Meet Arizona Agriculture's Palmer Family
By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau: Arden Palmer has a long history of leadership in Graham County agriculture. He also can trace his success to his commitment to family.
Their farm business. Farming in the Gila Valley area, the Palmer family grew primarily cotton and other crops such as wheat and alfalfa.
Arden's book, "Arden and Mella: A Love Story," gives a special insight into their farm life and leadership within the agriculture industry. Theirs is a true love story.
What changes have you seen in your lifetime as it relates to farming? As told from Arden Palmer’s recently published book,
Why did you choose to go into agriculture? Promoting the cotton industry and farming in general with his wife, Mary Louise, “Mella,” was always a given. They had mutually agreed when they first married and began their family that they would pursue farming as a vocation. Says Arden in his recently published book, Arden & Mella, A Love Story, “After a lot of discussion Mella and I felt more comfortable about staying in Thatcher where our families were and go into farming with my Dad initially. …Farming was good to us, it was hard but a great way to raise a family and be able to work with our children as they grew up.”
Will anyone in your family -
Community activities: Actively involved in his community, Arden Palmer is a highly respected farmer in Graham County. He served on the Graham County Farm Bureau board for many years including county secretary in the early 1950s and county president in the late 50s. He served on the state board from 1958-1962. As county
In fact, the cotton industry has been served well by Arden’s dedication. Arden served on the Arizona Cotton Growers Board in 1963 as well as vice president in 1965, and president in1969 and chairman of the board from 1971-1972. He served many years on the National Cotton Council Board of Directors starting in 1974. He was also a member of the Cotton Incorporated Board of Directors.
He was on the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Committee from 1969 to 1973. He was also a member of the Arizona Board of Pesticide Control.
The University of Arizona has recognized him with the Lifetime Achievement Award, Distinguished Citizen and Honorary Alumnus Award for his extensive work with the University on research projects relating to pink bollworm and whitefly suppression.
Arden’s service to both Farm Bureau, other industry
What is one fact/experience/achievement no one knows about you? Arden is licensed as a commercial pilot where during his career, in between everything else, he did quite a bit of charter work, flying air ambulance flights, flying for BLM, the Forest Service, Game and
What Mr. Palmer Does Really Well? While Arizona Farm Bureau has not asked Mr. Palmer directly since we’ve pulled most of this information from friends and his book, we’d like to suggest that Mr. Palmer is really good at leadership and connecting. He’s also very good and being a father and husband, a quality the family can affirm with great joy each time one of them is asked about it. While Mella is no longer with us, Mr. Palmer's story of his life with her is a true love story.
Why are you a farm bureau member? From the Book: “I suppose I inherited my appetite for involvement in what is going on around me from my dad. As long as I can remember I have liked to be involved and participating in those groups and activities that were pertinent to my life. Shortly after Mella and I were married, I became involved with the Graham County Farm Bureau organization [that extended to state-level involvement]. …I had a great many opportunities to be involved in agriculture-related entities for which I am grateful. Most were very satisfying experiences.”
Editor’s note: Arizona Farm Bureau is pleased to honor Arden Palmer with the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award during our 93rd Annual Meeting in November in Scottsdale.