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Clinton native and former Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Richard Bell passed away on Friday.

A 2003 inductee in the state’s Business Hall of Fame, Bell had been in ill health for some time.

After 27 years, he retired as president and CEO from Riceland Foods in July 2004.

He was then appointed as Arkansas’ first Agriculture Secretary in 2005 by then-Gov. Mike Huckabee where he served until 2012.

Bell was 81-years old.

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