Donald W. Alexander
Don Alexander provided more than 40 years of service to Arkansas agriculture, including 35 years at the Arkansas State Plant Board. Born and raised in north-central Arkansas, Alexander graduated from Concord High School in Cleburne County in 1966. He began his career at the Plant Board in 1967 as a fruit and vegetable inspector and served in a number of positions until he was named Director in June, 1995. He led the agency for seven years, stepping down in 2002. Alexander was named executive vice president of the Agricultural Council of Arkansas that same year. In this position he worked to protect Arkansas farmers and ranchers ability to produce food and fiber and improve net farm income. While at the Plant Board, Alexander kept abreast of new technologies that could make agricultural production more efficient, improve the quality of agricultural products and protect the environment. He felt passionately that the agency project the image of being fair, competent and efficient in its administration of regulatory programs. By requiring staff to regularly participate in training sessions, Alexander ensured the Plant Board had competent personnel to oversee its science-based regulatory programs. He was the driving force for reviewing and updating laws and regulations to ensure their practical application. Alexander served on a number of state and national boards and associations. These included the Arkansas Boll Weevil Foundation Board, the Fire Ant Advisory Board, and as president of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture. He received numerous awards including the Southern Crop Production Association’s highest honor, the Don W. Beise Award, for service to agriculture and the ag chemicals industry, as well as the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture’s President’s Tribute for Distinguished Service.