thursday night, Bill Hixon, a prominent Banks cattleman and farmer and member of the Pike County Cattlemen’s Association, was inducted into the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association 2014 Alabama Livestock Hall of Fame.A large gathering of family members and members of the Pike County Cattlemen’s Association attended the awards banquet in support of Hixon who is an active and longtime leader in Pike County.Ed Whatley, Pike County Cattlemen’s Association executive director, said when the conversation includes the cattle industry in Pike County and the Pike County Cattlemen’s Association, Bill Hixon’s name always comes to mind.“Bill and his wife, Betty, have been tremendous leaders in the Cattlemen and Cattlewomen’s Association for many years,” Whatley said. “Bill joined the Pike County Cattlemen in the early 1960s and immediately began a leadership role as a director. Betty was instrumental in starting a Cow Belle chapter – the name later changed to Cattlewomen – and served as state president for two years.”Whatley said the Pike County Cattlemen and Cattlewomen have had great leadership through the years and Hixon is a prime example.“His involvement in state, county, community, church and family is well known,” Whatley said. “He meets all the criteria for the Alabama Livestock Hall of Fame. Bill knows how to get the job done and we congratulate him on this prestigious award.”Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen was also among Hixon’s supporters and congratulated him on his induction into the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association Hall of Fame.“Alabama’s beef industry represents a $524 million dollar economic impact on our state,” Allen said.  “Beef is important to Pike County. The Pike County Cattlemen and Cattlewomen are important organizations in our county. Bill has been a visionary leader in the cattle industry and has been instrumental in building Pike County as one of the premier beef producing counties in Alabama. I congratulate him on this well deserved recognition.”Hixon said it was humbling to be recognized for something that he loves.“It’s almost embarrassing that they gave this award to somebody who’s never had a job,” he said, laughing. “But farming is all that I’ve ever wanted to do. It’s in my blood.“So, this award means a lot to me. The people that got this award ahead of me are great people. They have served the cattle industry for many years and they are highly respected. To have my name even mentioned with theirs is a real honor. And, it’s an honor for me to be a part of such a great organization as the Alabama Cattlemen Association.”The Hixon family has a storied history in agriculture in Pike County, dating back to his grandfather Johnny Hixon who “bought the farm” in the 1890s“This is a Century farm. I’m the third generation on the farm.  Mine and Betty’s son, Billy Hixon, is the fourth, and our grandchildren, Ross, Rush and Hannah Hixon are the fifth generation. I’m proud to say that.”Hixon took over the farming operation from his dad, John Delmar Hixon, after college.He went to Troy State College in 1954 on the first football scholarship awarded to a Pike County High School athlete.“I went thinking that I was going to be a coach,” Hixon said. “But I got drafted and went into the Army. When I got out, I went back to college.”Hixon didn’t play football because he had gotten injured in the Army but he played baseball three years.’After college, Hixon followed his heart to the altar and to the farm.“Betty and I got married and moved to the farm. We’ve been here ever since and never wanted to be anywhere else,” he said. “I wasn’t much of a row crop farmer but I loved cattle so that’s what I wanted to be and what I am.”Hixon and his dad ran a small cattle operation of about 65 head. Today, Hixon and his son, have about 400 brood cows. His nephew, Don Renfroe, started helping Hixon when he was a young boy. He continues to play a role on the farm.Renfroe said, without hesitation, that Hixon is most deserving of the recognition.“If they are going to have an Alabama Livestock Hall of Fame, Bill Hixon should be sitting at the head of the table,” Renfroe said.“I don’t know of anyone who is more deserving.”Renfroe said Hixon’s selection to the Alabama Livestock Hall of Fame was an honor for the entire Hixon family.“This farm goes back to the 1890s, when Bill’s granddaddy purchased the land on Buckhorn Creek. The family has always been committed to agriculture.”The creek bottom couldn’t be farmed so his granddaddy would board other farmer’s mules and milk cows in the bottomland pastures.Hixon’s dad took the boarding opportunity one step beyond.“He had the vision to purchase bulls and breed them to the milk cows that were boarding,” Renfroe said. “Then, he would buy the calves from the farmers. He built a herd of 100 or more cows that way.“Bill took over the farm in the late 1950s and Hixon came home, played college baseball“And the rest is history. Bill doesn’t know anything but farming.“He doesn’t want to do anything but farm. He has helped pioneer many advances in the cattle industry. He’s willing to try new things and new ways. He’s experimented with different breeds of cattle. He has always looked for and found better ways to do things.”Renfroe said that Hixon has served in almost every capacity in the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association except state president.“He couldn’t take that office because he couldn’t leave his farm,” Renfroe said. “He didn’t have anybody to run it. He was the manager and the laborer. He still is.”Hixon has been a member of the Pike County Cattlemen’s Association for 55-plus years, serving four, two-year terms as president. He increased the membership over the previous year’s membership every year as he served as president. He continues to be active on the board of directors.Hixon has served two terms as regional vice president of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association and served on the ALFA board for more than a decade and has been president of the Wiregrass Cattle Marketing Association.His was one of the first commercial cow-calf farms in Pike County to promote the Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement Association and use record keeping and BCIA performance tested bulls.He was instrumental in raising funds to build a one-of-a-kind Cattlemen’s building and rodeo arena south of Troy.The property is owned and managed by the Pike County Cattlemen’s Association and is a genuine asset to Southeast Alabama.Hixon was the committee chair for the Pike County Rodeo, which has generated thousands of dollars for development of youth in agriculture. He has served as a director in Southern States Farm Supply, South Alabama Electric Cooperative, Pike County Farmers Federation board, local ASCA board and chairman of the county and district steer and heifer shows in which his children, grandchildren and all the Hixon clan of kids participated.Hixon is an active member of the Brundidge United Methodist Church and a supporter of the Pike County Farm City Week and the annual Peanut Butter Festival.Bill and Betty Hixon are known throughout southeast Alabama in promoting beef through the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association and the beef cattle industry for more than five decades.Hixon said his wife should have gotten the award instead of him.“Betty has been right here with me all the time,” he said. “She always supports and encourages me.”Hixon said farming is a family business and he’s got the best business partners anyone could have. Any recognition he receives also belongs to his family, past and present and, hopefully, lays down a strong foundation for future generations. Sponsored Content Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Skip Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits Hixon earns statewide honors for farming impact Published 6:55 pm Friday, February 21, 2014center_img Email the author Print Article Latest Stories Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration By The Penny Hoarder You Might Like Stitches of kindness Members of the Elizabeth Bashinsky Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Troy made quilts for five surviving… read more By Jaine Treadwell Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? 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