Person of the Month: Wes Ward

“Agriculture is our state’s largest industry, contributing more than $20.9 billion to our economy each year. Arkansas has some of the best farmers, ranchers and foresters in the world, and we play an important role in providing the food, fiber, fuel and shelter that we all depend on every single day, not only here in Arkansas but across the United States and the globe.” — Wes Ward


I earned a Bachelor of Science in agricultural business, a Master of Science in agricultural economics, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Law in agriculture and food law.

Service title: 

I am a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps where I have served from 2000 – present.

Professional accomplishments: 

Currently serving as the vice president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and will become the president of the organization in September. Arkansas will host the NASDA annual meeting in 2025.

Community or church activities: 

Even though I live in Little Rock now, I love Dr. Archie Mason and Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro. My father was the pastor of Refuge General Baptist Church in Lake City, Ark., throughout my entire childhood. My faith and aspiring to be more like Christ will always be very important to me.


The Marine Corps takes up most of my spare time, but I’ll take any chance to be outside hunting, fishing or spending time with my nieces and nephews.

Why do you choose to live in the 501: 

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture headquarters building is located in Central Arkansas, and its central location makes it very convenient to reach any location in the state within a few hours.

Can you share some upcoming events:

We do a lot of fun events with Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the agriculture industry in Central Arkansas. We recently had a cookout with the governor celebrating Beef, Egg, and Strawberry Month, which had quite a big crowd. Later this year, we’ll also have a Century Farm Event with the governor, and we might even have an event with the governor around Thanksgiving with a couple of live turkeys that everyone should be on the lookout for!