Mon, May 21, 2018 04:24 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-12-12 communities
Jewel Arnett honored for service

Jewel Arnett
SALYERSVILLE Jewel M. Arnett, a Magoffin County businesswoman for three decades and a Farm Bureau leader for 55 years, has been named winner of Kentucky Farm Bureau's Award for Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau.

Arnett, 85, was honored during Farm Bureau's 84th annual convention at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, receiving an engraved watch and plaque from KFB President Sam Moore.

Arnett has compiled an unprecedented leadership record in Farm Bureau since beginning her active affiliation with the organization in 1947, Moore said.

Last year, she retired from the Kentucky Farm Bureau Board of Directors following 25 years service. She also served as a member of Farm Bureau's state Women's Advisory Committee for a similar period and chaired that group for three years, beginning in 1963.

She and her late husband, Ollie, operated a Southern States Cooperative Store in Salyersville for 38 years. The couple were both active in local organizations, and he also served a term on the Kentucky Farm Bureau board.

Arnett has long taken pride in her record of attendance to state and national Farm Bureau conventions, going back more than 50 years. She also served for 16 years as state chairman of the Country Women's Council, and in 1980 took part as a delegate to the Associated Country Women of the World international meeting in Hamburg, Germany.

Arnett was an early and vocal advocate for increased involvement in Farm Bureau leadership by women. She actively recruited participants in the organization's youth activities, scholarship programs and farm public relations events.

Arnett began serving as secretary-treasurer for the Magoffin County Farm Bureau in 1950, and she continues to serve as secretary of the group today.

At the state level, she chaired Kentucky Farm Bureau's Rural Health and Safety Advisory Committee and the Forestry Advisory Committee, reflecting her native Eastern Kentucky's dependence on the timber industry as well as special safety concerns for farm producers operating machinery on steep, hilly terrain.

Arnett's public service extended to the local fair board and 4-H clubs. She also conducted numerous demonstrations on freezing food during the 1950, when that process was becoming popular among local homemakers.

Kentucky Farm Bureau Director David McGlone says Arnett has been an effective advocate for Farm Bureau throughout the Eastern Kentucky region.

"The lady thinks, lives and breathes Farm Bureau," McGlone noted. "She has devoted her life to promoting the Farm Bureau message."

Julia Sprague, who served on the KFB Women's Advisory Committee with Arnett, said Arnett's pride in her native county and her neighbors characterized her leadership tenure.

"She defended their interests passionately and continually reminded others of their needs," Sprague added. "What more could any district ask of its representative?"

Arnett has a son, Burke; a daughter-in-law, Wilma; and two grandchildren.

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