Feilke honored as Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Distinguished Alumnus

Oct. 10, 2011
Contact Information:

Steve Halbrook, department head, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness
479-575-2258 / halbrook@uark.edu

Dave Edmark, Division of Agriculture Communications
479-575-6940 / dedmark@uark.edu

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halbrook and feilke

Steve Halbrook (left), Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Department head, presents a painting of the Agriculture Building to David Feilke.
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – David Feilke of Stuttgart received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Arkansas Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness on Friday, Oct. 7. Feilke, a 1976 graduate with a B.S.A. degree in agricultural economics, is a fourth-generation farmer and the owner of Feilke Farms, an operation of more than 5,000 acres of rice, soybeans, corn, wheat and grain sorghum in Prairie, Phillips and Pulaski counties. The award was presented in recognition of decades of service to the Arkansas agricultural community and in appreciation of his commitment to the university and the department.

“It's been a blessing to have a chance to work with my dad and my son now,” Feilke said at the ceremony where his wife, Patricia, members of his family and the department faculty saw him accept a framed painting of the university's Agriculture Building from Steve Halbrook, department head.

Feilke currently runs the family farming operation with his oldest son, Matthew, who is also a UA graduate with bachelor's degrees in finance and transportation logistics. The Feilkes' two other sons are also UA graduates: Jason, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees in finance, and Patrick, who holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics and agribusiness, a juris doctorate degree and a master of laws degree in agricultural law.

Feilke recalled his undergraduate days at the university in the 1970s and credited his faculty advisor, Calvin Berry, as an influence on his academic pursuits. “I appreciate the patience he had with me,” Feilke said.

Feilke's professional contributions have been numerous over the years. He is a 1994 graduate of the USA Rice Leadership Development Program, sponsored by DuPont Agricultural Products through the USA Rice Federation. He served on the Riceland Foods, Inc. Board of Directors from 1995 to 2010 and received an appointment to the USA Rice Producers Group Conservation Committee for the term 2007 to present.

His activity in commodity groups has also been extensive. He was nominated by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board and appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman to serve on the United Soybean Board from 2000 to 2006 and served as secretary/treasurer of the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board and as the first chairman of the Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Promotion Board from 1999 to 2001. He has also been active as a Board of Directors member in the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce, AgHeritage Farm Credit and the White River Irrigation District. He received the Prairie County Conservation Farmer of the Year award in 1999.