Eliza Smith

AKC Commodities

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Meanwhile, the Agricultural Council of Arkansas' Twitter post last Friday evening characterized Dick Bell quite elegantly: "fantastic guy, wonderful intelligence, a good leader"


Dick's death a week brought to a detailed life of accomplishment, maybe not only for that rice marketplace -- where to get three years he also led Riceland meals because of the planet's biggest rice miller plus among the region's largest processors of soybeans -- but in the wider arena of national and international agricultural coverage.


Even though he functioned for decades in provincial circles -- as an agricultural economist with the USDA's Foreign Agricultural services, as a helper agricultural attaché at Ottawa and Brussels, since ag attaché for the American Embassy in Dublin, as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for International Affairs and Commodity Programs -- that had been as un-bureaucratic when you can require.


He had an understanding of agricultural economics and policy which appeared on encyclopedic, also would more than hold their or her own with members of Congress or even Capitol Hill leaders,'' but he had a marvelous (and coveted ) knack for distilling the brain-numbing minutiae of administration policy and programs right into speech exactly the average man might grasp.

Although Dick had been a"Yankee" by the arrival (Illinois), also he dropped his accent during his years in Arkansas, he had been the only real southern gentleman: gracious, soft-spoken, always showing an enthusiastic fascination with those with whom he cried. I crossed paths with him regularly through time, in a meeting or some other, also he always would make it a place to come along and chat with me along with other members of the media, without matter that of our Farm Press editors had been covering his comments, he would, a twinkle in his eyes, and manage to work in a mention throughout his talk with something we had created, as though he followed our scribblings religiously. He endeared himself to people of the networking by consistently making himself available once we had information or plagiarize remarks about A G markets or policy.

Much has been written regarding Dick's careers with USDA/FAS, together with Riceland Foods, also later, after his retirement as Arkansas' first Agri-Culture Secretary. Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, who made him on this post, said following his passing "With his vast understanding of the entire agricultural scene, and the respect he earned from everybody else at the agri-world, there was no one that I could consider that was better suited to your job. He was a hard-working, conscientious, and powerful public slave ."

In an era when the federal government and administration service in many cases are reviled, Dick might, I believe, have enjoyed that label: effective public servant.

U.S. rice along with U.S. farming would be the best due to his life of services, and also on his death can remember with gratitude

his most gifts.