MANILA, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 farmer was named the 2016 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year.
According to Sunbelt Ag Expo, David Wildy of Manila was named as the overall winner on the opening day of the Sunbelt Ag Expo farm show.
Wildy, who was chosen over nine other finalists for the award, has been a full-time farmer since 1975.
Wildy is described as a diversified row crop farmer. On the 12,000 acres he farms, he grows cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat. He also recently started growing peanuts and potatoes, and has a small beef cattle herd.
"Wildy is known for his generosity in sharing his farm and its resources with agricultural scientists and researchers from private industry and from the University of Arkansas, Arkansas State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture," a news release from Sunbelt Ag Expo said.
As Southeast Farmer of the Year, Wildy will receive a total of $17,500 in cash awards.
"He will also receive the use of a Massey Ferguson tractor for a year from Massey Ferguson North America, a $500 gift certificate from the Southern States cooperative, a Columbia jacket from Ivey's Outdoor and Farm Supply, and a smoker-grill from Hays LTI," the news release stated.
Farmers in Arkansas became eligible for the Farmer of the Year award in 2007. Wildy is the second overall Farmer of the Year to come from Arkansas.
Wildy Family Farms, a fifth generation farm, was started by Wildy's grandfather in 1914.
"Farming is a tradition in our family," Wildy said. "Receiving this award is a humbling experience that we will all treasure."
This is the 27th year for the Farmer of the Year award.
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