The Real McCoy Lunch is billed as a way to let the city community learn more about the agricultural community and vice versa.
That is exactly what happened at the Coffee County Farm City Committee’s Real McCoy lunch held Friday, April 27, at the Coffee County Complex Community Room in New Brockton.
Meeting for fellowship and lunch hosted by the Farm City Committee were soldiers and civilians from Fort Rucker’s 1st Battalion, 212th Aviation Regiment, Enterprise High School Future Farmers of America students and some of the area’s older generation of farmers who are “the real McCoy,” said Coffee County Farm City Committee Chairman Cindy Kinney.
Kinney said that the annual event kicks off the county’s events designed to foster relationships between the communities. Other events planned include the Farm City Tour on May 11, the Petting Zoo for area Pre-K and kindergarten students Sept. 11 and 12, the Ladies’ Lunch Oct. 18, a proclamation signing at the Coffee County Commission meeting Oct. 22, Pumpkins on the Square in Elba during Trick or Treating, press day on Nov. 1 and the annual awards banquet Nov. 15.
Soldiers with hometowns as distant as Vermont, Idaho and Oregon were among the military guests. Many hailed from Texas, including the 1st Battalion, 212th Aviation Regiment’s Command Sergeant Major James “Jay” Coquat.
Coquat, a former FFA member who grew up in south Texas learning the alphabet in Spanish and English, took a moment to outline the mission of his organization, “to brag on the folks in the room and the order of magnitude of what they do every day.
“Essentially what happens in our battalion happens 20 hours a day, every day,” Coquat said. “The airfield only sleeps for about four hours across three shifts.”
The 1-212th trains some 1,600 students in the Blackhawk helicopter annually, Coquat said. “Today we have 272 students in 23 programs of instruction.
“They launch about 80 to 200 flights a day—on average—and about 800 or so hours a week,” the combat veteran with numerous deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Inherent Resolve and other contingency operations, told the group, “day in and day out—making new aviators to go out and do what we need to do for the nation’s security.”
Other members of the Coffee County Farm City Committee are Eleanor Andress, Wiregrass Economic Development Corporation; Steven Bozeman, Alabama AG Credit and farmer, Lora Bright, business owner, dance instructor and farmer; Sandy Bynum, Elba Chamber of Commerce Director; Travis Carnley, Soil Conservationist Technician and farmer; Erin Grantham, Enterprise Chamber of Commerce president; Mark Doyle, Department of the Army Civilian Academic Instructor and farmer; Josh Elliott, Natural Resources Conservation Service; David Ellis, retired from Eastman Chemical Company; Glenda Ellis, retired school teacher; Annie Hendrix, 4-H Agent Assistant; Gavin Mauldin, Coffee County Extension Coordinator; Sue Leverett, Natural Resources Conservation Services; Mary McLean, Coffee County Extension Administrative Support Associate; Ashley Merritt, Alabama AG Credit; Dan Presley, retired County Extension Coordinator and member of the Auburn University 1957 National Championship Football Team; Pat Presley, retired elementary school teacher; Justin Senn, Farm Services; Pamela Sikes, Alabama AG Credit; Daniel Stephens, retired business owner; and Jeff Woodham, Department of the Army Civilian Helicopter Instructor and cattle farmer.