Veach remains Arkansas Farm Bureau leader

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Officers, seven state board members also elected

Randy Veach was elected Farm Bureau president for sixth term.

LITTLE ROCK -- Randy Veach and Rich Hillman will continue as president and vice president, respectively, of Arkansas Farm Bureau following their re-election Friday. Delegates also re-elected five board members and two new board members during the final day of the organization's 79th Annual Convention at the Marriott Hotel and Statehouse Convention Center.

Veach, 63, of Manila (Mississippi County) begins a sixth term as president. He is Arkansas Farm Bureau's tenth president since its creation in 1935. Veach farms cotton, soybeans, rice, wheat, corn and milo in and around the community of Lost Cane near Manila. He is a third-generation farmer and farms with his son Brandon. His wife's name is Thelma.

"I feel a great responsibility to this organization and to carry out the wishes of this organization in keeping agriculture and Farm Bureau strong in advocating the interests of agriculture everywhere we go," Veach said. "This is a position of service, and to the best of my ability I'll continue to serve the members of this organization throughout the state. Thank you so much."

Hillman, 50, hails from Carlisle (Lonoke County) and will begin his sixth term as vice president. He is a sixth-generation farmer. His main crops are rice, soybeans and wheat. He and his wife Tina have two children, Collin and Caroline.

"I'm truly blessed to represent an organization that does so many good things for so many people." Hillman said. "I look forward to this opportunity to continue serving our agricultural community."

The voting delegates re-elected five board members to new two-year terms and elected two new board members. The new board members include Sherry Felts, Joiner (Mississippi Co.); and Joe Thrash, Conway (Faulkner Co.). The re-elected board members include: Troy Buck, Alpine (Clark Co.); Jon Carroll, Moro (Monroe Co.); Mike Freeze, Keo (Lonoke Co.); Bruce Jackson, Lockesburg (Sevier Co.); and Gene Pharr, Lincoln (Washington Co.).

Voting delegates also addressed a wide range of policy issues including positions on taxes; environmental regulations; agricultural research, marketing and economic development; the state water plan and water quality, highways and roads issues, and maintaining a safety net for agriculture as part of the pending farm bill.

Board action later resulted in the election of Joe Christian, 50, of Jonesboro (Craighead Co.) as Secretary/Treasurer. Christian is a row crop farmer who farms 2,400 acres. He and his wife, Leah, have two children, Alex and Grayson.

Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of more than 192,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.

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