The Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation announced Tuesday that reigning Hempstead County Farm Family of the Year winners, Cody and Ashlee Askew of Red River Farms in Hope, were also named the Southwest District Farm Family of the Year for the 74th annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program.
The Askews, along with the winners from the other seven districts, will now go on to be judged to see who will become the state winner of the program, which is currently scheduled to be announced on Dec. 9 at the annual Farm Family of the Year Luncheon.
If they win that title, which was won last year by the previous Hempstead County Farm Family of 2020 with Chris and Denise Sweat of McCaskill, they will go on to compete in the Southeastern Farmer of the Year competition on the national level. Only two Arkansas families have won the Southeastern Farmer of the Year competition since its beginning, once in 2008 and once in 2016.
“The Askews have 1,440 acres where they raise cattle and swine as well as grow hay, pecans, corn silage and timber,” the Farm Bureau’s press release said. “They have been farming for 21 years and have two sons, Levi and Eli.”
All eight district winners will be judged on their farm production, efficiency, management, family life as well as their rural and community leadership.
You can read our full spotlight over the Askews here to get to know them and their business.
The other district winners include:
- East Central District: Cottonwood Farms/the Trail Family of Widener (St. Francis County) – The Trail family, a multi-generation farm family, operates Cottonwood Farms. They grow corn, cotton, soybeans and milo on 17,500 acres. The family has been farming for 36 years.
- North Central District: Dennis & Tracy Broadwater and Family of Batesville (Independence County) – The Broadwater Family has been farming for 60 years. Currently, they raise hay and cattle on 470 acres. They have two adult children, Laura and Sally, and four grandchildren.
- Northeast District: Cobb/Lyerly/Owens Farms of Lake City (Craighead County) – The Cobb/Lyerly/Owens Partnership grows corn, cotton, peanuts, soybeans and greenhouse tomatoes on 4,250 acres. The family has been farming for 50 years.
- Northwest District: Kaleb & Chrisie Smith of Gentry (Benton County) – The Smiths raise registered Brangus and commercial cattle, in addition to being co-owners of Cattlemen’s Feed, LLC. They have been farming for 11 years and have two children, Paden and Paxton.
- Southeast District: Layne & Ryane Miles of McGehee (Desha County) – Layne Miles and his wife Ryane farm on 10,700 acres where they grow irrigated corn, soybeans, cotton and rice. The Miles family has been farming for six years and have two children, Luke and Owen.
- West Central District: Kent & Anita Malcom of Okolona (Clark County) – The Malcoms have been farming for 40 years. They raise Charolais cattle and hay on 959 acres, in addition to a 30-acre plant nursery. They have two adult children and a grandson.
- Western District: Foshee Family Farms/Paul & Carolin Foshee and Family of Atkins (Conway County) – The Foshees have been farming for 37 years and have more than 2,300 pecan trees in addition to pine trees on 122 acres. They have three children and six grandchildren who are involved in the farm, as well as five great grandchildren.