Page 1

Spring 2014

Heritage Month celebrates

Arkansas agriculture

Tomato farming (p4) Grape growing (p10)

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Spring 2014

VOLUME 11 Issue 2










Pink and Red are beautiful … and flavorful by Lamor Williams Grape growing in Arkansas by Lamor Williams








Farm Bureau Perspective by Randy Veach Faces of Agriculture — Barbara Sutton by Gregg Patterson SPRING 2014

Heritage Month

Policy Update by Michelle Kitchens




Rural Reflections Photo

Tomatoes Grapes

On the cover — May is Arkansas Heritage Month, and this year celebrates agriculture’s contribution to the state’s rich culinary culture.

Executive Editor: Steve Eddington Editor: Gregg Patterson Contributing Writers: Ken Moore, Keith Sutton, Chris Wilson Research Assistant: Brenda Gregory


Arkansas Agriculture

4 10 3 18 22 28

Arkansas Agriculture

Farm Bureau

is an official publication of Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation.


Arkansas Agriculture is distributed to almost 42,000 farming and ranching households in Arkansas. SUBSCRIPTIONS: Included in membership dues. Arkansas Farm Bureau Officers: President Randy Veach Manila Vice President Rich Hillman Carlisle Secretary/Treasurer Joe Christian Jonesboro Executive Vice President Rodney Baker Little Rock Directors: Troy Buck, Alpine Jon Carroll, Moro Joe Christian, Jonesboro Terry Dabbs, Stuttgart Sherry Felts, Joiner Mike Freeze, England Bruce Jackson, Lockesburg Tom Jones, Pottsville Johnny Loftin, El Dorado Gene Pharr, Lincoln Rusty Smith, Des Arc Allen Stewart, Mena Leo Sutterfield, Mountain View Joe Thrash, Conway

by Randy Veach, President Arkansas Farm Bureau


California is attempting to set standards for the rest of the United States when it comes

to egg production.You may recall six years ago California’s citizens passed Proposition 2. It mandates laying hens be raised in cages of a certain size, though scientific studies showed no connection between the expanded cage size and the hens’ welfare, wellness or laying capacity. That’s one of the reasons it’s important for the men and women of agriculture to help educate consumers about farming practices. California has overstepped the boundaries of Proposition 2, which goes into effect in

2015, with additional state laws that require all eggs sold in the state – regardless of where they were produced – follow the same cage-size laws. Egg producers must spend a lot of money to comply with California’s mandate or face being shut out of its large consumer market. The attorney generals in six states, initiated by our neighbors in Missouri, have joined in a lawsuit against California, claiming the law extending California’s standards to all eggs sold within its borders is unconstitutional. “California is attempting to regulate agricultural practices beyond its own borders,” the lawsuit claims. I couldn’t agree more! Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has indicated he doesn’t plan to sign onto the lawsuit, though we’re seeking his involvement. The implications of California’s decisions – and the outcome of the lawsuit – could have far-reaching implications for every segment of Arkansas agriculture.

Ex Officio Josh Cureton, Jonesboro Brent Lassiter, Newport Janice Marsh, McCrory Peggy Miller, Lake Village Arkansas Agriculture is published quarterly by the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation, 10720 Kanis Road, Little Rock, AR 72211. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Arkansas Agriculture, P.O. Box 31, Little Rock, AR 72203. Issue #32. Publisher assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. The Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation reserves the right to accept or reject all advertising requests. Send comments to:

Should California – or any state, for that matter – get to define the production practices for the rest of the country, just by virtue of its purchasing power? If this precedent is allowed to stand, will California pass laws limiting the number of broilers we can grow per house, how many cattle we can stock per acre, or whether we can grow GMO crops? Of course not! Our farmers and ranchers shouldn’t operate at the whim of California’s voters. Two years ago, California narrowly rejected (51.4 percent voted “no”) a ballot initiative that would have greatly restricted the sale of GMO products in the state. That law would have sent tremors across the agriculture landscape, and no doubt will be brought up again in the future. Access to foreign markets for agricultural products is tricky enough, and foreign trade is critical to the success of Arkansas agriculture. Now we have California wanting to enforce laws like it’s a stand-alone country. The overreaching of California’s Proposition 2 laws must be struck down. It’s an obvious violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Interstate Commerce Clause. Blake Hurst, my friend and president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, sized up the situation pretty concisely: “This (lawsuit) is not important because of how chickens are housed. It is important because of the precedent it sets.” I believe deeply in the power of the people. While the science didn’t support Proposition 2, I don’t question the outcome. Unless it’s repealed by a vote of the people that law should be implemented in California. But, frankly, they have no right to dictate the production Created by Publishing Concepts, Inc. David Brown, President • For Advertising info contact Tom Kennedy • 1-800-561-4686 Edition 33

practices of a farmer in Arkansas, simply because eggs produced in our state could be sold there. God bless you and your families. God bless our farmers and ranchers. And God bless Arkansas Farm Bureau.

