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Rich Hillman Named Chair of Riceland Foods

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Rich Hillman was elected chair of the Riceland Foods board of directors at the farmer-owned cooperative’s most recent board meeting.

Hillman follows Roger Pohlner, who stepped down from the role after 12 years. Pohlner will remain on the board to serve the Riceland members in the Stuttgart-based organization’s north central Arkansas district.

In a corresponding move, Shannon Davis was named vice chair, filling a role Hillman had occupied for 12 years.

Hillman is sixth-generation farmer from Carlisle who grows rice, soybeans and corn in Lonoke and Prairie counties, Riceland said in a news release. He has been a Riceland board member since 2004.

Hillman has served as the president of the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation, vice chair of the Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co., and on the board of the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. He is a past chair of the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion board, a past member of the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, and a past member of the Arkansas Game & Fish Foundation board.

Hillman is a University of Arkansas graduate.

“I can’t express enough my appreciation for our former chairman Roger Pohlner and his outstanding leadership for our cooperative,” Hillman said in a statement. “He has left behind enormous shoes to fill and a legacy of integrity for myself and our great board. I look forward to working with our CEO, Kevin McGilton, and his great staff to serve our members, who depend on us daily.”

Davis is a fifth-generation farmer who grows rice, soybeans and corn in Craighead and Lawrence Counties. He graduated from Arkansas State University with a bachelor’s in zoology and a master’s in environmental science.

Davis of Bono has served on the Riceland board since 2009. He is currently the chair of the Riceland Foods Foundation.

Davis served on the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board for 14 years, where he was chair from 2012 to 2014. He currently serves as the president of the Westside Consolidated School District board and the chair of the Cache River Drainage District for Craighead, Jackson and Lawrence Counties.

“I am honored to serve the entire Riceland membership as vice chairman of the board,” Davis said. “I believe in our cooperative and the employees who work daily to provide an outlet for our crops to help farmers feed the world.”

Riceland ranked No. 14 on Arkansas Business’ most recent list of the state’s largest private companies by revenue, with $1.21 billion.

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