For the past 55 years, Tommy Lewis has been known as one of the state’s leading cattlemen and owner/operator of the largest livestock market in Arkansas. Born in Shirley (Van Buren County), Lewis moved to Conway in 1944, following the death of his parents, to live with his uncle, Major Lewis. He attended Conway High School and worked at the Conway Auction Market after school each day. It was there he learned the business and saw the need for a state-of-the-art livestock marketing facility. Challenged by the growth of the beef cattle and dairy industry in central Arkansas, Tommy and Major Lewis established Lewis Livestock Company, Inc. in 1972. Initially, Tommy owned the facility and Major Lewis owned and operated the business. Together, they saw record volumes of business each year. Following the death of Major Lewis in 1977, Tommy became sole owner and operator. The operation gained a nationwide reputation among order buyers, packers and market men. Lewis Livestock grew to become the largest in Arkansas and second largest in the southeastern U.S. Over the past 30 years Lewis Livestock, Inc. has recorded a sale volume of more than $30 billion for producers in Arkansas. Additionally, Lewis served on the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission from 1995-2003. It was during this time the state gained Class Free Brucellosis status. In 1999, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded him a certificate of appreciation for his leadership and professionalism in livestock marketing. Lewis was elected president of the Arkansas Livestock Marketing Association in 1992 and served until 2003. Additionally, he was presented with a lifetime membership in the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association for his support of the cattle industry. Lewis has remained actively involved with Faulkner County and Arkansas Farm Bureau, Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association and Arkansas Livestock Marketing Association. His success in the livestock marketing industry comes from his natural ability to always “put the customer first.”