Veach elected to lead Arkansas Farm Bureau

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

HOT SPRINGS -- Randy Veach is the new president of Arkansas Farm Bureau and Rich Hillman is its new vice president. The election of new officers and board members took place Friday at Farm Bureau's 74th Annual Convention at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

Randy Veach named State Farm Bureau President. (photo provided)

Veach, 58, of Manila (Mississippi County) takes over as president after serving five years as Farm Bureau's vice president. He replaces Stanley Reed of Marianna (Lee County), who declined to run again for president.

"I consider it an honor and a privilege to serve as the president of this great organization," Veach said. "I do consider it a position of service."

Veach also recognizes the uncertainty of the economy and its potential effects on Arkansas farmers and ranchers. He says his focus is for all segments of agriculture to look for opportunities to cooperatively address issues during these trying times.

"With the national and world economies in such bad shape and input costs still high and prices for what we raise and produce still dropping, we have to work together to be able to stay in business," he said.

Veach farms cotton, soybeans, rice, wheat, corn and milo in and around the community of Lost Cane. He is a third-generation farmer and farms with his son Brandon. His wife's name is Thelma.

Hillman, 45, hails from Carlisle (Lonoke County) and farms 4,500 acres. He is a third-generation farmer. His main crops are rice, soybeans and wheat. He and his wife Tina have two children, Collin and Caroline.

Board action also resulted in John Andrews of Walnut Ridge (Lawrence County) being reelected to a sixth term as Secretary/Treasurer.

Voting delegates also reelected seven board members to new two-year terms. They include Joe Christian of Jonesboro (Craighead County), Rusty Smith of Des Arc (Prairie County), Leo Sutterfield of Mountain View (Stone County), Allen Stewart of Mena (Polk County), Tom Jones of Pottsville (Pope County), Terry Dabbs of Stuttgart (Arkansas County) and Johnny Loftin of El Dorado (Union County).

Voting delegates also addressed a wide range of policy issues including positions on biofuels, agriculture research, private property rights, animal cruelty, taxes and environmental issues.

Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of more than 227,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.

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