West Higginbothom is a third-generation farmer who returned to his family’s Marianna farm in 2009. When he graduated from the University of Arkansas, West wasn’t ready to return to farm life and his father encouraged him to try a career outside of agriculture.
After college, he took his degree in business finance and insurance to a Washington, D.C., mailroom. He paid his dues and was eventually called up to work in ag policy for three different senators, including Arkansas’s Blanche Lincoln. He then helped Georgia’s Zell Miller with the 2002 Farm Bill before working exclusively for Mississippi’s Thad Cochran.
Time ticked by and the clock struck 10 years. West and his wife, who met in D.C., were ready to start a family and decided to move closer to their own. West got to keep his fingers in agriculture through farm bills, but he was ready to rejoin his father on the farm.
As a member of the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, West wants the board to be the source soybean producers come to for answers about issues such as fertility, insects, crop rotation and more.. For West, “The ASPB is a critical component and foundation block for Arkansas soybean farmers’ checkoff dollars to be utilized most effectively.”
Roles outside of the ASPB:
- Current President, Ag Council of Arkansas
- Current Chair, Lee County Community Foundation
- Board Member, Lee County Economic Development Commission
Favorite soyfoods: Edamame. The entire family loves it.
Why grow soybeans? They’re exciting to watch. They’re no longer a secondary crop and with the issues Mother Nature creates, it’s a challenging and rewarding crop.
What makes soybeans interesting: So many things you touch involve soybeans, from vegetable oil to car seats to foam insulation, from food to fuel. They impact Arkansas’s economy and the nation’s.
If you could tell Arkansans one thing about soybeans: In the past, soybeans were considered a stepchild crop. But over the last 10 to 15 years, improving yields have caused prices to rise, making soybeans more competitive. They’re just as much a priority as cotton, corn and rice.