Funeral service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Benoit Union Church with visitation from noon-2:30 p.m. prior to the service.
"Mr. Hester was a long-time Farm Bureau member and leader on the local, state, and national levels,” said Justin Ferguson, regional manager?, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.
“He held numerous positions within the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation and was an instrumental figure involved in the Farm Credit System and the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board. Mr. Ed was a devoted advocate for Mississippi Agriculture and will be truly missed."
"Ed was a man that volunteered his time to a lot of leadership positions in the county, state and the nation,” said Travis Satterfield. “He had such a big presence and influence and he will be greatly missed."
Hester was a board member of Mississippi Land Bank for over 20 years representing Bolivar and Sunflower counties.
He was also a long time board member of Delta Electric and Bolivar County Hospital when it was belonged to the county.
When the hospital was sold in 2001, Hester became a member of the Bolivar Medical Center Foundation Board.
"Ed and I became great friends over the years and we served together for about 25 years on the hospital board,” said Joe Aguzzi. “Anytime I needed help he was there for me.
“He was a part of our morning coffee group and he's going to be greatly missed.
“He had a lot of influence on local agriculture. Anytime there was something new he'd be willing to try it," said Aguzzi
In 1995, Hester was chosen as the Southeastern Farmer of the Year.
His story, along with many other Delta Rice farmers, was written in the book, "Rice in the Mississippi Delta: Yesterday, Today, and Forever," published by Dr. James Smith, founder and president of Delta Rice Services.
"I've known Mr. Hester for 50 years and he was a really fine man. I relied on him for support and he was somebody I could go to for advice related to life in general,” said Benoit Mayor Calvin Wade.
“I knew him as a farmer and a friend and we were in the church choir together at Union Church.
“He was a wonderful human being and I miss him. The community will miss him dearly. He was a Bulldog through and through. He loved Mississippi State, the church and the community," said Wade.
In addition to his many other activities, Hester was also on the board of the Benoit Outing Club.