The Arizona Agricultural Education/FFA Foundation has named Richard Lunt the 2020 Agriculturalist of the Year. He’ll be honored virtually Friday during the 5th annual FFA Blue & Gold Gala.
According to a news release, the award is given annually to a member of the agriculture community who has a strong spirit of leadership and has made a significant contribution to Arizona agriculture and the community. The State FFA Officers from the Arizona Association FFA make the selection annually from nominations from FFA members across Arizona.
“I tell you what, I can’t explain how humbled I am and how honored,” Lunt, a lifelong Greenlee County resident said.
Lunt expressed his appreciation to Duncan High School agriculture teacher Kayla Presley for nominating him and the officers for selecting him. He said he’s known a lot of the previous recipients and is humbled to have been chosen as well.
“I’m just a regular old Joe,” Lunt said.
Lunt grew up working on his grandfather’s and father’s farm, dairy and ranches and got involved with the FFA while attending Duncan High School.
After high school he graduated from Eastern Arizona College and then went on to the University of Arizona where he received his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education and Animal Science in 1979.
Lunt has been a member of many associations and served in numerous leadership positions on the local, state and national level throughout the years. He’s currently a Greenlee County Supervisor for District 3.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d have all of the opportunities I’ve had and they’re all due to agriculture,” Lunt said. “I feel very blessed. This way of life is close to my heart and I’m just a very lucky man.”
After learning of the honor, Lunt said that what drives him to support the FFA and youth in agriculture is his love for children.
Lunt and his wife of 44 years, Colleen, have six children.
“I want them to have some of the same experiences that I had growing up. I want them to appreciate what agriculture does for each and every one of us. These students are our future,” Lunt, who also has 16 grandchildren, said.