A pioneer in contract livestock production, J.D. Vaught adapted early in both chicken and swine production and used technology like performance records and artificial insemination to improve purebred Charolais (early 1970s) and Angus cattle (1980s). He built chicken houses in the early 1960s and a contract hog facility in the mid-1970s produced poultry from 1964-1999 and was a partner in Poultry House Cleanout Service from 1968-74. Vaught was a member of the Arkansas Farm Bureau state board of directors from 1991-99, a Sevier County Cattlemen’s Association officer and was instrumental in founding regional pork producer associations and the Grannis Trail Riders. He owned and operated a 400-acre family farm from 1963 until his death at age 82 on Dec. 26, 2022. At the time of his death, Vaught had 150 cattle and 520 swine sows. He served on the Horatio School Board for 23 years and was a founding member of the school’s Ag Booster Club.

Vaught also served 25 years on the Farm Credit of Western Arkansas’ board for 25 years. Other awards and recognition he earned include the 1975 Sevier County Farm Family of the Year, Perseverance and Quality Awards from Cargill Pork, Pioneer Pork Producer Award from the Arkansas Pork Producers, Pilgrim’s Pride Poultry service award, 2007 Sevier County Farm Bureau’s Agriculture Citizens of the Year and Sevier County Rural Water Association’s service award.

He and his late wife of 50-plus years, Linda, loved the life of agriculture and raised four children.

J.D. Vaught maintained a sizable herd of cattle and swine until his death in December 2022.