Albert McDonald has been a success in his career of mixing farming with government. He placed service above himself in his actions and accomplishments.
McDonald knew he was going to farm his whole life. His father, Paul McDonald, had a fruit farm that Albert grew up on.
McDonald took an interest in insects and crop plants at an early age. He collected insects and innovated methods of destroying Boll Weevils. He went on to become a member of the Beltwide Boll Weevil Eradication Committee.
McDonald took to cotton farming and quickly grew his business to 2,000 acres of cotton farmed annually.
For his work in the cotton industry, McDonald was named Cotton Farming Magazine’s National Cotton Farmer of the Year in 1972.
McDonald had a knack for politics. He held strong opinions on the way Alabama’s agribusiness should change, and stuck to his beliefs throughout his political career.
Beginning in 1974, McDonald served two terms in the Alabama State Senate, representing District 6. As a cotton farmer himself, McDonald knew the issues facing his citizens and was a highly effective leader.
During his political career, McDonald lived by a “farmer first, politics second,” mentality. Although he continued to operate a very large farming operation, he continued to serve the public in government.
From 1983 to 1991, he served as Alabama’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries and was appointed by President George Bush to serve as State Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Services Agency.
John McMillan, 29th Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, said McDonald sponsored every worthy piece of legislation important to Alabama’s agriculture community during his terms.
Joseph Touchton, department head of crop, soil and environmental sciences at Auburn, said initiatives McDonald promoted as State Senator still have impacts on the agriculture economy in Alabama.