Sunday, December 4, 2016

Veach continues as Arkansas Farm Bureau leader

HOT SPRINGS — 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 seven board members during the final day of the organization’s 82nd annual convention at the Hot Springs Convention Center.
Veach, of Manila begins a ninth term as president. He is Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 10th president since its creation in 1935. Veach and his wife, Thelma, farm in and around the community of Lost Cane near Manila. He is a third-generation farmer.
“My heart continues to be with the farmers and ranchers of Arkansas. I’m deeply committed to agriculture and understand the great responsibility we have to advocating and strengthening the interests of agriculture,” Veach said. “We’re looking at some very difficult obstacles for our farmers and ranchers. One of the major ones is profitability. So we have to continue monitoring what we can do for trade, government regulations and providing a safety net for all of agriculture.”
Hillman hails from Carlisle and will begin his ninth 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 grown children, Collin and Caroline.

“I’m always humbled by the support and trust that’s been placed in me. I look forward to serving with President Veach, the state board and all the membership of Arkansas Farm Bureau to continue serving those committed to agriculture throughout the state,” Hillman said.
The voting delegates re-elected seven board members to new two-year terms. They include: Terry Dabbs, Stuttgart; Tom Jones, Pottsville; Caleb Plyler, Hope; Rusty Smith, Des Arc; Leo Sutterfield, Mountain View; Dan Wright, Waldron and Joe Christian, Jonesboro.
Voting delegates also addressed a wide range of federal and state policy issues including positions on revising the process the federal government uses to impose new burdensome regulations; proposals on the future of farm programs and the 2018 farm bill; revision of rules governing risk management and federal crop insurance coverage; legislation that gives the State Plant Board authority to regulate seed traits; encourage the state Legislature to provide high speed broadband to rural areas; improving transportation infrastructure for agricultural products; and urging higher education institutions to incorporate more agriculture and technical training.
Board action later resulted in the election of Christian as Secretary/Treasurer. Christian is a row-crop farmer who grows rice and soybeans. He and his wife, Leah, have two children, Alex and Grayson.
Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of almost 191,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.

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