BY MELANIE BUCK –
Polk County Farm Bureau recognized the Farm Family of the Year and also heard from guest speaker, County Judge Brandon Ellison, among others at their annual meeting on Monday night.
Brian and Sonya Maye and their family were chosen as the recipients of this year’s honor. Brian and Sonya own Maye Club Lambs Farm and breed show class lambs that are bought and shown across the nation. Carla Vaught presented a slide show of the family and their farming operation and explained what Maye Club Lambs is about.
A new Board of Directors for the local Farm Bureau was elected at the meeting as well; Allen Stewart, President; Ronney Fields, Vice President; Terry Keener, Secretary/Treasurer. Terry Terrell, Farrell Cole, David Head, Dennis Philpot, and Bill Hoek will serve three year terms as board members.
Sue Cavner of Mena Regional Health System and several MASH Camp participants were on hand to thank the Bureau for their generous support as a corporate sponsor for the medical camp. Also, a teen challenge participant thanked the Bureau for sending her to a camp that she enjoyed and hopes to attend again.
Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison was the guest speaker for the event. Ellison talked about much of the work that has been performed in the county and also about the fact that in his four and a half years in office, he has declared five emergencies including one this year that FEMA has yet to provide funds for. Ellison said he hopes that the funding comes through by the end of the year. Much of the County’s funds are being used to repair roads damaged by those natural disasters, on top of normal wear and tear.
Judge Ellison also encouraged those in attendance to educate themselves on the issue of WOTUS (Waters of the United States) and the Environmental Protection Agency’s agenda on the issue.
Some of the problems that Ellison said are currently on his plate are the uncertainty of the Polk County Jail remaining open and also spoke of the state wanting to hand over 65 miles worth of state highways over to the County. Ellison said, “We have the same problem the state does, too many roads and not enough money.” Pointing out that he doesn’t want even one more mile of road to take of than the County already has.
Farm Bureau Manager Floyd Clark said of the event, “It was a great meeting and Judge Ellison spoke on some meaningful things for Polk County and national events. It was a well-attended meeting and we were fortunate to get some things accomplished. The County Fair Association Board served us dinner and they always do a great job. They always let us use their facilities here at the Fairgrounds. James Earl Turner came out and cooked and we thank them for their facilities. We also want to thank the 4-H clubs that came and served us. We always enjoy them and they learn the servitude attitude, and the Cossatot River FFA kids came and led the pledge for us.”