Rodney Baker to Succeed Ewell Welch as EVP of Arkansas Farm Bureau

The Arkansas Farm Bureau announced Friday that Rodney Baker, a 36-year employee, would succeed retiring EVP Ewell Welch on Nov. 1.

The trade association's executive vice president serves ad chief executive officer and manages staff functions. He reports to the board of directors, which met Thursday to make the selection.

Baker, 59, has been director of governmental affairs - the Farm Bureau's chief lobbyist -- since 1998.

A native of Brookland (Craighead County), Baker has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Arkansas.

“Rodney’s vision, background and deep understanding of the issues facing agriculture will enable him to step into this critical role and effectively lead our organization,” Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach said in the press release announcing the promotion. “The issues affecting agriculture are becoming more acute, as government support decreases and regulation increases.

“Also, his understanding of the grassroots strength of this organization will help it remain relevant as we continue to strive to meet the founding objectives of Arkansas Farm Bureau. The organization was founded in 1935 to provide a collective voice for the men and women of agriculture,” Veach said. “That need continues today, and we believe Rodney is the right person to lead the future efforts of the organization, its staff and the many volunteers who guide it at the county and state level.”