Arkansas Agriculture


d e R k Parein beautiful … and flavorful and

A lookowners at tomato tem notifies when wires cut, electrical system compromised farming in Arkansas


ngton by Lamor Williams


It’s an age-old debate, at least in

some circles: tow-MAY-tow or towMAH-tow. But when your blood is just as likely to have seeds and soil as platelets and plasma, you call them “’maters.” Arkansas ranks 12th in the

nation for the production of tomatoes, according to the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Some of the state’s southeastern counties – Bradley, Ashley and Drew – are known nationally for producing pink tomatoes so good they “make you want to slap yo’ mama” as Southerners are so fond of saying. “I guess it’s our soil,” said Darren Eubanks, fresh off the tractor on a cloudy April afternoon after rushing to get mulch laid down on his 16 acres before an expected downpour. “We have folks who drive out here and pass right by their neighbors who have tomatoes. We have people come over here to get plants from us. Our ’maters just don’t taste like everybody else’s.” According to UA’s 2013 Economic Contribution of Arkansas Agriculture report, the state harvested 1,000 acres of tomatoes with a value of $1.8 million. May marks the start of Arkansas Heritage Month, a time when the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH) encourages residents to celebrate the rich and diverse culture of the state.


Arkansas Agriculture

This year, DAH is focusing on the state’s flavorful food traditions that date back to campfire cooking with Dutch ovens (the state’s official cooking vessel) to today’s influx of food trucks, microbreweries and upscale eateries. “In early Arkansas, all food came from the land. Native Americans and early settlers hunted for meat, grew vegetables and fruits, and knew what plants and berries were edible. Over the years, we became less dependent on the land, but many of our food traditions have remained,” said Melissa Whitfield, DAH communications director. “Today, the food movement in Arkansas is still growing and evolving. We thought this would be an excellent year to honor the state’s rich culinary culture, so we chose as our theme this year ‘Come to the Table: Celebrating the Flavors of Arkansas’.” Among those flavors, for example, are the state’s tomatoes, especially those from Bradley County, home of the 58-year-old Pink Tomato Festival. “Botanically speaking, there are red tomatoes and pink tomatoes. With pink tomatoes, the outer skin is a little more translucent,” said tomato expert and Bradley County Extension Agent John Gavin. “Red tomatoes are slower to ripen, have a firmer skin and more defined pigment.” Gavin says from the 1950s to the mid1980s, Bradley County farmers raised true pink tomatoes. The University of Arkansas even bred several varieties – the Bradley, Traveler, Traveler 76, VF Pink and Ozark Pink – specifically for Arkansas. However, Gavin says, because the red ones are heartier, growers found it more profitable to switch. “They did well for three decades, then everybody switched,” he said. So how can Bradley County still be home of the pink tomato? “Because we harvest in the pink stage of maturity, when the fruit is turning from green to pink, which means the ripening has started naturally,” he said. Gavin says the vine-ripening of Arkansas’ tomatoes is what sets them apart from those grown in other states. “So many of the tomatoes in this country are harvested green, then placed in a climate-controlled environment and basically ripening is induced. This takes a toll on the flavor,” he said. “Also, we have very good soils that are highly adaptive for tomato production, and the climate is a factor, but I’d say the vineripening is the main advantage.”

Arkansas Agriculture


Keith Sutton

Important crop Nationally, Arkansas ranks 12th in tomato production, harvesting 1,000 acres valued at $1.8 million.


