Rich Hillman

Rich Hillman is the new president of the Arkansas Farm Bureau.

Rich Hillman of Carlisle was elected as Arkansas Farm Bureau’s new president, and Mike Freeze of Little Rock was chosen as the agriculture advocacy organization’s new vice president Friday morning.

Among delegates re-elected as board members to new two-year terms was Terry Laster of Strong. Also elected was new board member, Chase Groves of Garland City. Groves raises cattle and operates a custom fertilizer application and hay baling business.

Hillman and Freeze were selected during Farm Bureau’s 85th Annual Convention at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

Hillman, 56, served the past 11 years as Farm Bureau’s vice president. He succeeds Randy Veach of Manila who retired after 11 years as president. Hillman is Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 11th president since its creation in 1935. He is a sixth-generation farmer whose main crops are rice, soybeans and wheat. He and his wife Tina have two grown children, Collin and Caroline.

“I’m very humbled and excited,” Hillman said surrounded by happy family members. “Arkansas farmers and ranchers are vital to this state, vital,” he emphasized. “And we have to make sure they’re successful for our state to be successful.”

Mike Freeze, 67, begins his first term as vice president. He operates a fish farm in Keo. He and his wife, Betty have two grown daughters, Rachael and Kelly.

“It’s a huge honor. We’re all in this together, and we all have a lot of the same issues,” Freeze said. “Our policy is what’s so important. It serves as a map or guideline for us to get change done to get our farms more profitable and to keep our environment clean. It’s good to have a road map.”

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