The Agricultural Council of Arkansas (Ag Council) was established in 1939 when several row crop farmers in east Arkansas decided it was necessary to pool their resources and work together to overcome the challenging times and remain sustainable. They decided they were most effective when working together on areas of common interest. Today, the Ag Council is still an agriculture focused organization and a strong voice in shaping the future of family farms and rural communities from Arkansas. The Ag Council remains committed to promoting, encouraging, and developing improvements to the planting, cultivation, fertilization, breeding, gathering, storage, and marketing of agricultural products. The Ag Council also focuses on economic development and education opportunities for rural communities in Arkansas.
In these challenging times, the need for an organization like the Ag Council is as important as it was following the Great Depression. In order for the Arkansas economy to remain competitive and for America to continue to provide its people with food and fiber, row crop agriculture will need to continue to produce, be profitable, and grow. This need for productivity is also critical in meeting global demand for food, which will increase with continued growth in world population and the development of the rest of the world. A successful agriculture sector helps create jobs and stimulate innovation.
For agriculture to remain productive in the United States and for rural economies to be viable, our elected and appointed policy makers must set policies that support a sustainable and profitable agriculture industry. Since 1939, the Ag Council has remained focused on ensuring that policy makers understand the importance of domestic agriculture and set policies that are favorable to Arkansas’s production agriculture community. The Ag Council intends to carry forward its long-standing tradition on behalf of family farmers, agriculture related businesses, and others supportive of agriculture and rural communities in Arkansas.
QUOTES ABOUT OUR ORGANIZATION
When asked of the Agricultural Council’s founding in the 1950s, the first President, Mr. C.N. Houck, of Marianna stated the following:
“The Ag Council was formed under an emergency group gathering that required a concerted action against legislation in Congress that would have cost producers many thousands of dollars. A meeting of representative cotton producers was called, a collection taken up, a competent representative secured, and a delegation was sent to Washington. As a result of this initial successful effort, it was decided to form a permanent organization.”
“Every farmer cannot give their talent, but there is no excuse for not investing money to protect your interests. You never know just when the help from an organization like this will be needed and needed badly. Experience has taught us that you can’t wait until war is declared to form and train an army.”
-Harvey R. Adams, Executive Vice President of the Agricultural Council of Arkansas in 1943
“We are the only organization in the state that strictly represents the row crop industry, and we serve an important role for our members and their businesses. This organization gives us a strong and united voice among policy makers at the State Capitol and in Washington.”
-Herrick Norcross Ag Council President – producer, Tyronza, Ark.
“The Ag Council is the common thread that connects farmers and agribusinesses with similar interests through face-to-face meetings and more recently digital means.”
-Rick Bransford, Ag Council First Vice President – producer Lonoke, Ark.
“My family joined the Ag Council in 1963. Our membership allows us to have a voice on important issues. Others should join the Ag Council for the same reason, so their voice can be heard.”
-Stewart Weaver, Ag Council Second Vice President – producer Edmondson, Ark.
“Many Ag Council members serve on statewide promotion boards and in various commodity organizations, so the information we share with each other is critical to our businesses. I also like that the Ag Council provides the opportunity to help shape policies that impact my business.”
-Cal McCastlain Past Ag Council President and current Ag Council Treasurer – producer, Monroe County, Ark.
“The Ag Council is foremost in information, policy, and direction in Arkansas agriculture and rural communities. Lots of value here.”
-Larry McClendon Past Ag Council President –producer and ginner, Marianna, Ark.
“The Ag Council provides great networking opportunities. In addition, the workers’ compensation insurance program has saved our operation many thousands of dollars. A membership in the Ag Council is absolutely one of the best values I have ever seen.”
-Hal Hyneman Past Ag Council President – producer and businessman, Trumann, Ark.
“I have been involved with the Ag Council for 30 years. I initially tried all the various Ag associations in Arkansas but focused on the Ag Council because of the leadership that the council offered. The council has always focused on row crops and our business was that.”
-Thad Freeland Past Ag Council President – producer and ginner, Tillar, Ark.