Arkansas Agriculture

However, vine-ripening comes with a cost. Growers have to gamble, betting against the elements that when their fruit starts to ripen, they’ll have time to harvest before

Gavin says Subway has been buying large tomatoes for its sandwiches. “Tomatoes are graded by size,” he said. “You have

Arkansas’ sometimes erratic weather changes from desert-

jumbo, extra large and large. The large ones sell at a

like heat and drought to drowning deluges that are equally

lower price, but they’re the perfect size for Subway’s


use. You’ll notice that one slice covers the width of the

“Picking them green means you have more time from harvest to sale,” Gavin said. “If you’re letting your fruit ripen on the vine, you likely will have more waste than a grower who picks them green and induces ripening.” At 59 years old, the Bradley pink tomato is considered an heirloom variety. “The term heirloom refers to a variety that is at least 50

bread.” Eubanks says no matter the size of your farm, farming isn’t for the faint of heart. “If you’re going to be a farmer, you’ve got to love farming,” he said. “I’ve been able to make a living, but there have been a lot of bad years. I’d say last year was the first time in 20 years that I made any money

years old,” Gavin explained. “The seeds produced by fruit

to speak of. Usually, I get the bills paid and that’s just

from the parent plants are saved and passed down through

about it.”

the generations.” David King, president of the Bradley County Chamber of Commerce, says when people come to the Pink Tomato Festival, “They come looking for the Bradley pink tomato. “We started marketing tomatoes in 1924, and it has

Eubanks says Drew County was once home to 30 tomato farmers. Today, there are only four including him. “In 2000, people started pulling out. The market wasn’t good, and they weren’t making money,”

been the lifeline of the county,” King said. “The farmers

Eubanks said. “You got to love the tomato business

who took up raising the tomatoes have passed the craft

to stay in it. After college, I worked some years in a

down through the years.”

suit, but I decided I didn’t want to live on concrete. I

At 16 acres, Darren Eubanks’ Drew County farm is one

came back here as much as I could. My daddy has been

of the smaller commercial outfits in the state. The biggest

doing this for 50 years. He’s 76, and just the other day,

operation in the state is Bradley County’s Clanton Farms

somebody asked him when he was gonna give it up. He

with 400 acres. In Ashley County, Triple M Farms has 150

said, ‘Whenever they put me in the ground.’”

restaurants in Arkansas.

That rich ground that grows some of the world’s best ‘maters.’

Keith Sutton

acres and provides tomatoes and bell peppers for Subway

Arkansas Agriculture


’Mator magic

Sliced for sandwiches, cut into wedges for salads, diced

indeterminant. A determinant plant will only grow so big

for salsa or pureed for sauces, tomatoes are the lynchpin

and produce fruit of a certain size, Gavin says. However, an

of many an Arkansas meal. Using heirloom tomatoes,

indeterminant plant will continue growing and the size of

considered top-shelf in terms of taste, could only make

the fruit yielded will depend on the care given to the plant.

those dishes better. However, because so many store-bought tomatoes are

“Decide what you want. Do you want fewer large tomatoes or lots of small ones, because that determines

picked green then allowed to ripen in a climate-controlled

what type of pruning you have to do,” he said. “And you’ll

room rather than on the vine, many people miss out on

need to learn how to prune a tomato plant.”

the flavorful versions that farmers know so well. As a result, more people are turning to growing their own tomatoes. Bradley County Extension Agent John Gavin has the following tips for having a successful

Control insects and disease Begin a recommended spraying program using a

backyard garden.

fungicide and insecticide.

Sample your soil

fungus and insects,” Gavin said. “If you wait for disease to

“Tomatoes are soft fruits and are very vulnerable to

Collect a soil sample and take it to the local

show up, it’s hard to get the upper hand on it, hard to stop it once it starts.”

Cooperative Extension Service for a free analysis. “This is the first step for growing any vegetable,” Gavin said. “The analysis will tell you what nutrients you have in your soil and what nutrients you need.” For example, a soil pH below 6 can mean there’s a

Water, water, water “There are ways for people with limited space to produce tomatoes,” Gavin said, noting that a plant can

calcium deficiency. “That leads to a condition called

thrive in a container with as little as four to five gallons of

blossom-end rot,” Gavin said. “You can add lime to raise a


low pH.”

“As the plant gets bigger, you have to pay close attention to moisture,” he said. “In four to five gallons of

Know your tomato There are two types of tomato plants: determinant and


Arkansas Agriculture

soil, a full-grown plant can suck that dry quick. You may have to water twice a day on hot, dry days. Basically, you’re going to have to spoon-feed it.”



