Eight district Farm Families have been named in the 75th annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program, representing the diversity of Arkansas agriculture, the state’s largest industry.
The district families will now be judged to determine the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year, who will be announced Dec. 8.
The District Farm Families of the Year are:
- East Central District: the Lindsey Family of Forrest City (St. Francis County) – Brothers Bubba and Jay Lindsey have been farming since they were young with their father. They grow cotton, sweet potatoes and soybeans on 3,700 acres. In addition to farming, they co-own and operate Lindsey Gin Company. Jay is married to Kasie Lindsey. Bubba and his wife, Susan, have two adult children, Drew and Cody.
- North Central District: the Hays Family of Pleasant Plains (Independence County) – Ben Hays and his wife Mandy have been farming for six years. They raise cattle, poultry, sheep and goats on 988 acres. The Hays family has four daughters, Piper, Lydia, Nora and Layla.
- Northeast District: the Smith Family of Paragould (Greene County) – Smith Farms is owned and operated by father and son, Terry and Clay Smith. The family produces corn, soybeans, rice, wheat and bermudagrass hay in addition to raising cattle and goats on 2,800 acres. Terry and his wife Melanie have been farming for 31 years and have another daughter, Natalie, who owns a honeybee business with her husband, Seth. Clay and his wife Cori have been farming for six years.
- Northwest District: the Hostetler Family of Green Forest (Carroll County) – The Hostetler family consisting of brothers Kevin and his wife, Teresa, and Kenyon and his wife, Josie, have been farming for 14 years. They grow alfalfa, both grain and forage soybeans, wheat and raise cattle and poultry on 1,787 acres. Kevin and Teresa have three children, Kristine, Logan and Amy. Kenyon and Josie have three children as well, Konner, Kamri and Kaidynce.
- Southeast District: the Young Family of Poplar Grove (Phillips County) – Clay Young and his wife Shannon have been farming for 30 years. They grow soybeans, cotton, corn and wheat on 9,000 acres. In addition to farming, Clay owns Young’s Custom Service, a water well drilling business, with his brothers Tommy, Danny and Will. Clay and Shannon have two adult children, Allie and Cole.
- Southwest District: the Robertson Family of Hope (Hempstead County) – Tim Robertson and his wife Jana have been farming for seven years. They raise cattle and poultry in addition to growing mixed grass hay on 495 acres. The Robertson family has four children, Hunter, Zoe, Brooklynn and Cooper.
- West Central District: the Huneycutt Family of Arkadelphia (Clark County) – Brothers Ted and Steve Huneycutt have been farming for 35 years. They grow cotton, corn, wheat, soybeans, hay and raise cattle on 4,000 acres. In addition to their farm, they operate Benchmark Ag, the Barn at Richwoods and are constructing their own meat processing plant, Ouachita Valley Meat Company. Ted and his wife, Cindy, have four adult children, Sara, Trey, Luke and Greyson. Steve and his wife, Leanne, have four adult children, Josh, Jessica, Ashley and Logan.
- Western District: the Stobaugh Family of Atkins (Conway County) – Stobaugh Bros. Farm is a multi-generational family farm owned and operated by William, Robert and Barry Stobaugh. The farm has been in the family for over 60 years, and they produce rice, soybeans and corn on 6,000 acres. In addition to their farm, the family owns Kenwood Agri Air. William and his wife, Ashley, have two children, Carter and Bentley. Robert and his wife, Mary Ann, have two adult children, Bryan and Molly. Barry and his wife, Eva, have two adult children, Cassie and Lindsay.
The Farm Family of the Year program begins each year with the selection of top farm families in each county and culminates in December with the selection of the state Farm Family of the Year, who then go on to represent Arkansas at the Swisher Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year competition. Arkansas has had two Southeast Farm of the Year winners, Brian and Nan Kirksey of Clark County in 2008 and Wildy Family Farms of Mississippi County in 2016.
All families are judged on their farm production, efficiency, management, family life and rural/community leadership.
Sponsors of the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program are Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas. Additionally, support for the program is provided by the Arkansas Agriculture Department, 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.
Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of almost 190,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.