Farmers & Merchants Bank adds three to board of directors

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,560 views 

Farmers & Merchants Bank announced Wednesday (Aug. 18) that Meg Johnston, Sam Tarkington, and Kirk Vansandt have been named to the bank’s board of directors.

Farmers & Merchants Bank, headquartered in Stuttgart, is a locally-owned community bank with 26 locations across the state of Arkansas, including eight operating as The Bank of Fayetteville.

With assets in excess of $1.6 billion, Farmers & Merchants is the 10th largest bank chartered in Arkansas.

Johnston is a Stuttgart native and now works as a business and regulatory attorney with the Mitchell Williams Law Firm in Little Rock. Her clients include Fortune 500, bank and insurance companies along with small businesses and agricultural landowners navigating mergers and acquisitions, commercial and agricultural loans and commercial, corporate and real estate transactions.

Tarkington is a life-long resident of Arkansas County and a fifth-generation farmer. His family, which has owned an agricultural operation in the region for more than a century, currently farms 5,600 acres of rice, corn and soybeans outside of Stuttgart.

Vansandt is a longtime employee of Farmers & Merchants Bank and currently serves as the Chief Agriculture Lending Officer for the organization. Prior to being named CLO in 2019, Vansandt worked as the Senior Vice President, Eastern Market President and Loan Officer. A native of Dewitt, Vansandt graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

“I am thrilled to announce and welcome Ms. Johnston, Mr. Tarkington, and Mr. Vansandt as directors to our bank board,” said Farmers & Merchants Bank President and CEO Brad Chambless. “Our institution has been fortunate to see substantial growth over the past five years. With that growth comes the responsibility of diversifying and enhancing the subject matter expertise of our bank directors.”

“Ms. Johnston’s legal background in banking, compliance, and M&A are precisely the type of knowledge we need. Mr. Tarkington’s extensive background in production agriculture and business will greatly benefit the bank as we continue to stay true to our beginnings and focus on our farmers and their families. As an inside bank director, Mr. Vansandt brings a plethora of experience as a Chief Lending Officer and knowledge of operations. I am confident that the collective talent and expertise of our new bank directors will enhance and strengthen our institution in the future,” Chambless added.