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Arkansas Agriculture


Grape growing in Arkansas Heritage Month seeks to raise awareness of state’s food culture by Lamor Williams


When discussing wine country, most people

probably don’t think of Arkansas, but that’s probably because most folks don’t know that our state ranks 13th in the nation for the production of grapes. The Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH)

includes the rise of wineries, microbreweries and upscale eateries. “When people think of Arkansas, there are things that come to mind. Obviously most people are aware that we have a former president [Bill Clinton]

wants to change that along with others. Responsible

from this state and we’re the home of Wal-Mart,

for preserving the state’s history, the department

but there’s so much more to this state,” said Martha

celebrates those things that make Arkansas unique.

Miller, DHA director.

One way DAH does this is through Heritage Month, which runs through May. This year, DAH has chosen to focus on the state’s

“In the early days, all our food came from the land. People hunted for meat and grew vegetables and fruits such as muscadines,” Miller said. “That’s

flavorful food culture that dates back to the time of

part of our history and heritage, and we need to

wood-burning stoves and hand-churned butter but

preserve and celebrate it. So we chose ‘Come to the


Arkansas Agriculture

Table: Celebrating the Flavors of Arkansas as the

the Arkansas River Valley is ideal for growing grapes,

theme for Heritage Month 2014.”

says Franklin County Extension Agent Michael

Miller also notes that many people are aware that Arkansas is the No. 1 state for producing

Sullivan. “The arid climate is excellent for grape growing,”

rice, but she says her hope is to raise awareness of

Sullivan said. “Also, grapes need to be planted

other thriving segments of the Arkansas food and

on the tops of hillsides so the frost settles at the

agriculture industry.

bottom. And the soil needs to be able to drain

For example, last year Arkansas vineyards harvested nearly 600 acres of grapes with a value of about $1.3 million, according to the UA Division of Agriculture’s 2013 Economic Contribution of Arkansas Agriculture report. This level of production is made possible because

very well. Places in the river valley like Altus and Clarksville are perfect for that.” Sullivan says Clarksville also produces strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, adding that Arkansas ranks 13th for the production of blueberries.

Arkansas Agriculture


Good juice Nationally, Arkansas ranks 13th in grape production. About 600 acres of grapes are harvested in Arkansas with a value of almost $1.3 million.

From his cellar, Post sold wine to passengers on the Iron Mountain Railroad when the train stopped by his farm for fuel and water. “Since 1880, five generations of Posts have cultivated and harvested their grapes to make Post Familie wines,” the history states. Also in 1880, Johann Andreas Wiederkehr and his family arrived in Altus from Switzerland. According to the Wiederkehr Wine Cellars history, Johann Wiederkehr chose St. Mary’s Mountain as his home, because the valleys and ridges reminded him of the grape-growing terrain in Europe. Also in the Altus area are Mount Bethel Winery and Chateau aux Arc Winery. Each has some connection to either the Wiederkehrs or Posts. For example, Chateau aux Arc owner Audrey House bought her vineyard land from the Wiederkehrs in 1998, and members of the Post family founded The Arkansas River Valley area of the state is

Mount Bethel.

also well-known for growing muscadines, which are

In Altus, grapes are a big deal.

a type of grapes native to the southeastern United

Each year for the past three decades, the town of about

States. Sullivan says muscadines have been cultivated

800 people hosts a grape festival. Scheduled for July 24-25,

in Arkansas for more than 400 years.

this will be the 31st year for the event, says Altus Mayor

“Muscadines differ from other grapes in that they do not grow in bunches like European grapes and

Larry Stacy. “It is one of the larger festivals that we have here in

American grapes, but more in a cluster type fashion,”

Altus. All the grape growers and wineries come together

he said. “Many homeowners in the river valley have

in the city park to unite and display their wares. One man

muscadines growing in their yards. Those plants are a

even sells grapes out of a refrigerated truck,” Stacy said.

bountiful resource for muscadine jelly. To me, they’re addictive with an incomparable flavor.” Any discussion of grape growing in Arkansas would have to include the Post and Wiederkehr families. Post Familie Vineyards in Altus is the largest winery in the state. According to the company’s history, the founder was Jacob Post, who immigrated from Germany to America in 1872.


Arkansas Agriculture

The festival has its roots in the harvest time tradition of gathering in town to sell goods. As is customary, the opening ceremony will feature a blessing of the vine, Stacy says. “They’ll actually bring a vine down and there will be a cutting of the vine. A Catholic priest will bless the vine and each grower will get a piece,” he said. And while he isn’t a wine drinker, Stacy says he does have a favorite winery product.

