Ford Baldwin, an Arkansas weed scientist for more than three decades, has been named the 2006 Friend of the Farmer by Riceland Foods.
Danny Kennedy, president and chief executive officer of the farmer-owned cooperative, said when presenting the award, “Dr. Baldwin has been a friend of the rice farmer for more than 30 years, and we expect him to continue to be a friend of the farmer for many more.”
Baldwin served as a weed scientist with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service from 1974 to 2001. During that time he conducted extensive applied research trials in rice, soybeans, cotton and wheat, and developed weed management recommendations and educational programs for farmers.
Since January 2002, Baldwin has been a partner in Practical Weed Consultants with his wife, Tomilea. Most of their time during the growing season is spent serving as weed management consultants for Riceland’s farmer-members in the Mid-South.
Kennedy said Riceland members value the opportunity to call Baldwin’s cell phone from their fields and ask advice of the weed expert. If a question cannot be answered by phone, Baldwin arranges to assess the problem firsthand. “He provides a tremendous service that is appreciated by our Riceland members,” Kennedy said.
Baldwin continues to speak at 30 to 40 farmer meetings annually and writes a popular weed control column which appears in Delta Farm Press.