LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Agriculture Board elected new officers at its quarterly meeting at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture on Nov. 6. Sam Angel II of Lake Village was elected chair, and Kyle Baltz of Pocahontas was elected to serve as vice-chair.

Angel is a fourth-generation farmer and cotton gin owner who was appointed by Governor Hutchinson in 2018 to a four-year term on the Arkansas Agriculture Board (Board). Baltz is a row crop and cattle producer and a partner in several agribusinesses in northeast Arkansas. Baltz was appointed to the State Plant Board by Governor Hutchinson in 2015 and has served on the Board as the State Plant Board representative since May 2017.

“We look forward to working with Mr. Angel and Mr. Baltz in their new leadership roles,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “Their extensive agricultural and leadership experience will serve the Board and the Department of Agriculture well.”

The 20-member board advises the Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture and the Arkansas Department of Agriculture on all matters concerning agriculture in the state of Arkansas. Each member brings a wealth of knowledge and experience on specific areas of agriculture. The board elects officers every two years.

Governor Hutchinson recently reappointed Ron Cavenaugh to another four-year term on the board, and appointed Damon Helton as a new member of the board. Cavenaugh owns Cavenaugh Farms in Walnut Ridge and represents grain producers on the board.

Damon Helton is specialty crop and livestock producer in Saline County and an owner of several food establishments in Saline and Montgomery Counties. Helton, a former Army Ranger, was the Department’s first Homegrown by Heroes program member and the first Homegrown by Heroes member to serve on the Board.

“I’m pleased the board will continue to benefit from Mr. Cavenaugh’s experience and knowledge, and I’m confident Mr. Helton will bring an excellent perspective and strong leadership to the Board,” said Ward. “The board serves an important role, and I appreciate each member’s valuable knowledge and insight.”

The Arkansas Agriculture Department is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation.  

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