Richard Bell

Retired Secretary

Arkansas Department of Agriculture

Age: 78


Richard Bell

Arkansas didn't have a Department of Agriculture until 2005, and Richard Bell, the former CEO of Riceland Foods at Stuttgart, is the first person to head it. Recognized in 2009 as one of Arkansas Business' "Living Legends," he has spent a lifetime promoting agriculture.

After nearly two decades in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dick Bell spent 27 years (23 as CEO) at Riceland and built the 9,000-member, five-state cooperative into the world's largest miller and marketer of rice. As Secretary of Agriculture for the state, he oversaw the Forestry Commission, the Livestock & Poultry Commission, the State Plant Board, the Aquaculture Division and the State Land Surveyor.

Bell retired from the post in 2012.