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Agriculture Board picks Calhoun as next secretary

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- The Arkansas Agriculture Board has chosen Butch Calhoun as the next state agriculture secretary.

The board made the choice in a meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Gov. Mike Beebe suggested the board choose Calhoun and a Beebe spokesman says the governor will confirm the appointment when he returns from a trade mission to France.

Calhoun will follow the state's first agriculture secretary, Richard Bell, in the position. Bell was the longtime head of Riceland Foods before taking the secretary position.

Calhoun is the director of the state Rural Services Department.