Jerry A. Newby
Jerry Newby grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Limestone County with the philosophy that those who farm are stewards of the land. Although no longer in the dairy business, the farm has been producing food and fiber for as long as anyone around can remember. He continued to work on the farm throughout high school and college years as he completed a business degree from Athens State University, investing most of his time and money back into the operation of the farm.
From his grandfather, Newby learned to work. From his father, he learned to be honest, keep your word and never forget who you are and where you came from. And those lessons were well learned. Newby is described by folks who know him best as an unassuming, kind, country gentleman of impeccable character. He attributes his success to being surrounded by good folks all his life—from his family, teachers, church friends and members of various organizations.
With a belief that learning the business of farming is a life-long process, Newby sought avenues to expand his knowledge base. In 1975, he attended his first meeting of the Limestone County Young Farmers Federation and, at the same meeting, was elected chairman. He stayed involved and quickly moved through the ranks, serving as chairman of the State Young Farmers Committee, president of the Limestone County Farmers Federation, district director, vice president and, in 1999, was elected president of the Alabama Farmers Federation.
As president of the state’s largest and most diversified farming organization, Newby steers a big ship—although he says others steer the ship and he just checks the course from time to time. The Alabama Farmers Federation currently has more than 420,000 members in 67 independent county organizations. Under Newby’s direction, the Federation implements and monitors programs for 17 commodity committees, young farmers programs and women’s leadership groups.
Jerry Newby and his wife, Dianne Scott, have three children: Elizabeth, Mary Anna and Jerry Allen. In 2010, Jerry Allen and wife, Ashley, gave the Newby’s their first grandchild, Madalyn.