County farm families for the 72nd annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program have been selected, according to a news release from Arkansas Farm Bureau.
The county winners will be visited by a set of judges to determine the eight district winners, who will be announced June 17. They will be visited again by a different set of judges in July to determine a state winner, who will be announced Dec. 12 at the Farm Family of the Year luncheon in North Little Rock.
Winners listed by district and county are:
Southeast District — Arkansas, N. – Chris and Heather Simpson, Stuttgart; Arkansas, S. – Gary and Meagan Padget, Almyra; Ashley – Brad Graham, Portland; Desha – Tony Wells, McGehee; Drew – Eubanks Farms, Wilmar; Jefferson – Dewayne Goldmon Family with Dell-Cam Farm, Inc., Pine Bluff; Lincoln – Johnathan and Sara Bottoms, Gould; Phillips – John and Kaleb Hall, Elaine;
Southwest District — Bradley – Hamilton Farms, Hermitage; Calhoun – Allen Primm, Hampton; Hempstead – Donald and B.J. Hampton, Hope; Lafayette – Jamie and Kalen Knighton, Lewisville; Little River – La Voice Family, Ashdown; Nevada – Mike Cottingham, Prescott; Union – Charles and Debbie Foot, Tinsley;
Western District — Conway – Duvall Farms, Hattieville; Faulkner – Schaefers Brothers Farms, Conway; Logan – Clark and Tori Parker, Magazine; Montgomery – Bob and Denise McCord with Dixieland Farm, Norman; Perry – Steve and Flora Harrington Family, Casa; Polk – Dean and June Wiles, Mena; Pope – Rusty and Rebecca Davis, Russellville; Yell – Dusty and Melanie Walker;
West Central District — Clark – Stockton Family Farm, Okolona; Cleveland – Gary and Melody Spears, Rison; Dallas – Michael and Cecilia Berry with Bluebird Farm, Sparkman; Grant – Chad and Katie Harper, Prattsville; Hot Spring – Chris and Piper Nelson, Malvern; Howard – The Greene Family, Athens; Saline – Renae Breckling, Benton; Sevier – Josh and Marilyn Momrris, Gillham.
East Central District — Lee – Jeff Hickman, Marianna; Lonoke – I.F. Anderson Farms Inc., Lonoke; Monroe – Curtis Kirkpatrick Family, Holly Grove; Prairie – Chris Berg Family, Stuttgart; Pulaski – Jeremy, Emily and Benjamin Bemis, Little Rock; St. Francis – Hobbs Family, Colt; White – Lester and Ouida Cossey Family with Flying C Ranch, Searcy; Woodruff – Johnny W. and Jennifer Taylor, McCrory;
North Central District — Baxter – Wes Henderson Family, Mountain Home; Cleburne – Eldon and Anne Fry, Quitman; Fulton – Justin and Rachel Luther; Independence – Kenny and Edwina Hurley, Cushman; Izard – Bo and Whitney Lord Family, Evening Shade; Marion – Mike and Darcy King Family, Yellville; Searcy – Triple T Cattle Company, Marshall; Sharp – The Nathan and Eddie Walling Families, Cave City; Stone – Jerry and Barbara Davis, Marcello; Van Buren – Alan and Angela Mahan with Rabbit Ridge Farms, Bee Branch;
Northeast District — Clay – David Hatcher Family, Corning; Craighead – Heath and Mari Ann McGaughey, Lake City; Crittenden – Cooper Morrison, Earle; Cross – Matthews Sweet Potato Farm, Wynne; Greene – Pillow Fish Farm and Family, Paragould; Jackson – Three Generations Partnership, Tuckerman; Lawrence – Steve Graham, Alicia; Mississippi – Robinson Melon Farms, Leachville; Poinsett – Jason and Tabithia Mullins, Trumann; Randolph – Weitkamp Farms Partnership, Pocahontas;
Northwest District — Benton – Kevin and Jacqueline Smith Family, Decator; Boone – Jeff and Debbie Atkinson, Harrison; Carroll – Josh and Tonya McMahan, Green Forest; Crawford – Richard and Earlene Boone, Natural Dam; Franklin – Michael and Kasey Post, Altus; Johnson – Tanner and Amy Storment, Flat Rock; Madison – Greg Wheeler, Combs; Newton – Gene Davidson Family, Kingston; Washington – Pitts Family, Lincoln.
“The Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program recognizes great farmers and ranchers each year,” said Randy Veach, president, Arkansas Farm Bureau. “These families are involved in noble and important work to provide food, fiber and shelter to the world. “Congratulations to these great farm families. We are pleased to honor their success, stewardship and commitment to Arkansas agriculture.”
Since 1947, the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program has served as a vehicle to recognized outstanding farm families throughout the state, according to the release.
The objectives of the Farm Family of the Year program is, To give recognition and encouragement to farm families who are doing an outstanding job on their farm and in their community; To gain recognition of the importance of agriculture in the community and state; To disseminate information on improved farm practices and management, according to the release.
The Farm Family of the Year program begins each year with the selection of top farm families in each county and culminates in December with the selection of the state Farm Family of the Year who will then go on to represent Arkansas at the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year. Arkansas has had two overall winners, Brian and Nan Kirksey of Clark County in 2008 and Wildy Family Farms of Mississippi County in 2016. All winners are judged on their farm production, efficiency, management, family life and rural/community leadership.
Sponsors of the Farm Family of the Year program are Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, and the three Farm Credit agencies that serve Arkansas: AgHeritage Farm Credit Services, Farm Credit of Western Arkansas and Midsouth Farm Credit. Additionally, support for the program is provided by the Arkansas Agriculture Department, Arkansas Department of Career Education, Arkansas Press Association, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Rural Development.
Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of more than 190,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.