LITTLE ROCK – District winners for the 68th Annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program have been selected. The district winners will now be judged to determine a state winner, to be announced at the Dec. 11 Farm Family of the Year luncheon at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock.
The district winners are:
- Nathan and Kristin Reed of Marianna (Lee County) in the East Central District. The Reeds grow cotton, corn, soybeans and milo on 6,000 acres. They have three young children: Jane-Anne, Stanley “Eldon” and Katherine.
- Roy and Suzanne Runsick of Melbourne (Izard County) in the North Central District. The Runsicks farm cattle and have forage on 150 acres. They have four grown sons: Stewart Runsick, Scott Runsick, Bradley Bangs and Keith Bangs.
- Keith and Jill Forrester of Tyronza (Mississippi County) in the Northeast District. The Forresters grow a variety of crops, including tomatoes, melons, asparagus and strawberries on 200 acres. They have one child, Fox.
- Billy Joe and Courtney Wilkins of Lamar (Johnson County) in the Northwest District. The Wilkins farm Bermuda grass and cattle on 255 acres. They have three young children: Josie, Abby and Mayci.
- Sloan and Rhonda Hampton of Stuttgart (South Arkansas County) in the Southeast District. The Hamptons farm rice, soybeans and timber on 4,500 acres. They also have 500 acres in CRP. They have one child, Avery Claire.
- Warren and Becky Webster of Washington (Hempstead County) in the Southwest District. The Websters produce approximately 1.4 million chickens per year. They have three children: Logan, Nolan and Katie Ella.
- Richard and Jennifer Broach of Vandervoot (Polk County) in the Western District. The Broachs farm poultry, cattle and hay on 465 acres. They have three children: Tyler, Trevon and Tayden.
- The Gross Family of Hot Springs (Garland County) in the West Central District. Steve and Stacy, Scott and Kay, and Billy and Mary farm timber, hay, beef cattle, swine, poultry and equine on 1,280 acres. Steve and Stacy have two sons: Colton and Seth. Scott and Kay have two children: Lauren and Allan.
The Pulse recently published the Polk County Farm Family of the Year 2014 featuring the Broach Family and may be viewed online by clicking HERE.
“I am more amazed every year at the amount of passion Arkansas’ families have for agriculture,” said Randy Veach, a cotton, soybean and wheat farmer from Manila (Mississippi County), who serves as president of Arkansas Farm Bureau. “What a great honor to recognize the men and women of agriculture, and their families, for their hard work and success.
“I want to congratulate those who have been named County and District Farm Families of the Year. These families have made significant efforts within our industry and exemplify the very best of what our state offers.
“Agriculture is the backbone of our state. In fact, it is the largest business sector, adding around $16 billion to our economy each year. These farm families are a part of a wonderful legacy and industry that helps provide all of us an abundant, safe and affordable food supply, which we should never take for granted. This is something we continue to recognize and appreciate not only now, but throughout the year.”
The Farm Family of the Year program begins each year with selection of top farm families in each county and culminated in December with selection of the state Farm Family of the Year. 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 Arkansas Press Association, 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 Department of Career Education, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Rural Development.