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FALL 2016

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Farming common ground

2 800.342.7498 Arkansas Agriculture | 100% Employee Owned ARKANSAS FARM BUREAU • FALL 2016

Arkansas Agriculture




FEATURES A Way of Life Mollie Dykes | Page 6 Fair Labor Standards Act Update Bruce Tencleve | Page 14


Farm Bureau Perspective Trent Dabbs | Page 3

Faces of Agriculture

Lindsey Triplett | Page 18

Ag News

Brandy Carroll | Page 20

Policy Update Michelle Kitchens | Page 22

Rural Reflections

Page 26

ON THE COVER Today’s young farmers and ranchers face the daunting challenge of providing enough food for a world population that will reach 8 billion by 2050. We feature the efforts of some of the best, like Jamey and Sara Allen of Prattsville, Josh and Melissa Cureton of Cash, and Jeremy and Tracie Kitchens of Lewisville. Photo by Keith Sutton


FALL 2016

Edition 43

Farm Bureau Perspective by Trent Dabbs | YF&R Chairman, Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation

Taking on Challenges


any serious challenges exist for America’s young farmers and ranchers. However, I’m convinced the opportunity to deliver on feeding and clothing the world is achievable because of the combination of technology, ingenuity and hard work exhibited by today’s farmers and ranchers. I often say (with reverence) that we don’t practice our grandfather’s agriculture. We’re not the guy in overalls with a pitchfork. The technology available to today’s farmers and ranchers is amazing and helps drive my belief in tomorrow’s agriculture. I encourage you to read the cover story in this issue, which highlights the three finalists for our Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award. You’ll learn about some progressive, forward-thinking farmers and ranchers who form the backbone of our state and country. They’re a key reason the future is bright for agriculture. The average age of today’s farmer is 58. It’s risen annually since the late 1970s as fewer young people choose not to farm. That makes meeting tomorrow’s food-producing challenges increasingly difficult on fewer people with larger risks and greater susceptibility to agriculture market volatility. That doesn’t intimidate me. In fact, it invigorates me. Like many other young farmers and ranchers, I work constantly to arm myself with knowledge and insights that will help me survive the challenges of farming, while embracing the routine and commitment that comes with life on the farm. Arkansas Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers organization is an outlet for agricultural producers and enthusiasts ages 18-35 who want to be connected to others who share the appetite to meet the food-production challenges of tomorrow. YF&R is designed to help those who are involved by “growing through action” and “leading through service.” Growing through action includes: • Acquiring cutting-edge information through participation in educational conferences; • Building a network with fellow farmers, ranchers and agricultural enthusiasts; • Earning recognition for their achievements in business excellence and leadership success; • Continuing their professional development and personal growth.

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Leading through service includes: • Providing workable solutions for issues affecting agriculture; • Influencing public policies that affect agriculture now and in the future; • Sharing the story of agriculture with diverse audiences; • Serving their communities by volunteering and making a difference. We also have Collegiate Farm Bureau chapters at the University of Arkansas, Arkansas State, Arkansas Tech, Southern Arkansas, UA-Monticello, ASU-Beebe and North Arkansas Community College. Collegiate Farm Bureau brings together agricultural students on college campuses and introduces them to the Farm Bureau organization while engaging them in educational and leadership-based activities that will enhance their future. A special focus is on career development potential and personal growth opportunities. As Americans are more removed from the farm and become unaccustomed to common modern farming practices and techniques, young farmers and ranchers have an opportunity to advocate on behalf of agriculture. We all have a story to tell. And thanks to social media it’s easier than ever. Join a conversation on Twitter as a farmer or rancher voice. Share photos of work being done on your farm or ranch with a quick explanation on Facebook. Write a blog post describing an unfamiliar or misunderstood practice on your farm or ranch and why you do it. Shoot a quick video of the daily action on your farm or ranch with you describing what’s happening and post it to YouTube. You don’t have to do it all – pick something you already enjoy doing and commit to sharing regularly your personal agriculture story. I’m passionate about agriculture. It’s in my blood. Being involved with Young Farmers & Ranchers is something that’s invigorating to me and something I’m proud to be involved in. YF&R is another reason that Farm Bureau matters. * Trent Dabbs of Stuttgart and his wife Kristian serve as chairs of Arkansas Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. A fourth-generation farmer, Trent raises rice, soybeans, corn and wheat on farmland that’s been in his family for more than 100 years.



