Farmers, ranchers and agricultural leaders from across the state will gather on Dec. 3-5 at the Hot Springs Convention Center for Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 80th annual convention.

Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach, weather historian Evelyn Browning-Garris, and farmer-comedian Jerry Carroll headline the speakers for the convention, which is expected to attract more than 1,000.

The convention’s theme, “Commitment, Community, Compassion” will be reinforced throughout the convention’s three-day run, including several conferences, competitions and special meetings.

The meeting culminates with the organization’s annual business session, where voting delegates will define the organization’s policy positions on items of importance to Farm Bureau members. The delegate body also elects the organization’s president and vice president.

“We like to say that Farm Bureau is the voice of agriculture in Arkansas,” said Veach, a cotton, rice and soybean farmer from Manila (Mississippi County), who is concluding his sixth year as president of the organization.

“If Farm Bureau is to remain viable in Arkansas, Farm Bureau leaders understand the importance of their being committed to voluntary service in their home counties and on a state level. It’s that commitment, plus a strong sense of community and a compassion for each other, that has allowed agriculture to remain the state’s largest industry and led Farm Bureau to be the successful organization it is for these past 80 years.”

Special conferences are scheduled that will address timely topics such as proposed new grain dealer laws, the Arkansas Water Plan, a preview of the 90th General Assembly and an opportunity to meet and hear from Congressmen-elect French Hill and Bruce Westerman.

Additionally, there will be livestock, crops and forestry market outlook conferences, as well as a session dealing with the latest technological advances that will benefit farmers and ranchers. The convention will spotlight the winners in several different competitions among Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer & Rancher members.

The top county Farm Bureau women’s program and “Sew with Cotton” contest winners will be named and the organization will recognize the recipient of the Stanley E. Reed Leadership Award.

Arkansas Farm Bureau is a private advocacy organization of more than 190,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life