Andrew Wargo says his 2021 induction into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame was all about teamwork.
"I didn't get this award by myself. There's a whole bunch of people whose names should be on it," Wargo said.
Five other new inductees might agree with that sentiment. All have spent years working to make improvements in the Arkansas agriculture industry, the state's largest business sector, according to the Arkansas Farm Bureau.
The other five new inductees are: retired Cooperative Extension Service Director Rick Cartwright of Fayetteville; long-time ag educator Joe Don Greenwood of Hermitage; the late Russell Roy Reynolds, director of the U.S. Forest Service Crossett Experimental Forest for 34 years; former Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach of Manila; and Mark Waldrip of Moro, founder of Armor Seed Company.
Andrew Wargo. (Arkansas Farm Bureau)
Wargo has spent over 50 years as a farm manager for Baxter Land Company. His involvement in environmental improvement of the land helped place him in the Arkansas Conservation Hall of Fame in 2016. He was named Outstanding Conservationist by the Arkansas Soil and Water Education Conference at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark., in 2020.
He earned a degree in agriculture engineering from Arkansas State University after having already had a successful career in aviation and was a member of the ASU Sport Parachute Team that won the National Collegiate Championships in 1964.
His work in agricultural conservation began with his concern regarding soil erosion and water use. He also oversaw a major reduction in row crop chemistries and heavy tillage.
Rick Cartwright. (Arkansas Farm Bureau)
A native of Arkansas, Rick Cartwright joined the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture in 1992 after earning his Ph.D in plant pathology from University of California Davis. He earned international recognition as a rice pathologist and served as interim head of the plant pathology department, and then the associate director of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the university.
He was named interim director of extension in 2016 and senior associate vice president for agriculture-extension for the UA Division of Agriculture in 2017. He retired June 30, 2020.
He has earned a number of awards including most recently the John White Outstanding Extension State Education Award in 2000 and received the National Distinguished Rice Research and Education Award in 2004 from the Rice Technical Working Group.
The Southern Division of the American Phytopathological Society named him the Outstanding Plant Pathologist in 2007 and he received the 2011 National Rice Industry Award by USA Rice.
Joe Don Greenwood
Joe Don Greenwood. (Arkansas Farm Bureau)
Joe Don Greenwood has been a driving force in agriculture education in Arkansas for more than 40 years as an ag educator. He led his Hermitage teams to eight national championships in forestry or livestock judging and have finished as reserve national champions on three other occasions.
Greenwood has influenced countless lives as an agriculture teacher, high school principal, National Guardsman and tomato farmer. He has served on numerous boards and committees including the Bradley County Fair and Livestock Show, the Bradley County Medical Center board, the Bradley County Farm Bureau Board and the Saline/Ouachita Valley Livestock Board.
He earned his undergraduate and his master's degree from the University of Arkansas, Monticello, later adding an agriculture education degree from the University of Arkansas. He taught at Sparkman for two years before returning to Bradley County to serve as ag teacher at Hermitage for almost 40 years, including four years as the high school principal.
Greenwood has volunteered his time, resources and knowledge around the state and nation to help better Arkansas Agriculture and future generations.
Russell Roy (R.R.) Reynolds
Russell Roy (R.R.) Reynolds (Arkansas Farm Bureau)
For 35 years Reynolds was the director of the 1,680-acre Crossett Experimental Forest, directing the station's science program and conducting foundational research on southern pine silviculture.
Reynolds conducted inventories of standing timber, ran time-and-motion studies related to logging practices and calculated the efficacy of using trucks to haul logs to the mill. He authored or co-authored an estimated 175 publications which continue to be cited and incorporated into textbooks.
He supported the efforts to develop the forestry degree program at Arkansas A&M College (now the University of Arkansas at Monticello).
He retired from the Forest Service in 1969 but remained active in the forestry field as a member of the Society of American Foresters and as a practicing tree farmer. He continued to provide tours of the experimental forest and contribute to publications into the 1980s.
Reynolds received two Superior Service awards from the U.S. Forest Service, was named a fellow by the Society of American Foresters and was recognized by the Arkansas Wildlife Federations and the Southern Pulpwood Conservation Association.
Randy Veach (Arkansas Farm Bureau)
Randy Veach has spent a total of 20 years as a member of the Arkansas Farm Bureau board of directors, including 11 years as president and five as vice president. He farmed with his sons on land cleared by his father and grandfather.
He has served as a member of the American Farm Bureau board of directors and was president and chairman of the board of the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company.
With a special interest in foreign trade, Veach has been involved with trade missions to at least 10 countries around the world. He has also served on the USDA/USTR Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee for Tobacco, Cotton and Peanuts and was a member of the Arkansas World Trade Center board of advisors, as well as the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain.
In 1998 his family was chosen as the Mississippi County Farm Family of the Year.
Veach served as a member of the Arkansas State Plant Board, National Cotton Council and Cotton, Inc. He was also a member of the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board.
Mark Waldrip (Arkansas Farm Bureau)
Mark Waldrip is a fourth-generation farmer from Lee County.
He grew up working on his family's farm and graduated from the University of Arkansas. He received the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award and the University of Arkansas Distinguished Alumni Award, both in 2017.
He expanded an on-farm seed business when he purchased Cullum Seeds, which eventually became Armor Seed. It grew to cover 25 states and was eventually sold in 2017.
Waldrip has served as president of the Lee County Farm Bureau, a board member and chairman of the Arkansas State Plant Board and chairman of the Seed Committee of the State Plant Board. He served on the board of directors for Farm Credit Midsouth for 11 years. He also served on University of Arkansas board of trustees, including a term as chairman.
Waldrip and his wife Angela were recognized as Arkansas' Young Farmer and Rancher in 1985 and were named Lee County Farm Family of the Year in 1989. Their four children all have careers that touch agriculture, continuing a legacy positive impact on agriculture. Waldrip currently serves as chairman of Big Creek Bancshares, which is the holding company for Armor Bank.
Because of concerns regarding COVID-19 the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame board of directors has decided to delay a formal induction presentation of until later in the year.