The Cobb/Lyerly/Owens Partnership in Lake City has been named Farm Bureau’s “2021 Arkansas Farm Family of the Year.” The family’s 50-year-old, 4,250-acre farming operation, in Northeastern Arkansas’ Craighead County, is diverse and includes commodities that range from pigs and peanuts to tomatoes, corn, cotton and soybeans. The honor was announced at this week’s luncheon in North Little Rock honoring the county and district Farm Families of the Year.
Now in its 74th year, the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program is the longest-running farm family recognition program of its type in the United States. It begins with selection of the top farm family in each county. Then, eight district Farm Families of the Year are selected. The competition is judged on production, efficiency and management of farm operations, family life and rural/community leadership and values.
The partnership consists of Steve and Terri Cobb; their son Jarrett and his wife Ashley; son Aaron and his wife Cassandra; and daughter Leslie and her husband Erick Lyerly; Also included are Darin and Leigh Ann Owens; their daughter Taylor and her husband Kyle Outlaw; and their daughters Emily and Bailey.
“We feel very humbled by this great honor. We were really overwhelmed because we weren’t expecting it,” said Steve Cobb. “I told our family members when we were originally asked about running for Farm Family of the Year in Craighead County that I almost feel inadequate because of the number of really good farmers in our area. I felt that way again today when I saw the operations of all the district winners. It looked to me like everybody was deserving.
“I’m very proud of our farm, but the farm is secondary to the family, and I’m incredibly proud for my family,” Cobb added.
As Arkansas Farm Family of the Year, the Cobbs, Lyerlys and Owens will compete in 2023 with nine other southeastern state winners in the Swisher/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year program in Moultrie, Ga.
The Cobb/Lyerly/Owens Partnership was the Northeast District Farm Family of the Year. The seven other district winners for the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year honor include:
- Cottonwood Farms/the Trail Family of Widener (St. Francis County), East Central District
- Dennis & Tracy Broadwater and family of Batesville (Independence County), North Central District
- Kaleb & Chrisie Smith of Gentry (Benton County), Northwest District
- Layne & Ryane Miles of McGehee (Desha County), Southeast District
- Cody & Ashlee Askew of Hope (Hempstead County), Southwest District
- Kent & Anita Malcom of Okolona (Clark County), West Central District
- Foshee Family Farms/Paul & Carolin Foshee and Family of Atkins (Conway County), Western District
Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, AgHeritage Farm Credit Services, Farm Credit of Western Arkansas and Farm Credit Midsouth are sponsors of the program. 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 USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Rural Development.