By RICHARD DUKE

LOG CABIN STAFF WRITER

Citing a mixture of sadness and excitement, Faulkner County Judge Preston Scroggin confirmed that he would resign his position as county judge and accept the appointment by Gov. Mike Beebe as Director of the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission.

Scroggin, who is a fifth-generation cattle rancher from Vilonia, was recently re-elected for another 2-year term as county judge, and the quorum court will now be expected to declare a vacancy after he resigns on Thursday, Jan. 31. The court will then vote on Scroggin’s replacement to serve the remainder of the term.

"I am very honored that the governor would consider me for this position," Scroggin said. "But it comes with much sadness because of the death of Steve Bryles, and we are all thinking of his family."

Bryles, who was the previous director, died in December.

"I am also sad because I am leaving the job at this county and with this court. It is the toughest decision I have ever had to make."

Lt. Gov. Mark Darr expressed his confidence in the appointment.

"Preston Scroggin is an upstanding man who I am pleased to call my friend," Darr said. "Governor Beebe could not have made a better choice in appointing him as Director of the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission. He has served this state well as a County Judge and as a former State Representative. I know Preston will go over and beyond the call of duty as he has done in every position he has served."

Steve Goode, Justice of the Peace for District 3, said that he and other JPs had heard "rumblings" in recent days, but he did not know anything official until Thursday.

Scroggin will be assuming a role of great importance to the state. He said that farming is still the biggest economic driver in Arkansas.

"I’m grateful that I have been given the responsibility of this position," Scroggin said. "We are just going to have to get in there and hit the ground running. We will try and do some good."

Scroggin said he will still be available to anyone in the county who needs help.

"It’s not like I’m just picking up and leaving," he said. "I’ll still help in any way I can."