River Valley The Arkansas River Valley in the western part of the state is the primary grape growing area because of its arid climate and numerous hilltops where the grapes grow best. “Post makes a great muscadine juice,” he said. “My wife and I buy it in cases and give it away for presents at Christmas. They bottle it up just like wine. The people we give it to love it so much we have to send it to them every year.” Miller says festivals are a perfect opportunity for people to observe Heritage Month even if they aren’t held in May. “It doesn’t have to be May to celebrate the state’s rich history and heritage,” she said. “The spirit of Heritage Month can be observed year-round.”

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Arkansas Agriculture


Health benefits of muscadine grapes and wines muscadines, which are native to the While medical professionals often talk about the benefits of wine drinking, the majority of that research centers around traditional wines. Recently, M.D. News dedicated an article to the benefits of muscadine grapes and wines. The article, “The Health Benefits of Muscadine Grapes, Wines and Nutraceuticals,” states that

southeastern United States, have myriad health benefits. For example, Michael Sullivan, a Franklin County Extension Agent, notes that “depending on the type of processing, muscadine wine may contain 3-4 times more beneficial compounds than California red wine. They also help for anti-inflammatory purposes for people who suffer from arthritis and other joint issues.” The article, which can be found in full on the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website at ncagr. gov, makes the following observations: • Muscadine grapes are fat-free, high in fiber and are high in antioxidants, especially ellagic acid and resveratrol. • As we age, the body produces fewer antioxidants and skin begins to show the cumulative damage. Damage to collagen and microcapillaries in the skin causes a decrease in nutrients that get to the skin, which leads to the loss of youthful appearance. The smallest of a body’s blood vessels, microcapillaries enable the interchange of nutrients between blood and the surrounding tissues. Antioxidants strengthen capillary walls and keep them flexible and unobstructed. • The ellagic acid found in muscadines has demonstrated anti-carcinogenic properties in the colon, lungs and liver of mice. Resveratrol is reported to lower cholesterol levels and the risk of coronary heart disease.


Arkansas Agriculture

• Subjects fed resveratrol were healthier, leaner and lived up to 30 percent longer, even though they were on high-calorie, high-fat diets, according to an ongoing Harvard study. • France’s heart attack rate is one-third that of the U.S. The answer is the French custom of drinking wine with meals. “The Copenhagen City Heart Study,” published in the British Medical Journal, showed that among more than 13,000 men and women age 30 to 70 who were tracked for 12 years and consumed wine daily, were 50 percent less likely to die during the study than those who consumed other alcoholic beverages or nondrinkers. It’s important to note that health benefits were greatest with only two or three glasses of wine per day (one for women). Drinking more increased health risks.


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Arkansas Agriculture

Faces of Agriculture

Barbara Sutton Professional volunteer by Gregg Patterson


Barbara Sutton was president of

Miller County Farm Bureau, and she believes in getting things done. She’ll tell you the strength of Farm Bureau is “… bringing everybody together for a purpose.”

And Barbara Sutton lives a life of Keith Sutton


“I’m a professional volunteer,”

she said. “I get a kick out of helping people and getting things done.” She joined Farm Bureau with her husband Donald in 1972. He was an

Love in action Farm Bureau volunteer leader Barbara Sutton is motivated by doing good things for others.

electrical engineer who worked back and forth overseas when they were

involved all do a great job,” Sutton

700 children in the county. Events

said. She says the children attending

run a cow-calf operation.

include the Four States Fair, 4-H

are primarily underprivileged and

Fishing Derby, the Back to Nature

from the city. “We show them how

would mess up everything on the

day and the Runnin’ WJ Ranch

things were done in the past on the

farm,” she recalled. “Then he’d come


farm and how they’re done now, and

“He would go overseas, and I

home and have to spend a month or

The latter program is a favorite for

they get to go on a hayride. They get

so getting everything back in order

Barbara. “Kids with handicap issues

to see and participate in things they’d

before he left again.”

regularly go to the ranch and are in

probably never get to do.” The Four States Fair is another

Getting things in order hasn’t

charge of taking care of their horse

been a problem for Barbara Sutton in

the whole time they’re with them,”

big event to prepare for, and the

doing her volunteer work for Farm

she said. “Those horses are so well

county Farm Bureau and other ag

Bureau. She’s been active with her

trained, and the bond those children

partners and volunteers are involved

county Women’s Committee, which

forge with them while they’re

in numerous activities with children

she now co-chairs, and has served

together is a special thing to see.”

