Grace looking to pick up support in Shelby County

The next Alabama agriculture and industries commissioner must be able to fairly and effectively regulate many of the state’s industries while improving conditions for area farmers, commissioner candidate Dorman Grace said during a July 7 campaign stop in Alabaster.

Grace spoke to about 20 supporters at Kelly Trailer Sales and Service off Shelby County 87 in Alabaster during his “Pickup Support” campaign.

During the campaign, Grace and several supporters are making several stops across the state as they caravan in pickup trucks displaying large Grace campaign signs.

Grace, a Republican, is facing fellow Republican John McMillan during a July 13 runoff election.

If elected, Grace said he would work to help farmers across the state, and make it easier for local residents to purchase Alabama-grown produce and meat.

“Farming in Shelby County is a lot bigger than most people realize,” Grace said. “You’ve got people all around Birmingham who say they want to buy locally grown produce and meat. I want to promote those ideas.”

Improving and properly regulating the state’s agriculture and industries would benefit Alabama’s economy, Grace said.

“Whether it’s a farmers’ market or a u-pick farm or anything like that, I want to help them out,” Grace said. “I know a lot of that is already going, but helping with that will help our state and strengthen our economy.

“Only about 1.8 percent of our nation’s population is farmers, and I want to raise that number,” Grace said. “A farm is a great place to raise a family. It instills a great work ethic.”

During his speech, Grace told supporters he would work to ensure all food coming to Alabama from the Gulf of Mexico is safe, and would fight the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of the state’s farmers.

“We have a disaster in the Gulf that will be a detriment to our state for a long time,” Grace said. “We have to make sure the food is safe when it comes in.

“Agriculture is one of the most important businesses in Alabama,” Grace said. “This is not about Dorman Grace. This is about farmers and small business owners across the state.”