* Luther Martin Moates

Luther Martin Moates was born August 26, 1926 in Enterprise. Following military service in World War II, Moates returned to the family farm, where he began a 47-year career in agriculture. His leadership and inspiration have created the desire in many others, including two sons, to pursue agriculture as a career.

In 1955, he bought his first 200 acres of land, finally increasing his farm size to nearly 700 acres in the early 1980s. Together with his sons and colleagues, Moates remains active in an 1,800-acre diversified farming operation.

Though Martin Moates’ name is synonymous with farmer in the Wiregrass area of the state, perhaps his greatest legacy is his wise stewardship of the soil and the natural resources of his land. He became a cooperator with the Coffee County Conservation District in 1947 and has served as conservation district supervisor since 1959. Moates has served as president of the State Soil Conservation Association twice– in 1979 and 1985. He also serves as chairman of the Southeast Alabama Targeted Erosion Area, which has drawn national and international attention to the positive development of land treatment watersheds.

Moates has likewise been active in the Alabama Farmers Federation, where he served for many years on the state dairy committee. He also served on the farm crisis committee, and was instrumental in helping many area farmers find ways to overcome financial problems and remain in agriculture. Moates is also active in the Alabama and Southeastern Peanut Growers Association and served for many years on former U.S. Congressman Bill Dickinson’s district agricultural committee.

The Moates family, including wife, Jeanette, and four children, Emily Catherine, Rebecca Elizabeth, Benjamin Martin, and David Bert, who work and play together. Their faith and service to their church, the land, and to each other is the strong fiber that provides the base on which the family is built. Moates, in addition to his many leadership roles in family and business, has been a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church, where he taught youth for 32 years and has served as an active deacon for 12 years.