throughout it. The 4-H Fishing Derby

as county president. She credits her

The Back to Nature day is another

is always popular with the kids. Bringing everybody together

fellow board members and friends

great event for children 8 to 18

who either work for or volunteer

years old who, otherwise, would

for a purpose, helping people and

– like she does for other local ag

probably never get the opportunity

getting things done: these are the

organizations – for helping her get

to see agriculture-related or natural-

things that motivate Barbara Sutton

things done.

resources-based activities.

and her Miller County Farm Bureau

“All I have to say is, ‘Guys, I need


What gets done serves more than

raising their son and daughter. They

“That one-day event takes a

volunteers. “It’s a great group of

…,’ and they’re there to get it done,”

lot of effort to prepare for, but the

people getting together and doing

Sutton said.

agencies, ag partners and volunteers

things for our fellow man. I love it.”

Arkansas Agriculture


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Arkansas Agriculture


Policy Update


by Michelle Kitchens The application of science is

part of a farmer’s daily life. Farmers apply known scientific truths to everyday practices on the farm. One of the most talked about sciences in use is biotechnology or genetically modified (GM) plants. The advances

An efficient, science-based

new, beneficial technologies. The

of science allow farmers to produce

regulatory process – Since 1986,

underlying message is harmful things

more food on fewer acres, with less

the Coordinated Framework for

have mandatory labels, i.e., cigarettes,

water and pesticides than ever, feeding

Regulation of Biotechnology has

alcohol, household chemicals.

more people and resulting in less

successfully governed how the USDA,

impact on the environment. Few,

the Food and Drug Administration

authorities — including the United

if any, Americans aren’t consuming

and the Environmental Protection

Nations Food and Agriculture

GM plants, and there’s a lot of

Agency work together to regulate

Organization, the World Health

misinformation out there about them.

new biotech products. The regulatory

Organization, the National Research

The fact is top credible scientific

process is important. American

Council of the National Academies

both sides of the debate are well

farmers don’t want unsafe food on

of Sciences, the American Medical

represented online. The research

the world’s table. However, the path

Association and the American Dietetic

and anecdotal evidence is on

for regulations should be efficient and

Association — have all concluded that

the side that products created

not ruled by emotion or inaccurate

foods with biotech-derived ingredients

through biotechnology are safe for


pose no more risk than any other

A simple Internet search reveals

food. Farm Bureau supports the Food

consumption. Biotechnology most commonly

Coexistence and protecting

and Drug Administration’s current

means taking a desirable gene from

property rights – Agriculture

one plant and using it in another

is diverse, including organic,

plant. Today, roughly 90 percent of

conventional and modern

continue to be evaluated for safety.

corn, cotton and soybeans grown in

biotechnology. Farmers should be

Its use is an important element in

the U.S. have been improved through

allowed to choose practices best suited

keeping the world fed. As the world’s

biotechnology, and farmers are

for their farm while respecting the

population approaches 9 billion

choosing biotech traits when growing

rights of neighboring farmers. Efforts

by 2050, we can’t reject legitimate

other crops such as alfalfa, sugar beets

to educate farmers about effective

options because they’re hard to

and canola.

stewardship and good neighborly

understand or activists say we should.

communication help strengthen

The benefits of biotechnology are real

attempts to increase regulation

coexistence. Regulating biotech crops

but many online stories condemning

on biotechnology are gaining

so they’re no longer viable isn’t a

it aren’t.

momentum. Legislators and agencies

solution for anyone.

Largely because of misconceptions,

Biotechnology is and will

To learn more, we recommend Farm Bureau’s

deal more frequently than ever with bills/rules to restrict the use of

policy on labeling.

