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For Immediate Release

Eight District Farm Families of the Year Selected

7/25/2011 at 12:00 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — Eight district winners in the 65th annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program have been selected.

The district winners will be judged and the state winner will be announced at the Farm Family of the Year luncheon on Dec. 9 at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock.

The district winners are:

  • Darick and Leesa Brown of Viola (Fulton County) in the North Central District. The Brown’s raise commercial beef cattle, commercial meat goats and harvest fescue seed on 2,817 acres. They have three children, Devin, Lakynn and Dalton.

  • Jerry and Renee Boeckmannof Wynne (Cross County) in the Northeast District. Jerry and Renee Boeckmann grow rice and soybeans on 2,000 acres. They have three children, Heather, Leigh and Tyler.

  • GC Farms of Augusta (Woodruff County) in the East Central District. Gary and Evelyn Coles own GC Farms. They grow grain sorghum, oats, rice, soybeans and wheat on 11,257 acres. They have three children, Brian, Matthew and Michael.

  • Maury Hill Family of Fayetteville (Washington County) in the Northwest District. Maury and Daleen Hill grow hay and chopped haylage on 487 acres. They also have 300 cows and calves, plus other stocker cattle. They have two children, Dale and Shannon, and seven grandchildren.

  • Heath and Betsy Long of Tichnor (Arkansas County) in the Southeast District. The Long’s grow rice, soybeans and wheat on 2,243 acres. They have two children, Shelby and Sydney. 

  • Ken and Rhonda Rudder of El Dorado (Union County) in the Southwest District. The Rudder’s grow garden produce, fruit and hay on 96 acres. They have five children, John, Kevin, Keith, Laura and Rachel.

  • Chris and Lesley Simmons of Arkadelphia (Clark County) in the West Central District. The Simmons’ grow corn, rice, soybeans and wheat on 4,000 acres. They have one child, Lane.

  • Leslie and Melissa Oates of Pottsville (Pope County) in the Western District. The Oates run 120 cow/calf pairs, and grow soybeans, wheat and Bermuda hay on 902 acres. They have three children, Garrett, Brett and Carson.

“Congratulations to each of the great farm families who have been named district winners,” said Randy Veach, a cotton farmer from Manila (Mississippi County) who serves as president of Arkansas Farm Bureau. “I’d also like to extend congratulations to those families who were recognized as county Farm Families of the Year as well.

“Agriculture is the backbone of our state. In fact, it is the largest business sector of our economy as well as the core of our state’s cultural fiber. Everyone in our state should take pride in the great farm families that are being recognized this year, and applaud them for their commitment to agriculture and their ongoing success.”

The Farm Family of the Year program begins each year with selection of top farm families in each county and culminates in December with selection of the state Farm Family of the Year. County, district and state winners all are judged on their farm production, efficiency, management, family life and rural/community leadership.

Sponsors of the Farm Family of the Year program are Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Arkansas Press Association, the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and the three Farm Credit agencies that serve Arkansas, AgHeritage Farm Credit Services, Farm Credit of Western Arkansas and Midsouth Farm Credit. Additionally, support for the program is provided by the Arkansas Department of Career Education, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Rural Development.



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


For more information contact:

Steve Eddington
(501) 228-1383
PO Box 31, Little Rock 72203


Tara Johnson
(501) 228-1611
PO Box 31, Little Rock 72203

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