Bumpers College Honors Arkansas Farm Bureau, Retiring Executive
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For its long-standing, significant support, Arkansas Farm Bureau is being recognized as a “Friend” of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas.
In addition, Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Ewell Welch, who is retiring at the end of 2013, is receiving a Distinguished Service Award from the college. Welch and Farm Bureau will both be recognized and honored in a ceremony at University House on campus at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19.
“This is a great opportunity and privilege to recognize and honor an organization and an individual that provide valuable support and service to the Bumpers College and the state,” Bumpers Dean Mike Vayda said. “As the agricultural college, we obviously have a lot of the same goals as Arkansas Farm Bureau, and we look forward to continuing that relationship and partnership as we serve the needs of the state. And, of course, Ewell has done an incredible job in his 10 years as executive vice president, but he has been serving the needs of farmers and our state for more than 35 years.”
Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach said, “We are honored to be recognized as a ‘Friend’ of the Bumpers College and the University of Arkansas, though, honestly, that is something we all have known for years.”
Arkansas Farm Bureau helps support the college through the Romeo E. Short Memorial Scholarship, which currently helps fund the education of 10 Bumpers students. The bureau is also very active in supporting various departments in the college as well as giving students professional experience through multiple internships.
As executive vice president, Welch oversees all staff activities for the organization and its affiliated companies. The Havana, Ark., native has served in the position since September 2002. He joined the staff in 1977, and was director of the commodities department and oversaw public policy prior to becoming executive vice president.
“The almost 80-year history of Arkansas Farm Bureau carries an intricate connection to the University of Arkansas,” Veach said. “Ewell Welch understands that, and certainly worked to strengthen that relationship. The land-grant mission of the University of Arkansas fits hand in glove with the mission of Arkansas Farm Bureau, which is to improve the quality of life for the men and women involved in agriculture.”
Welch earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas, and was named the Outstanding Alumnus of Bumpers College in 2005.
Rodney Baker has been chosen as the new Farm Bureau executive vice president, effective Nov. 1. Baker earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science and his master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Arkansas. He was recently recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by the department of agricultural economics and agribusiness.
Arkansas Farm Bureau monitors government activity, lobbies, and initiates and supports programs on behalf of farmers and farming communities.
The goals of Bumpers College include advancing the prominence of Arkansas agriculture and food industries; advancing the quality of family life, child wellness, human development and healthy living choices; and advancing the stewardship of the environment for the strength and vibrancy of the economy.
Previous “Friends” of the Bumpers College include Don White and White Commercial Corp. of Stuart, Fla., Bob and Marilyn Bogle last spring and Bill and Suzanne Hawkins earlier this fall.
Robby Edwards, director of communications
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