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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Woody Hester Named Sebastian County Farm Family of the Year

Arkansas River Valley Business Directory

County families for the 74th annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program have been selected. The families will be visited by a set of judges to determine eight district winners, who will be announced June 15. The state Farm Family of the Year will be announced in December at the Farm Family of the Year luncheon in North Little Rock.

Since 1947, the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program has served as a vehicle to recognize outstanding farm families throughout the state. The objectives of the Farm Family of the Year program are:

 To give recognition and encouragement to farm families who are doing an outstanding job on their farm and in their community;

  • To give recognition and encouragement to farm families who are doing an outstanding job on their farm and in their community;
  • To recognize the importance of agriculture in the community and state; and
  • To disseminate information on improved farm practices and management.

 The county winners are:

 East Central District

  • Lee – Justin Higgins family, Marianna
  • Lonoke – Brad Whitehead Farms, England
  • Monroe – Tyler Pettigrew and family, Clarendon
  • Prairie – Roger Lisko, Hazen
  • Pulaski – Margie Raimondo, Little Rock
  • St. Francis – Cottonwood Farms, Widener
  • Saline – Connell Berry Farm, Benton
  • White – Brandon Gordon, Bradford
  • Woodruff – Chappell Brothers Farm LLC, Cotton Plant

 North Central District

  • Baxter – Cody and Hannah Walker family, Henderson
  • Cleburne – Bill and Gail Davis, Concord
  • Fulton – Michael and Duana Batterton family, Viola
  • Independence – Dennis Broadwater family, Batesville
  • Izard – Tyler and Whitney Cooper, Melbourne
  • Marion – Heath and Emily Smith, Yellville
  • Searcy – Fon Cash family, Everton
  • Sharp – Twin Oakes Farms LLC, Cave City
  • Stone – Keith and Cindy Branscum, Fifty-Six
  • Van Buren – Ronnie and Kerri Jones family, Scotland

 Northeast District

  • Clay – Gerald and Michelle Hartsfield, Rector
  • Craighead – Cobb/Lyerly/Owens Farms, Lake City
  • Crittenden – Spence and Jenni Held, Earle
  • Cross – Danny Voyles Family Farms, Wynne
  • Greene – Eason Farms, Jonesboro
  • Jackson – William and Courtney Tate, Amagon
  • Lawrence – Andrew and Kristal Jones, Alicia        
  • Mississippi – Tim Griggs Farms Partnership, Blytheville
  • Poinsett – Joey McCorkle, Tyronza
  • Randolph – Chad and Brandi Chester family, Pocahontas

 Northwest District

  • Benton – Kaleb and Chrisie Smith, Gentry
  • Boone – Richard and Gina Blevins Farm, Omaha
  • Carroll – Fred and Mitzi Worley, Berryville
  • Crawford – Scott and Tanya Rogers, Alma
  • Franklin – Mark and Becky Campbell, Ozark
  • Johnson – Chris and Brooklyn Heiser, Lamar
  • Madison – Jack and Brook Hudgins, Huntsville
  • Newton – Dustin Cowell family, Mt. Judea
  • Sebastian – Woody Hester, Hartford
  • Washington – Froud Farms, Springdale

 Southeast District

  • Arkansas, North – Kirk and Krista Keller, Stuttgart
  • Arkansas, South – Jay and Megan McLain, DeWitt
  • Ashley – Kyle Harriman, Hamburg
  • Chicot – Joshua and Bailey Lingo Partnership, Lake Village
  • Desha – Layne and Ryane Miles, McGehee
  • Drew – Jeff and Christine Felts family, Tillar
  • Jefferson – S & L Farms, Sheridan
  • Lincoln – Joey and Rhonda Ratterree, Star City
  • Phillips – Jackie Swindle Farms, Elaine

 Southwest District

  • Bradley – Jacob and Jamie Courtney, Warren
  • Calhoun – Woody’s Peach Orchard, Hampton
  • Columbia – Hugh and Lindsay Bragg, Magnolia
  • Hempstead – Cody and Ashlee Askew, Hope
  • Miller – Rushing Farms LLC – Patsy and Troy Rushing, Fouke
  • Nevada – Leslie Bullock, Prescott
  • Union – Rhett and Holly Hanry, El Dorado

 Western District

  • Conway – Foshee Family Farms, Atkins
  • Faulkner – Tim and Judith Allen, Mayflower
  • Logan – Whitaker Farms, Booneville
  • Montgomery – Perry and Paula Sing, Oden
  • Perry – Tim Hubbard family, Adona
  • Polk – James and Janet Watkins, Vandervoort
  • Pope – Jason and Becky Smith, Atkins
  • Yell – Ernest Doyle Buckman III, Havana

 West Central District

  • Clark – Kent and Anita Malcom, Okolona
  • Cleveland – Stephen Boyd, Rison
  • Dallas – William H. Sullivent, Sparkman
  • Garland – Roger Hutter, Pearcy
  • Grant – Bradley and Kerri Warren, Poyen
  • Hot Spring – Whitley Farms, Malvern
  • Howard – Newton Cheatham family, Mineral Springs
  • Sevier – Will Pickering family, DeQueen

“Each year the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program recognizes the outstanding farmers and ranchers who make up our state,” said Rich Hillman of Carlisle, president of Arkansas Farm Bureau. “These families are involved in essential work, not only providing food for my family and yours, but also serving as the ultimate stewards of the land and water resources. 

“Congratulations to these farm families. We are proud to honor their work and dedication to Arkansas agriculture, our state’s largest economic sector.” 

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 then go on to represent Arkansas at the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year. Arkansas has had two Southeast Farm of the Year 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 almost 190,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.

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Tammy Teague
Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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