Tim and Beth Owen of Alma have been selected to represent Crawford County in the 71st annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program.

The Owens own a commercial greenhouse operation on Mays Branch Road, just south of Industrial Park Road, producing mums, poinsettias and other annual plants for Lowe’s stores in Northwest Arkansas, Northeast Oklahoma and Southern Missouri, according to Matt Fryer, cooperative extension agent for Crawford County.

Fryer said Tim and Beth Owen also raise black Angus cattle.

“Tim will tell you the business is a family operation and a team effort,” Fryer said. “He is always quick to give his workers credit for the success of the operation.”

The county winners will be visited by a set of judges to determine the eight district winners, to be announced June 20. District winners will be visited again by a different set of judges in July to determine a state winner, which will be announced Dec. 6 at the Farm Family of the Year luncheon in North Little Rock.

“The Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program recognizes great farmers and ranchers each year,” said Randy Veach, president, Arkansas Farm Bureau. “These families are involved in noble and important work to provide food, fiber and shelter to the world.”

Since 1947, the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program has served as a vehicle to recognize outstanding farm families throughout the state. The objectives of the Farm Family of the Year program are:

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

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

• To disseminate information on improved farm practices and management.

The Farm Family of the Year program begins each year with the selection of top farm families in each county and culminates in December with the selection of the state Farm Family of the Year who will then go on to represent Arkansas at the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farm Family of the Year.

Arkansas has had two overall winners, Brian and Nan Kirksey of Clark County in 2008 and Wildy Family Farms of Mississippi County in 2016.

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

Sponsors of the Farm Family of the Year program are Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, and the three Farm Credit agencies that serve Arkansas: AgHeritage Farm Credit Services, Farm Credit of Western Arkansas and Midsouth Farm Credit.