Jim Pledger has touched the lives of numerous Arkansas young people and adults through his tenure as President and General Manager of the Arkansas State Fair and Livestock Show Association. Pledger assumed this position in August of 1994 and was responsible for overseeing the operations of the State Fairgrounds for 11 years, until stepping down in April of 2005. Through his connections in state government and as director of the Department of Finance and Administration from 1989-1994, Pledger impacted Arkansas agriculture in a number of ways. While director of DF&A, he worked closely with the Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas and the Cooperative Extension Service. Under his watch as president and general manager of the state fair and livestock show association, Pledger obtained funding for numerous improvements to facilities at the state fairgrounds including putting a new roof on Barton Coliseum. Many livestock barns and other facilities also received a facelift. These improvements have enhanced the state fair and livestock show experience for exhibitors and families and have had a significant impact on the local economy. Born in Danville (Yell County), Pledger graduated from Arkansas Tech University and later served as Yell County Treasurer. He also served on the board of education of Danville Public Schools and as president of the Yell County Fair Association. In his role as president of the Livestock Show Association, Pledger was able to directly or indirectly touch the lives of 9,000 Arkansas youth who annually displayed their animals at the State Fair. In 1999, he was awarded the Arkansas Honorary FFA Degree because of his positive influence. Among his other accomplishments, Pledger served on the Arkansas Tech University board of trustees and in 1992 was inducted into the institution’s Hall of Distinction. He served on the board of directors for the International Association of Fairs and Expositions. In 1991, he was inducted into the Arkansas Fair Managers Hall of Fame.