The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame said Wednesday that it will induct six people whose leadership and service have brought distinction to the state's largest business sector.
The six inductees, who represent sectors including timber, beef cattle, conservation, banking and outreach to farmers, will join the hall during a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. March 6 at the Embassy Suites ballroom in Little Rock.
"I have said this before and it bears repeating; agriculture is one of the great success stories of our state, and that is sometimes overlooked in today's society," Butch Calhoun of Des Arc, chairman of the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame committee, said in a news release. "We are pleased to bring recognition to these individuals who have impacted our state’s largest industry in such a positive way."
The new selections will bring to 175 the number of honorees in the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame, begun in 1987.
The inductees are:
Jane Ross, Arkadelphia — Ross, who died in 1999, founded the Ross Foundation in 1967 with her mother, Ester Clark Ross. The Ross Foundation administers a philanthropic grants program and manages more than 60,000 acres of timberland, mostly in Clark and Hot Spring counties, held for conservation purposes.
Gene Sullivan, Lonoke — Sullivan, who died in 2017, spent a career creating and implementing soil and water management, conservation and reclamation projects. He served as deputy state conservationist in California and state conservationist in Nebraska, Mississippi and Arkansas.
Leo C. Sutterfield, Mountain View — Sutterfield, who died in 2017, was a cattleman, a businessman and an advocate for his hometown of Mountain View and the rural areas of Arkansas. He served nine years as chairman of the Arkansas Beef Council and was an Arkansas representative on the Cattlemen's Beef Board, the national administrative body for the beef checkoff program.
George Tidwell, Lonoke — Tidwell, who grew up on a cotton, corn and peanut farm in north-central Florida, had an aviation career that brought him to Arkansas in 1960 to work in agricultural aviation. He started Tidwell Flying Services in 1964, which grew to became one of the country's most advanced and progressive ag aviation enterprises.
Thomas Vaughns, Marianna — Vaughns, a member of the famed Tuskegee Airman during World War II and a veteran of the Korean War, had a career as a 20-year county extension agent and horticulture specialist at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff for 14 years.
William E. (Gene) Woodall, Little Rock — As the creator and driving force behind the Cotton Research Verification Trials, Woodall delivered meaningful benefits to cotton farmers through efficient and profitable production methods. And he helped revive cotton as a profitable crop for Arkansas farmers.
The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas Farm Bureau.