Albert F. “Sonny” Caley, Jr.
Sonny Caley was born and raised in Marion Junction, Alabama. The son of a farmer, Sonny grew up on a dairy farm. He graduated from high school in Marion Junction and enrolled at Auburn University to study agricultural science. His education was interrupted by World War II where he served in the U.S. Army in Burma and later in China. He returned to Auburn after the war and completed his degree.
At the peak of his farming career, Cedar Hill Farms consisted of 300-400 head of cattle, plus row crops and hay. During his career, Sonny has raised chickens and catfish and a number of row crops. However, his heart is with his cattle. His on-farm cooperative work with researchers at the Black Belt Substation played a key role in understanding fescue toxicity that plagues cattle production statewide. Always a strong supporter of agricultural research, he continues to work closely with scientists from Auburn.
During his career, Sonny has held leadership positions with the Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Districts, National Resource Conservation Service, Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, and the Alabama Dairyman’s Association. In 1995, he was selected for the prestigious W. Kelly Mosely Environmental Award. He has been equally active in local civic functions, most recently working to provide funds for development of the original Alabama State Capital at Cahaba.
Sonny and his wife, the former Mae Moore, have two children: Frances Henderson, who lives in Selma, and Frank Caley, who lives in Birmingham.