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 76th Annual Convention at the Hot Springs Convention
Veach, 60, of Manila (Mississippi County) begins a third
term as president. He is Arkansas Farm Bureau’s tenth president since
its creation in 1935.
“I am humbled by the opportunity, privilege and honor to
continue serving as president of this great organization,” Veach said.
Veach says it’s critical that consumers know the story of
how farmers and ranchers go about raising food for the world. “We do
our work efficiently, so we can feed more and more of the growing world
population. We do our work humanely based on approved animal husbandry
and science-based practices,” he said. “And we do our work in an
environmentally sensitive way using less herbicides, pesticides and
water through advances in biotechnology that results in greater
protection of our natural resources. We must use our good name to
educate our friends, neighbors and communities.”
Veach says he will continue focusing on supporting all
segments of agriculture and effectively addressing the issues facing
“We need a united voice to keep extremist groups like the
Humane Society of the United States and others from dividing and
“Agriculture is Arkansas’ economic engine. It generates
more money for the state than any industry,” Veach said. “It must
continue to be economically vibrant here and across the country.”
He says that means educating the public about farming to
counter misrepresentations by extremist groups and by not allowing
unnecessary government restrictions that drive the cost of farming
“American farmers feed the world. For every person fed in
America, we feed 20 throughout the world,” Veach explained. “We have to
protect farmers and ranchers from high input costs and misguided
legislation that could drive us out of business.”
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
Hillman, 47, hails from Carlisle (Lonoke County) and will
begin his third term as vice president. He farms 4,500 acres and is a
third-generation farmer. His main crops are rice, soybeans and wheat.
He and his wife Tina have two children, Collin and Caroline.
“I’m humbled to have the opportunity to serve again,” Hillman said.
Board action also resulted in the re-election of Tom Jones
of Pottsville (Pope County) as Secretary/Treasurer. Jones is a cattle
and hay producer. His wife Jayne is vice president of development at
Arkansas Tech University.
The voting delegates also re-elected seven board members to
new two-year terms. They include: Â Joe Christian of Jonesboro
(Craighead County); Rusty Smith of Des Arc (Prairie County); Leo
Sutterfield of Mountain View (Stone County); Allen Stewart of Mena
(Polk County); Terry Dabbs of Stuttgart (Arkansas County); Johnny
Loftin of El Dorado (Union County) and Jones.
Voting delegates also addressed a wide range of policy issues including
positions on environmental regulation, agriculture research, forestry,
health care, dairy stabilization, taxes and potential rule making by
the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).