Timothy Jones and family of Helena-West Helena have been selected Phillips County's Farm Family of the Year for 2017.

Timothy Jones and family of Helena-West Helena have been selected Phillips County's Farm Family of the Year for 2017.

Arkansas Farm Bureau announced the 75 county winners Monday.

Since 1947 (70 years), the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program has served as a vehicle to recognize outstanding farm families throughout the state.

“Each year, the Farm Family of the Year program identifies and recognizes great farmers and ranchers across our state,” commented Randy Veach, Arkansas Farm Bureau president. “These families literally power our state's largest economic engine, agriculture.

“Congratulations to these great farm families,” continued Veach. “We salute their success, stewardship and commitment to Arkansas agriculture.”

Veach noted that the objectives of the Farm Family of the Year program are:

• To give recognition and encouragement to farm families who are doing and outstanding job on the farm and in the community.

• To gain recognition of the importance of agriculture in the community and the state.

• To disseminate information on improved farm practices and management.

“The Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program is one of the oldest of its kind in the country,” said Mollie Dykes program coordinator. “The success and longevity of this program has only been possible because of its sponsors and partners.”

Dykes went on to say that, “We're honored to recognize these hard working, passionate and resilient families who work tirelessly to provide our growing world with food, fiber and shelter.”

In addition to Arkansas Farm Bureau the program's other sponsors are the electric cooperatives of Arkansas, Armor Seed, and the three Farm Credit agencies that serve Arkansas – AgHeritage Farm Credit Services, Farm Credit of Western Arkansas and Mid-south Farm Credit. Additional program support is provided by the Arkansas Agriculture Department, Arkansas Department of Career Education, the Arkansas Press Association, the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and the USDA's Farm Service Agency,and the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Rural Development.

The Jones family will be visited by judges to determine eight district winners to be announced June 19. The state winner will be announced Dec. 7 at the annual Farm Family of the Year luncheon to be held in North Little Rock.

All winners will be judged on their farm production, efficiency, management, family life and rural/community leadership.