LITTLE ROCK — Andrew Whisenhunt, one of just
10 men to serve as president of Arkansas Farm Bureau over the
organization’s 75-year history, lived his adult life promoting Arkansas
agriculture and the rural way of life.
A member of the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame, Whisenhunt passed away Saturday at the age of 79.
He is survived by his wife Polly, three sons, two daughters and 13 grandchildren.
Whisenhunt, of Bradley (Lafayette County), joined his local
county Farm Bureau in 1955 at the age of 24. He was elected to the
state board of directors in 1968 and as secretary-treasurer in 1976.
Whisenhunt was elected as Arkansas Farm Bureau’s seventh president in
1986 and led the organization for 13 years, until stepping down in
“Our sincere condolences are extended to Andrew’s family,”
says Randy Veach of Manila (Mississippi County), current president of
Arkansas Farm Bureau. “It speaks volumes that he voluntarily served the
farmers and ranchers of this state for more than 50 years, more than
30 of those on the state board. We accomplished much during that time.
Our state membership grew from 121,000 to 215,000 during his 13 years
as president. This significant growth led to greater influence and
prestige in the eyes of state legislators and the public.
“Arkansas and the agricultural community has lost one of its finest men and servant leaders. Andrew Whisenhunt will be missed.”
Jack Jones of Pottsville (Pope County) served with Whisenhunt
on the Arkansas Farm Bureau board for 24 years and as vice president
of the organization for seven of those years. Jones spent 17 years as
vice president of Farm Bureau, and values the time he worked with
“The greatest accomplishment during Andrew’s time as
president was that this was the greatest period of membership growth
for Farm Bureau,” Jones says. “He was very popular with people
statewide, as evidenced by the number of years he was re-elected
president. The board worked together well during that time. There’s
strength in numbers and getting more people involved in Farm Bureau
allowed us to accomplish more of our legislative goals at the capitol.”
During his tenure as ArFB president Whisenhunt was elected to the American Farm
Bureau board of directors and represented the 13 states in the Southern Region of AFBF’s Executive Committee.
Named the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year in 1970, the
Whisenhunts produced row crops and timber on their 2,000 acre farm. In
1984, Progressive Farmer magazine selected him its “Man of the Year in Arkansas Agriculture.”
In addition to Farm Bureau, he served on numerous other
boards and committees. These include vice president of the Southern
Farm Bureau Casualty Company, a member of the board and executive
committee of the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, and as
president of the Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Arkansas.
Whisenhunt was a charter member of the Arkansas Soybean Promotion
Board. He is a past president of the American Soybean Development
Foundation and American Soybean Promotion boards and member of the
Arkansas and American Farm Bureau Soybean Advisory divisions.
Whisenhunt is past president of the Arkansas Association of
Conservation Districts and served on his local school board for 26
At its state convention last December, Arkansas Farm Bureau
celebrated its 75th anniversary, with past presidents recognized for
their leadership and accomplishments. Whisenhunt was one of five living
presidents who were able to attend and participate in a special
reception in their honor.