Life-long Butler County resident receives AFF#039;s leadership award

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A life-long Butler County resident, combat veteran, civic leader and farmer was recently honored for his outstanding leadership in local affairs.

Eric O. Cates Jr. of the Searcy Community is this year's recipient of the Alabama Farmers Federation Leadership Award.

Myron Salter, Butler County Farmers Federation president, accepted the award for Cates at a banquet on Dec.5 in Mobile.

This week, Salter, who nominated Cates for the honor, presented the award to the winner at the local ALFA offices.

&#8220Mr. Cates has done a fine job serving his community. He has always been concerned about making his community, state and nation a better place. That's why I put his name through to the home office in Montgomery as a candidate for the award,” Salter said.

&#8220The list of his accomplishments is very long – but it makes the point Mr. Cates is very deserving of this recognition.”

Cates, a combat veteran of both WW II and Korea, is a retired Army colonel and member of the retired reserves, with over 34 years of service in both the Army and National Guard.

He has been a member of the Greenville Post 24 of the American Legion for the past 59 years.

Cates has served as a member of the Greenville Kiwanis Club, the board of trustees for Greenville High School, the Butler County United Way Campaigns and has served two terms as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives.

In 1976, Cates was chosen Greenville's &#8220Man of the Year.”

Owner and operator of a 1,500-acre hay, cattle and timber farm, he is a past regional vice president and lifetime director for the Alabama Cattlemen's Association.

Cates is also past president of the Butler County Cattlemen's Association.

A member of the Fort Deposit United Methodist Church, he has served in several capacities, including lay speaker, Sunday School teacher, and chairman of several committees.

He is also a family man, with four children, 11 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren – &#8220and two more on the way,” Cates said with a proud smile.

&#8220This is a really nice honor, I appreciate it,” the honoree said.

Other winners from Butler County include Will Crenshaw, who received the Communication Award, and Tom Crenshaw, awarded for his outstanding job in promoting the poultry industry in Butler County.