LITTLE ROCK — The district winners for the 66th Annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program have been selected.
The district winners will be judged to determine a state winner, which will be announced at the Farm Family of the Year luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock.
The district winners are:
- Keith and Jill Jones of Palestine (Lee County) in the East Central District. The Joneses grow soybeans, rice, corn and grain sorghum on 2,000 acres. They have two daughters, Maggie and Elizabeth.
- Tom and Margaret Vanemburg of Desha (Independence County) in the North Central District. The Vanemburgs grow corn, soybeans and wheat on their 312-acre farm. They also have 92 head of beef cattle and raise 1,260,000 broilers annually. They have three children, Kip, Jeff and Aaron.
- Gene and Mary Jo Crouch of Harrisburg (Poinsett County) in the Northeast District. The Crouches grow rice, soybeans and wheat on 3,290 acres. They have two children, Gregg and Rhonda, and three grandchildren.
- Scott and Cassie Davis of Prairie Grove (Washington County) in the Northwest District. The Davises have 223 head of dairy cows and grow mixed grass/Bermuda hay, wheat and rye silage, and sorghum silage on 650 acres. They have two daughters, Lily and Ella.
- Jared and Holi Holzhauer of Gillett (Arkansas County) in the Southeast District. Jared and Joli Holzhauer own J&J Holzhauer Farms. They grow corn, soybeans and rice on 2,017 acres. They have three children, Ethan, Kelsey and Kara.
- Perry and Colleen Watkins of Banks (Bradley County) in the Southwest District. The Watkins raise 40,000 breeder hens for the production of broiler hatching eggs. They also have a 20-acre pine plantation. They have one child, Alex.
- David and Miesha Carver of Lockesburg (Sevier County) in the West Central District. The Carvers raise chickens, commercial cows and stocker calves. They also grow forage and hay on their 430-acre farm. The Carvers have four children, Matthew, Kayleu, Lauren and Aubrey.
- DeSalvo Family of Center Ridge (Conway County) in the Western District. The DeSalvos farm 1,300 acres, with almost 900 acres devoted to wheat silage, sorghum Sudan silage and Bermuda hay. The rest of their farm is devoted to 350 head of commercial cows, 150 head of registered cattle and 30-40 head of registered bulls. They have two children, Benjamin and Isabella.
“Congratulations to each of the great farm families who have been named district winners,” said Randy Veach, a cotton, soybean and wheat 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 industry, adding around $16 billion to our economy each year, and it’s also the core of our state’s cultural fiber. Everyone in our state should take pride in the great farm families 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. 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 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.