LITTLE ROCK — 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 77th Annual Convention at the Peabody Hotel and
Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.
Veach, 61, of Manila (Mississippi County) begins a fourth
term as president. He is Arkansas Farm Bureau’s tenth president since
its creation in 1935. 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
“It’s a privilege and honor to continue serving as
president of this great organization,” Veach said. “I am humbled by the
At its three-day statewide conference focusing on the
77-year-old organization’s legacy, Veach says it’s the building of
grassroots policy from member farmers and ranchers that makes the
“This organization has built a legacy as the voice of
Arkansas agriculture. The reason that we are effective in the policy
arena for our farmers and ranchers is because of our grassroots
process,” Veach said. “Grassroots policy development that benefits the
efficient and sustainable farming of food, fiber and shelter is the
foundation of Arkansas Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau.
Veach says Arkansas will not give up on or deviate from its member-developed policy.
“Once we do that we destroy the foundation and the legacy of this organization,” he said.
Veach says that’s why the farming and ranching community needs to stick together during this period of economic challenges.
“We are receiving some pressure to give up on parts of our
Farm Bill policy. Arkansas Farm Bureau has stood strong, while some
other states have not,” Veach said. “We will remain committed to our
policy. We will work on implementation of our policies.”
Voting delegates also addressed a wide range of policy
issues including positions on environmental regulation, agriculture
research, taxes, elected terms for county officials, private property
rights and eminent domain, and maintaining a safety net for agriculture
as it relates to the upcoming farm bill.
Hillman, 48, hails from Carlisle (Lonoke County) and will
begin his fourth term as vice president. He is a third-generation
farmer. His main crops are rice, soybeans and wheat. He and his wife
Tina have two children, Collin and Caroline.
“It’s a great opportunity to serve again,” Hillman said. “I’m humbled.”
Board action later 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: Mike Sullivan of Burdette
(Mississippi County); Gene Pharr of Lincoln (Washington County); Bruce
Jackson of Lockesburg (Sevier County); Richard Armstrong of Ozark
(Franklin County); Mike Freeze of Keo (Lonoke County); Troy Buck of
Alpine (Clark County) and Jon Carroll of Moro (Monroe County).