LITTLE ROCK — Josh Cureton of Cash is the 2021 recipient of the Stanley E. Reed Leadership Award from the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation.
Cureton accepted the award Dec. 2 during the organization’s 87th annual convention at the State House Convention Center in Little Rock. Arkansas Farm Bureau President Rich Hillman and Charlene Reed, widow of late ArFB president Stanley Reed, presented the award.
Cureton has been on the Craighead County board for 16 years, serving as an officer for eight years and on the executive board for 12. He served as county board president from 2014-16, and during his term, in 2015, the county received the state President’s Award.
Cureton also served on the state Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee for four years, including the positions of chair and vice chair. He has been ArFB’s state soybean chair for five years and, in 2017, he was recognized by Arkansas State University as an Outstanding Alumnus. He serves as a deacon at Bono Church of Christ, a board member of Westside Consolidated School District, part of the County Extension Advisory Committee and is a member of the NEA District Fair Board.
The Stanley E. Reed Leadership Award was established in 2011 to honor the memory of the man who was president of Arkansas Farm Bureau from 2003-08. It is awarded to an active member, 36 to 45 years of age, for outstanding leadership within their county Farm Bureau and community. It is intended to honor a county leader who has demonstrated the leadership qualities that were evident in Stanley Reed’s life and will help lead Farm Bureau into the future.
“Stanley Reed spoke at the very first YF&R meeting my wife Melissa and I attended,” said Cureton. “His words were very inspirational. I had grown up in Farm Bureau, and to hear him tell it, now it was my turn to be an active part of this great organization. Being part of that tradition was a very big deal to me those many years ago, and now to win this award just means the world to me.”
Cureton is a sixth-generation row-crop farmer. With the help of his wife Melissa, he raises soybeans and rice on 4,400 acres in Craighead County. The couple won the state YF&R Achievement Award in 2016. They have three children, Grayce, 20, Cole, 16, and Mattyx, 13, who are actively involved in church, school and sports.