News & Media

2015 District Farm Families of the Year Named

LITTLE ROCK – District winners for the 68th annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program have been selected. The district winners will now be judged to determine a state winner to be announced Dec. 10 at the Farm Family of the Year luncheon at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock.

The district winners are:

  • John and Mikki Hamilton of Searcy (White County) in the East Central District. The Hamiltons farm rice, soybeans and wheat on 880 acres. They have two young children, John David and Jim.
  • Allen and Melissa Glidewell of St. Joe (Searcy County) in the North Central District. The Glidewells farm hay, beef cattle and turkeys on 1,300 acres. They have three young children, Bradyn, Brooklyn and Bryce.
  • Wildy Family Farms of Manila (Mississippi County) in the Northeast District. David and Patty, Justin and Kristi, Tab and Taylor and Hayley Wildy and Paul and Bethany Harris farm soybeans, cotton, wheat, milo and peanuts on 9,200 acres. Justin and Kristi have two children, Blaire and Blaine, and Paul and Bethany have one child, Annalyse.
  • Brent and Ronda Butler of Siloam Springs (Benton County) in the Northwest District. The Butlers raise hay, beef cattle and broilers on 825 acres. They have three grown children, Dustin, Austin and Dillon, and three grandchildren.
  • The Fuller family of Poplar Grove (Phillips County) in the Southeast District. Jerry and Suzie and Terry and Lisa farm wheat, milo, corn, soybeans, hay and beef cattle on 2,774 acres. They also own Fuller Seed and Supply. Jerry and Suzie have three grown children: Katherine, Kyle and Jared. Terry and Lisa have two children, Rayann and Gracie.
  • Phil and Lesia Hamaker of Junction City (Union County) in the Southwest District. The Hamakers raise cattle, poultry, hay, timber and produce on 490 acres. They have three children, Tiffany, Kyle and Ashlyn.
  • Billy and Charlotte Wilchman of Cleveland (Conway County) in the Western District. The Wilchmans raise pecans, poultry, beef cattle, fresh water prawn (shrimp) and tomatoes and peppers. They have four children and are currently raising their 8-year-old grandson.
  • Roy "Pee Wee" and Carolyn Ham of Arkadelphia (Clark County) in the West Central District. The Hams raise beef cattle, Boer goats, swine, hay and timber on 380 acres. They have two children, two grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

“I am amazed every year at the amount of passion Arkansas’ families have for agriculture,” said Randy Veach, a cotton, soybean and wheat farmer from Manila, who serves as president of Arkansas Farm Bureau. “What a great honor to recognize the men and women of agriculture, and their families, for their hard work, success and dedication. I want to congratulate those who have been named County and District Farm Families of the Year. These families have made significant efforts within our industry and exemplify the very best of what our state offers.

“Agriculture is the backbone of our state. In fact, it is the largest business sector, adding around $21 billion to our economy each year. These farm families are a part of a wonderful legacy and industry that helps provide food, fiber and fuel for a growing population, which we should never take for granted. This is something we continue to recognize and appreciate not only now, but throughout the year.”

The Farm Family of the Year program begins each year with selection of top farm families in each county and culminates with the selection of the state Farm Family of the Year who will then go on to represent Arkansas at the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year. All winners 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 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, Arkansas Press Association, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Rural Development.