Agriculture Hall of Fame to induct two from Southeast Arkansas


LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame will induct six individuals — two from Southeast Arkansas — whose leadership and service have brought distinction to Arkansas agriculture, the state’s largest industry.

Inductee R. Marion Berry, 71, of Gillett is a former presidential adviser to President William H. Clinton and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Berry was a tireless champion for agriculture. During his time in Washington, D.C., Berry fought to ensure rural America was not slighted or overlooked. Among his greatest accomplishments, Berry served on the House Agriculture Committee during the writing of the 2002 farm bill.

Inductee O.H. “Doogie” Darling, 85, of Fordyce is a retired forester of Georgia-Pacific Corporation. Darling has been revered as one of the most respected leaders in forestry for five decades. The former commissioner of the Arkansas Forestry Commission managed three million acres of Georgia-Pacific’s timberland at the peak of his career. Darling was one of the first pioneers of a landowner-assistance program that provided scientific timber management advice and forestry services to southern Arkansas farmers struggling to make ends meet following the Depression and World War II.

Other inductees include Leroy Isbell, 89, of Humnoke; Ruben H. Johnson, 83, of Magazine; Keith Lusby, 65, of Prescott; and J. Keith Smith of Hot Springs.

The group will be honored at the 26th annual induction luncheon at 11:30 a.m. March 7 in the Ambassador Ballroom of Little Rock’s Embassy Suites Hotel. Luncheon tickets are $35 each and are available by calling 501-228-1470 or emailing aghalloffame@arfb.com.

The mission of the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame is to build public awareness of agriculture and to formally recognize and honor individuals whose selfless efforts have led to significant contributions to agriculture’s impact on the prosperity of local communities and the state. The Agriculture Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas Farm Bureau.