Press Release - Rick Pate
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Contact: Amy Belcher, 334-240-7126
Commissioner Pate offers Video Challenge to Virginia Agriculture Commissioner if AU wins over VA in the Final Four Matchup
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Today, Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate issued a video challenging Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Dr. Jewel Bronaugh to a friendly wager on the NCAA Final Four matchup between Auburn University and the University of Virginia. Media can visit to download a broadcast ready version or visit for a social media version of the video.

Pate is offering Bronaugh a case of Alabama farm-raised catfish if “somehow” the Auburn Tigers loses the game. During his video challenge he said, “When Auburn wins, I expect to be enjoying some fine Virginia homegrown products.”

Commissioner Pate said the matchup between Auburn and Virginia gave me and Dr. Bronaugh an opportunity to promote our state’s homegrown farm products. Alabama ranks second in the nation for Catfish production and the catfish industry has a $158.2 million economic impact on the state annually.

Alabama farm-raised catfish is one of many great products we grow here in the state. The agriculture industry has an overall $70.4 billion impact on the state.

Pate also mentioned, “I want people to know I’m not simply an Auburn fan. The Auburn tradition is part of our family's heritage. Both my parents, myself, my brother and my 2 sons all graduated from Auburn’s College of Agriculture.” He continued, “My appreciation for Auburn University goes much further than my family roots. Auburn is a land grant institution which provides critical science-based research that continues to advance agriculture in our state.”

Auburn reached the Final Four by defeating Kentucky in overtime on Sunday 77-71, in the championship game of the Midwest Regionals and Virginia secured their position with their win over Purdue 80-75 on Saturday. The first 2019 NCAA Final Four game, Auburn vs. Virginia will air on CBS at 5:09 p.m. CT this Saturday, April 6th.