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For Immediate Release

Farm Bureau honors the life of Whisenhunt

Former president served Arkansas agriculture more than 55 years

5/30/2010 at 12:00 a.m.


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 1999.

“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 Whisenhunt.

“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 years.

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.    

 

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Click Photo for High Resolution Version

Andrew Whisenhunt

 

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Andrew Whisenhunt (second from left) poses with other past Farm Bureau presidents during the organization’s 75th annual convention in December. Other past presidents include (l-r) Nicky Hargrove of Stuttgart, Whisenhunt, Stanley Reed of Marianna, David Hillman of Almyra and current Arkansas Farm Bureau president Randy Veach of Manila.

 

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Andrew Whisenhunt shares a laugh with then-Gov. Bill Clinton at a Farm Bureau press conference to discuss the organization's legislative agenda.

 

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Andrew Whisenhunt graced the cover of American Cotton Grower magazine back in 1973.

 

 

Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of more than 220,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.

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For more information contact:

Steve Eddington
steve.eddington@arfb.com
(501) 228-1383
PO Box 31, Little Rock 72203

or

Ken Moore
ken.moore@arfb.com
(501) 228-1512
PO Box 31, Little Rock 72203

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