Wildy Family Farms named Mississippi County and District Farm Family of the Year

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wildy Family Farms of Manila has been named Mississippi County Farm Family of the Year for 2015. The family was also selected as Northeast District Farm Family of Arkansas. The eight district winners will be judged to determine a state winner to be announced Dec. 10 at the Farm Family of the Year luncheon at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock.

The Wildy Farm Family are, from left: seated -- Patty and David Wildy; Taylor, Tab, Justin, Hayley, Kristi, Blaine Wildy and Bethany, Annalyse and Paul Harris. Not pictured is Blaire Wildy, daughter of Justin and Kristi.

The Wildy Farm, located five miles west of Manila, was established at the present location in 1938. The history of the Wildy family in Mississippi County dates back to 1914 when David Wildy's great-grandfather and his bride moved from Illinois to Arkansas to clear and farm the land his father had bought. The family consists of David and Patty Wildy; Justin and Kristi Wildy and their children Blaire, 17, and Blaine, 14; Hayley Wildy; Paul and Bethany Wildy Harris and daughter Annalyse, 2; and Tab and Taylor Wildy.

David said he feels blessed that his children have all wanted to return to the farm. Each one plays an important role in the operation working together to make it successful. The wives are also involved.

David started farming with his dad, Earl Wildy, in 1975. Justin and Tab, like their father, grew up on the farm. Justin joined the operation in 1997 and Tab in 2015. Paul joined the partnership in 2012.

David said it is an honor to be selected to represent Mississippi County.

The farm has grown in acres and family members. The Wildys have maintained their good farming practices passed down through the generations.

History has repeated itself as David and Patty were named Mississippi County Farm Family in 1986. Justin and Hayley were very young. David's parents, Earl and June Wildy, received the honors in 1969.

When David first started farming the farm consisted of a total of 1500 acres. He rented 1,000 and owned 500. The operation has grown to the present 9,200 acres, of which 2,170 are owned.

This year the major crops consist of 1,200 acres of cotton; 5,540 acres of soybeans; 295 acres of wheat; 1,405 acres of milo; and 755 acres of peanuts, all irrigated. This is their first year to grow milo and peanuts.

David is proud to have had the opportunity to return to the family farm after college and continue the Wildy farming tradition passed down from his father. He hopes to continue on to the next generations.

The Wildys are a very busy family but try to get together at least once a week to share a family meal.

David graduated from the University of Arkansas majoring in animal science with a minor in soils. He served on the Mississippi County Farm Bureau Board from 1980-1986, serving as president in 1986; Mississippi County Electric board, 2000 to present; Mississippi County FSA Committee, 1986-2005; Buffalo Island Regional Water District Board, 2002-present; Chairman of the Board of Drainage District 16, 2002-present; Board of Directors -- St. Fancis Levee District of Arkansas 2003-present; University of Arkansas Agriculture Development Council, 2005-present; Northeast Arkansas Research and Extension Center Advisory Committee, 2005-present; Arkansas Northeastern College Foundations Board of Governors; Arkansas Agriculture Department of Board, 2005-2010; Arkansas Certified Crop Advisory Board, 1992-2998; Family Farms Group Advisory Board, 2014-present; Family Farms Group -- General Managers Peer Group, 2015; Family Farms Group -- Dad's Peer Group, 2014-present; and a member and past elder of the First Lutheran Church in Blytheville.

Patty is a homemaker who assists on the farm when she is needed. She stays active with her grandchildren's activities and is a member of the First Lutheran Church.

Hayley, their oldest daughter, has grown up on the farm and enjoys helping in the office.

Justin graduated from Arkansas State University in 1998 where he majored in agriculture business and economics. He has served on the Mississippi County Farm Bureau Board from 2007-2009; served as Mississippi County Farm Bureau president, 2008-2009; Mississippi County FSA Committee, 2014-present; Buffalo Island FFA Alumni President, 2014-present; Family Farms Group -- Operations Manager Peer Group, 2013-present; Family Farms Group -- International Committee, 2014-present, a member of the Monette First Baptist Church.

Justin's wife Kristi is a 1997 graduate of Arkansas State University. She also majored in agriculture business and economics. She serves as the adult advisor of Arkansas Junior Cattleman's Association, 2012-present. She is a a member of the Farm Bureau Women's Committee; Buffalo Island Junior Livestock Show Committee; Arkansas State Fair Blue Ribbon Campaign Committee; Buffalo Island Central Mustang Booster Club 2009 -- present; Buffalo Island Central FFA Alumni Committee; Buffalo Island Central FFA Alumni Auction Committee; and a member of First Baptist Church.

Paul is a 2011 graduate of the University of Arkansas where he majored in crop science with minors in weed science and biology. He serves on the Mississippi County Farm Bureau Board, 2014-present; Family Farms Group -- Technology Committee, 2014-present; and Family Farms Group -- Agripreneur Peer Group, 2014-present.

Paul's wife, Bethany, is a 2011 graduate of the University of Arkansas with a B.S. Degree in apparel studies. She is the owner of Silhouettes Boutique and Salon in Manila. She is currently expanding her business online sales, www.shopsilhouettes.com, which will launch in the next few weeks. She stays busy caring for their two-year old daughter, Annalyse. She is a member of the First Lutheran Church of Blytheville.

Tab Wildy graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2014 where he majored in crop science and minored in weed science. He is a member of Family Farms Group -- Agripreneur Peer Group, 2014-present; member of the Manila Pilots Association, 2014-present; and a member of the First Lutheran Church of Blytheville.

Tab's wife, Taylor, is a 2013 graduate of the University of Missouri where she majored in textile and apparel management and minored in business. She is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts and Teaching Program through the University of Arkansas-Monticello where she is pursuing a career in 4-8 grade education. She is a member of the First Baptist Church of Kennett.

Justin and Kristi's children, Blaire and Blaine, are involved in their community and livestock showing.

Blair is a junior at Buffalo Island Central High School. She is a member of the senior high Lady Mustangs basketball team, treasurer of BIC FFA; member of BIC FFA Livestock Show Team, National Honor society; serves as president of student council; member of FCCLA; and member of FBLA. She is the president of the Arkansas Junior Cattleman's Association and a member of the Mississippi County King Cotton 4-H Club. She is a member of Monette First Baptist Church and 4:12 Student Ministries. She was selected to take part in the 2015 Washington Youth Tour Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. She has received numerous awards including State Star Events Gold Medal winner with FCCLA; National Star Events Gold Medal Winner with FCCLA; recipient of 2014 Crowley's Ridge Livestock Show Scholarship; Recipient for Top 10 Steer 2013 in Arkansas State Fair Livestock Show Scholarship Program; and member of the 2014-2015 final four team in 2A State basketball.

Blaine is an eighth grader at BIC Junior High and is a member of the FFA, basketball team, BIC FFA Livestock judging team; BIC FFA Livestock Show Team; and a member of the National Honor Society. He is area vice president of the Arkansas Junior Cattleman's Association; Mississippi County King Cotton 4-H Club; member of the Monette First Baptist Church and 4:12 Student Ministries. He has received several awards including the Crowley's Ridge Livestock Show Scholarship, 2012-2015; premium sale participant for Top 3 Steer at 2013 Arkansas State Fair Livestock Show; Recipient for Top 10 Steer in Arkansas State Fair Livestock Show Scholarship Program in 2012-2014; and member of the 2014-2015 Junior High District Championship Basketball team.

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