Arkansas Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Ewell Welch has announced plans to retire at the end of 2013, culminating a 36-year career with the organization.

As EVP, Welch oversees all staff activities for the organization and its affiliated companies. Welch, 60, announced his plans Wednesday to the state board of directors and notified employees later in the day.

“It has been a great honor and privilege to represent the members of Arkansas Farm Bureau and to work with a talented and dedicated group of coworkers,” Welch said. “Announcing my retirement plans now will allow the state board of directors the time necessary to evaluate and select the next person fortunate enough to lead the efforts of this organization.”

Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach said the board was working to define a thorough process for review of internal candidates, interviews, and selection of the next executive vice president.

“Ewell is just one of five men to lead the staff functions for the Arkansas Farm Bureau,” said Veach. “He has done a wonderful job in the past 10 years of continuing the organization’s focus on the needs of agriculture. Ewell is a quiet, but incredibly effective leader. His insight, wisdom and commitment will be missed. I have every belief, though, that the direction he has set for the organization will be continued well into the future.”

A native of Havana (Yell County), Welch has served as EVP since Sept. 2002. He previously served as director of the organization’s commodity division. He came to work for Farm Bureau on Dec. 1, 1977.

He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas, and in 2005 was named an outstanding alumnus of the UofA Bumpers College of Agriculture.

“This decision was made after a lot of prayer, reflection and conversation,” Welch said. “I am excited for the future of Arkansas Farm Bureau, because I know its mission and purpose will carry on and continue to have a positive impact on our state.”

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Stephanie Baker

Stephanie Baker

Stephanie Baker is the Vice-president of Operations for Talk Business & Politics. She can be reached by email at Stephanie@TalkBusiness.net.