David Walt, a retired soybean farmer from Dumas, is one of five individuals who will be inducted into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame at an induction luncheon in Little Rock on March 1.
Walt is owner of Camp David Farms in Dumas and a longtime leader in row-crop agriculture, raising soybeans, cotton and rice. He is known best as an aggressive and unyielding advocate for the soybean industry.
Walt began farming in 1962, after returning home from the University of Arkansas, where he was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. He farmed for many years with his brother, Martin.
Walt spent five years (1962-67) in the Arkansas Air National Guard and a year (1968) on active duty with the U.S. Air Force. While he retired from “full time” farm work in 2007, Walt remains active (especially at harvest time) on the family farm, where the fifth generation of the Walt family carries on. Walt was especially keen on agricultural research, and was an active participant in numerous land improvement, soil conservation and seed variety projects.
Walt was appointed to serve on the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board in 1987 by then-Gov. Bill Clinton, and served for 16 years on that committee, being reappointed by Govs. Jim Guy Tucker, Mike Huckabee and Mike Beebe.
He is a past president of the Arkansas Soybean Association (and spend 33 years on its board), was fund-raising chair for the Tri-State Soybean Forum, and a longtime board member for the Desha County Farm Bureau. He served as a founding member of the Arkansas Foundation for Agriculture. He is also a Lifetime Board Member of Economics Arkansas, which promotes economic literacy throughout the state.
Walt is a past member of the Dumas School Board, Merchants and Farmers Bank board of directors and was named Man of the Year by the Dumas Chamber of Commerce in 1983. The Walt family was named Desha County Farm Family of the Year and Southeast District Farm Family of the Year in 1993.
The newest class of inductees also includes retired University of Arkansas educator Dr. L.B. (Bernie) Daniels of Fayetteville; Ed Fryar of Rogers, the founder of Ozark Mountain Poultry; UA professor Dr. Donna Graham of Fayetteville; and UA distinguished professor Dr. Terry Siebenmorgen of Fayetteville.
“This class of inductees includes entrepreneurs, researchers, educators and agricultural leaders,” said Butch Calhoun of Des Arc, chairman of the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame committee. “The broad reach of these five individuals has been felt in every corner of Arkansas, from the delta flatlands to the pastures of western Arkansas.
“I have said this before and it bears repeating; agriculture is one of the great success stories of our state. We are pleased to bring recognition to these individuals who have impacted our state’s largest industry in such a positive way.”
The new selections will bring to 169 the number of honorees in the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame, encompassing 32 classes of inductees.
The mission of the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame is to build public awareness of agriculture and to formally recognize and honor individuals whose efforts have led to the prosperity of local communities and the state.
Luncheon tickets are $35 each. Individual tickets and tables of 10 are available by calling (501) 228-1609 or emailing [email protected]