Walter C. Givhan

Walter C. Givhan, who served in the Alabama Legislature for more than 38 years, was a native of the Alabama Black Belt and life-long friend of agriculture.

First elected to the House in 1930, this Dallas County farmer served as a representative for 16 years and then, in 1954, was elected to the first of six terms he would serve in the Alabama Senate. In fact, Givhan held the longest tenure of any Alabama legislator until his death in 1976. His reputation as an advocate of agriculture began early in his career but was first cemented in 1935 when he took the lead in establishing the Alabama Milk Control Board and Alabama Dairy Commission, which helped stabilize milk prices across the state.

Givhan went on to crusade to improve benefits for all sectors of agribusiness and establishing tax relief policy for a wide range of agricultural commodities and activities. He also helped to create and then served as chairman of the Farmers Market Authority, and was active in the Alabama Farm Bureau (now ALFA and the Alabama Farmers Federation). In addition, he was recognized as the “father of the soybean movement in Alabama” for his early advocacy of soybean production in Alabama.

Givhan was a huge supporter of Auburn University’s agricultural research program and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. His influence and efforts also spilled outside strictly agricultural issues. Givhan was instrumental in establishing a system of trade schools and junior colleges throughout Alabama, and he also worked to found an inland docks system and improve Alabama’s highway system.