Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently appointed John David “J.D.” Neeley of Camden to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
“J.D. loves the outdoors, he loves to hunt, and through his membership in a dozen boards, associations and his church, he has shown a commitment to serve others,” Hutchinson said. “His experience as a businessman and his knowledge of the land as a forester, an appraiser and a realtor will make him a valuable member of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and give him an appreciation of our state’s conservation efforts.”
Neeley is president of Neeley Forestry Service and principal broker for United Country Neeley Forestry. He has served as a general appraiser, specializing in timberland, pasture land and recreational properties for 25 years. He also has worked as a licensed broker for the sale of timberland investment and recreational properties for 22 years.
“We are blessed in Arkansas to have such a rich, beautiful combination of landscapes, ecosystems and habitat, and an abundant assortment of wildlife,” Neeley said. “I’m deeply honored and humbled to be able to serve the governor and the state to help manage the wildlife and continue to practice conservation.
“I have spent a career in forestry, and I understand that good forestry is good wildlife management. With a healthy forest, we can have healthy wildlife. I want us to continue to work with private landowners, to expand good management and good wildlife practice.
“But our children are our most valuable resource. We have got to bring the next generation into the outdoors. We are losing touch with the outdoors.”
Neely has served on the boards of the Arkansas Forestry Association and the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation.
“I cannot say enough about the great work these organizations accomplish,” Neeley said. “Deke Whitbeck and President Rutledge at the Foundation have done things that are the envy of all the states around us, and I can’t wait to get started working alongside them and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.”
Neeley, 54, and his wife, Beth, have a son and a daughter. His son, Daniel, works at the family’s firm; his daughter, Taylor, is studying pharmacy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Neeley’s term is set to expire July 1, 2025. He replaces Steve Cook, former chair of the AGFC. Cook’s term expired on July 1.