Clarksville Family Named Arkansas Farm Family Of The Year

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CLARKSVILLE (KFSM) — A Clarksville family was named the 2016 Arkansas Farm Family of the Year at the annual Farm Families of the Year luncheon on Thursday (Dec. 8).

Mark and Shay Morgan will compete in the 2017 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year program.  A winner will be named from among 10 southeastern state winners next October in Georgia.

“This was a huge shock,” Mark Morgan said. “When they announced it, I hugged my wife and my daughter, hugged my grandma, and shook my dad’s hand. It was remarkable and something I’ll never forget. We’re excited, honored and humbled.”

The Morgans are best known for their “Peach Pickin’ Paradise.” U-pick peaches and nectarines make up roughly 60 percent of their farm. The farm consists of 3,500 peach and nectarine trees on 17 acres. They also have 600 acres of hay production and grazing for more than 300 head of beef cattle.

The Morgans serve on the Arkansas Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Committee, the Johnson County Fair Board and the Arkansas Cattleman’s Association.

The Farm Family of the Year program is in its 69th year and is the longest-running farm family recognition program of its type in the United States. The competition is judged on production, efficiency and management of farm operations, family life and rural community leadership and values.

“These families work 24/7/365 to ensure we have the food and fiber we rely on daily. They are more than deserving of our praise and recognition,” coordinator Mollie Dykes said. “Our selection process, which is made possible by our outstanding program sponsors and partners, is extremely thorough beginning at the county level, working up to the district level and then culminating at the state level. At the end of the process each year, we’re confident our judges have selected the right family to represent Arkansas Agriculture.”

The competition starts out with the selection of the top farm family in each county. Then, eight district Farm Families of the Year are selected. The Arkansas Farm Family is selected from the eight district farm families.