Ark farm family of the year: DeSalvos from Center Ridge

Beth DeSalvo, Isabella DeSalvo, Ashley Wimberly of the Arkansas Press Association (which is a co-sponsor of the FFOY program along with Arkansas Farm Bureau), Phillip DeSalvo, Benjamin DeSalvo and Tony DeSalvo, Phillip's father

The DeSalvo family of Center Ridge (Conway County) is the 2012 Arkansas Farm Family of the Year. The announcement came today at the annual Farm Family Day luncheon honoring the county and district Farm Families of the Year.

Tony DeSalvo, along with his son Phillip and daughter-in-law Beth, own Big D Ranch, a 1,300-acre cattle and hay operation. Phillip and Beth have two children, 8-year-old Benjamin and 6-year-old Isabella.

Big D Ranch consists of a 350-head commercial cow-calf operation, 150-head of registered Ultrablack cattle, which includes 30-40 registered bulls. The DeSalvos are believed to have the largest herd of registered Ultrablack cattle in Arkansas. Additionally, they grow around 900 acres of wheat and sorghum sudan silage and bermuda hay.

The first generation of DeSalvos settled near Center Ridge in the late 1800s and since 2003, Tony and Phillip have worked diligently to ensure the commercial and seed stock cattle operations run efficiently. Phillip is proud to work the same land his ancestors established more than 100 years ago. He is raising Ben and Isabella to share his passion for ranching and they are learning to work on the farm in a number of ways.

Read More on Farm Bureau website.