Since 1947, the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program has served as a vehicle to recognize outstanding farm families throughout the state. The objectives of the Farm Family of the year program are:
- To give recognition and encouragement to farm families who are doing an outstanding job on their farm and in their community.
- To gain recognition of the importance of agriculture in the community and state.
- To disseminate information on improved farm practices and management.
The 76th annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program has announced its eight district farm families, representing the wide variety of Arkansas agriculture, the state’s largest industry.
The district families will 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 Cain Family of Griffithville (White County) – Brandon and Samantha Cain have been farming for 20 years. They grow corn and soybeans on 2,120 acres. They have three children: Jacob, Shelby and Brady.
- North Central District: the McJunkins Family of Dennard (Van Buren County) – Adam and Darla McJunkins have been farming for 29 years. They raise feeder calves and grow hay on 92 acres. They have three daughters: Sammy, Lacey Belle and Katie.
- Northeast District: the Donner Family of Manila (Mississippi County) – Allen and Debbie Donner have been farming for 43 years. They grow cotton, corn, soybeans and peanuts on 3,100 acres. They have three adult children: Heath, Adam and Katie.
- Northwest District: the Leonard Family of Huntington (Sebastian County) – Tracy and Julie Leonard have been farming for 23 years. They raise cattle and grow hay on 1,255 acres. They have five children: Shelby, Isaac, Scarlette, Alanna and Levi.
- Southeast District: the Myers Family of Eudora (Chicot County) – Mike and Darlene Myers have been farming for 53 years. They grow corn, soybeans, rice and wheat on 6,500 acres. They have three adult children: Steven, Eric and Holly.
- Southwest District: the Anderson Family of Hope (Hempstead County) – Mark and Judy Anderson have been farming for 22 years. They raise pigs, poultry and grow hay on 320 acres. They have four adult children: Joey, Britani, Leith and Brooke.
- West Central District: the Allen Family of Bismarck (Hot Spring County) – Jeremy and Magen Allen have been farming for 28 years. They raise cattle and grow hay on 1,490 acres. They have four children: Lane, Brody, Evelyn and Eli.
- Western District: the Tucker Family of Conway (Faulkner County) – John R. and Dian Evans and John H. and Lisa Evans grow rice, soybeans, corn and Bermuda grass in addition to raising cattle on 3,650 acres. John H. and Lisa have two adult daughters: Jill and Julie.
The Farm Family of the Year program begins annually 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 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 for the program are Arkansas Farm Bureau, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, Farm Credit Services of Western Arkansas, AgHeritage Farm Credit Services and Farm Credit Midsouth. Program partners are the Arkansas Agriculture Department, Arkansas FFA Association, Arkansas Press Association, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, USDA - Farm Service Agency, USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service, and USDA - Rural Development.
For more information on the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program, please contact Ashley Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org or 501-228-1521.