John Stephens enjoyed a career in agriculture highlighted by many achievements. His vision and ability to sell farmers on the benefits of technology, such as the mechanical cotton picker and anhydrous ammonia, have been invaluable to the state, region and nation. He also played a huge role in making the American Soybean Association an effective force in promoting one of the nation’s most important row crops. Mr. Stephens graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1931 with a degree in Agricultural Economics. He worked for the Federal Land Bank five years, then joined the Agricultural Extension Service. He was county agent in Greene, Cross and Crittenden counties before he retired in 1965. Following that retirement, Mr. Stephens joined the ASA as southern field representative, working 13 states. At the same time, he ran his own farm, an approximately 2,000-acre rice, wheat and soybeans operation in Prairie County. Mr. Stephens’ contributions to Arkansas agriculture are outstanding. He introduced modern agricultural technology to farmers in Greene, Cross and Crittenden counties and helped move them from “mule power” to “tractor power.” He also helped the region shift from hand hoeing to chemical weed control, and from picking cotton manually to mechanically. And he introduced alternate crops to East Arkansas (including vegetables for small operations), where cotton had always been king. Mr. Stephens worked his way through the University of Arkansas during the Depression, where he organized and was the first president of Alpha Gamma Rho Club (later chartered as the ag-students’ fraternity). He received the “Outstanding Leadership Award” and “Distinguished Service Award” from Arkansas County Agents Association; the “Distinguished Service Award” from the ASA; and was named “Man of the Year” by the Memphis Agricultural Club and “Man of the Decade” by numerous organizations. Mr. Stephens also was the first president of Marion Chamber of Commerce, was a longtime member of Crittenden County Farm Bureau’s board, and was active in Marion United Methodist Church.