Labeling – Mandatory labels

policy on biotechnology is at www.

would mislead consumers about Public policy should be

important part of agriculture, Arkansas

the safety of biotechnology,

based on reliable science, reason

Farm Bureau members have defined

erode the credibility of the Food

and what’s best for the citizens. We

some policies related to biotechnology

and Drug Administration and

encourage you to be informed about

and GM.

discourage consumer acceptance of



biotechnology. Because it’s such an

Arkansas Agriculture


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I helped develop six new heart-healthy-certified beef cuts? “Thanks to our checkoff investment, consumers can now easily spot heart-healthy beef cuts in the grocery store or when dining out. Our checkoff identified six new extra-lean beef cuts — along with easy-to-prepare recipes — that have been certified as “heart-healthy” by the American Heart Association and now carry the Heart-Check mark. Nearly 75% of shoppers say that the Heart-Check mark improves the likelihood they will purchase a product.” While you and Roger are managing your operations, your checkoff is sharing beef’s nutritional benefits to help keep beef center of the plate.

TASTE from farm to table

Food, like nothing else, brings us together. After all, everyone eats. On Taste Arkansas, a food blog by Arkansas Farm Bureau, this simple truth is connecting those interested in food production with the farmers and ranchers who provide us with an abundance of Arkansas agricultural products. Funded by the Beef Checkoff.

Rog e r Clift

Stocker & feedlot operator

Arkansas Agriculture


Share Your Thoughts • • • •

15707 Hwy 79 N • Altheimer, AR 72004 (870)766-8416 • (870)766-4542 Fax


Arkansas Agriculture


Larry Porter Seed, LLC

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• On site service • Rice • Oats • Beans • Wheat

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Download your MOBILE Agent today! • Visit app store on iPhoneTM or AndroidTM • Search for Farm Bureau Mobile Agent • Download Free App • Register for online account by selecting “Register” in the upper left corner of page (If you have already registered on, you do not need to re-register) • Login using either your member number and password or your registered e-mail address and password


Real Service. Real People.

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Arkansas Agriculture


New Board Member Profiles


Right there with you.

Updated phone & tablet apps allow you to take our farm friendly resources practically anywhere.

z News

z Member Benefits


z Government The latest developments on policy debates that affect our nation’s food security. Coming soon: A legislator and agency database with quick-contact functionality.

Joe Thrash


Arkansas Agriculture

Sherry Felts

z Weather Location-specific weather reporting from Telvent DTN contains all the agro-meteorological metrics a farmer could need, plus five-day forecast and radar.

z Quotes Commodity futures and cash market prices updated every 10 minutes. Our unique interface allows you to customize which quotes you get.

Keith Sutton

Handy access to ID numbers and everything else you need to take advantage of our ValuePlus savings.

Keith Sutton

With access to farm and food news from around the world, being an informed Arkansas Farm Bureau member is easier than ever.


z Food Facts Accurate information about your food and the people who grow it. Get it on


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14-079 Arkansas Farm Bureau magazine ad.indd 1

4/2/14 2:45 PM Arkansas Agriculture 27


Spring flavor Delicious strawberries provide one of the first flavors of spring. Rachel Martin of Prairie Grove took this photo.


Arkansas Agriculture

COMMITTED. STRONG. RELIABLE. TRUSTED. MEMBER-OWNED. More than 10,000 customer-owners across Arkansas trust Farm Credit with large and small financing needs. We serve Arkansas agriculture, communities and the rural lifestyle. Farm Credit customer-owners enjoy unique benefits like patronage refunds totaling more than $137.6 million since 1997. Are you Farm Credit?


Arkansas Agriculture


Presorted Standard U.S. Postage PAID Little Rock, AR Permit No. 1884

Cut Your Loan Rate Keep your property trim with a competitive Farm Bureau Bank equipment loan. We offer simple financing to help you purchase new or used ag equipment or can help you with lower refinancing rates for existing loans.

Ask your Agent how Arkansas Farm Bureau members save with a Farm Bureau Bank loan today!

Existing Farm Bureau Bank equipment loans are excluded from this offer. Normal credit criteria does apply. * Rate disclosed as Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and based on exceptional credit. Some restrictions may apply based upon the make and model of equipment offered as collateral. Up to 90% financing for new and 85% for used equipment. Loans subject to credit approval. Rates are accurate as of 03/1/2014. Rates and financing are limited to farm equipment model years 2004 or newer and are subject to change without notice. A down payment may be required for new or used equipment purchases. Minimum loan amount is $5,000. Financial information required for loan requests over $50,000. Commercial vehicles and trailers may be subject to an additional documentation fee. Farm Bureau Bank does not provide equity or cashout financing on commercial vehicles and equipment. Banking services provided by Farm Bureau Bank, FSB. EQUAL HOUSING


Arkansas Agriculture | Spring 2014  
Arkansas Agriculture | Spring 2014