LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday named farmer and businessman Stan Jones of Walnut Ridge to the state Game and Fish Commission.

Jones is an Arkansas native and a graduate of Arkansas State University, where he played on the 1970 National Football Championship team.

He farms more than 7,000 acres in northeast Arkansas and owns Banded outdoor sporting apparel, Avery Outdoors and the Stan Jones Mallard Lodge. He was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

Jones replaces outgoing Commissioner Fred Brown. Commissioners serve seven-year terms.

“Stan has been a leader in restoring habitat,” Hutchinson said in a news conference at the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center in Little Rock. “He understands the role that it plays in our economy today.”

Hutchinson said that as a personal friend, “I’ve spent a lot of time with Stan in duck woods … and I’ve seen how he knows the habitat, he appreciates it, he works to protect it, and to me that is the essence of a Game and Fish commissioner.”

Game and Fish Commission Director Jeff Crow said Jones is “passionate about conservation, he’s passionate about his state, he’s passionate about the hunters, the sportsmen and the anglers, the folks that enjoy our natural resources.”

Jones told the governor, “I know deep down that you love the state of Arkansas, I know how much you love wildlife, I know how much you love the woods, the ground, the Natural State. And you know how much I love the Natural State as well. I love the woods, the hunting, the restoration, the habitat, and I absolutely will do what you want me to do as far as carry on what the Game and Fish has been doing for years and be a good steward in looking after this.”

He pledged, “I will do the best job I can to leave this state better than I found it.”