The organization was founded by former Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, a grandson of oil industry magnate John D. Rockefeller. Winthrop Rockefeller moved to Petit Jean Mountain near Morrilton, Arkansas, in 1953 and began giving away millions of dollars. He personally endowed the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock.
The president of Winrock is Sybil Hampton.
- Deborah Horn, "Heifer International: World Sees Our Charitable Culture," Arkansas Business, March 15, 2004.