An official publication of Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation distributed to more than 41,000 farming and ranching households in Arkansas. SUBSCRIPTIONS

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A Way of Life Not a job but a lifestyle by Mollie Dykes photos by Keith Sutton


sk nearly any farmer about their job, and they’ll quickly say farming isn’t just a job but a way of life. It has no eight-hour workday schedule. It doesn’t know weekends or holidays. It doesn’t always recognize family time. However, farmers and ranchers find ways to make it work, including this year’s three Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Achievement Award finalists. They’ve found a way to tie family life and farming together. From working together on the farm to using the farm for teachable moments, these three families have created a work-life balance unusual to some but normal to them. They manage to make time for those who mean the most while also producing the food, fiber and shelter for our growing world.

Arkansas Agriculture




Tracie Kitchens grew up on a northwest Tennessee farm that raised hogs. Her husband, Jeremy, built her a barn, so she can pursue her love for raising swine. The barn comfortably houses 100 pigs.

The YF&R finalists each told us about their farms and the issues facing farming. 1.

Tell us a little about your farm.

“Our farm consists of around 1,200 commercial crossbred beef mama cows spread out over four counties. Angus, Hereford and Brahman are the predominant breeds in our herd. We strive to provide a high quality life for our cows and calves to produce the best beef possible.” Jamey & Sara Allen “Our farm is located along the Cache River in western Craighead County. We farm approximately 4,500 acres of rice and soybeans. One thing that makes our operation unique is that we use surface water to irrigate a majority of our crops. The location of our farm along the river creates an ideal habitat for ducks. Because of this, we’ve been able to expand our duck hunting operation. We have hunters from across the United States visit each year.” Josh & Melissa Cureton “We’re pretty diversified. We have a 150-head cow/calf


operation. We also have a farrow-to-finish swine operation in which we sell fresh meat by the pound, as well as on the hoof. We currently have 220 acres of row-crop land and have a custom wheat-planting business for local cattle farmers. We do all of our own hay, as well as sell Bermuda grass square bales.” Jeremy & Tracie Kitchens 2.

How/why did you start farming?

“I grew up on my parent’s farm tagging along with my dad from the cattle pasture to the chicken houses. I can’t remember a time I wanted to do anything other than raise livestock.” Jamey & Sara Allen “I’ve had a love for farming since I was a young boy. I grew up farming with my dad and grandpa. I enjoy being outdoors and watching the crops grow from seed to finished product.” Josh & Melissa Cureton “Farming is in our blood. We both grew up on family farms, and it’s really all we know.” Jeremy & Tracie Kitchens

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What are some of the challenges you face as a farmer?

“Some of the biggest challenges I, as well as other cattle farmers, face today include the extreme fluctuations in the cattle market over the last few years and adapting to ever-changing regulations and guidelines for antibiotic and growth hormone use in cattle. We’re also combating the trending negative public opinion of farmers that has been accelerated because of social media mostly through false and misleading information.” Jamey & Sara Allen “As a farmer, I face many different challenges each year. One challenge is the work-family balance. I miss events with the family during planting and harvesting, but I’m able to be there for my kids’ school events and games other times of the year. My wife and children are supportive and understanding of my work schedule. “Another challenge is uncertainty. Farmers face many uncertainties, such as weather, input costs, grain prices and labor. Due to these issues, farmers must be flexible and optimistic.” Josh & Melissa Cureton

“Farming challenges are very broad. Different weather patterns bring sickness and hardships in our cattle, bugs and diseases in our crops and various weed problems. Every time we have to treat a sick animal or spray crops, it affects our profit margin. “Another big struggle is the public eye. We’re constantly battling with the public’s view of why and how we do things on our farm. We as farmers have to educate the public on the reasoning behind our practices. “Farming is never easy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.” Jeremy & Tracie Kitchens 4.

What does farming mean to you?

“Farming to me is a passion. The adversity that a farmer can go through on a yearly basis could drive the average person mad. However, most of us always push through that adversity and learn from it. My farm means food and shelter for my family, as well as countless others.” Jamey & Sara Allen “To me, farming is a lifestyle most people don’t understand. It’s not a job, but a way of life. Melissa and I are not just raising Thirty-year-old Jamey Allen runs a cow-calf operation. He and his wife Sara, have two children, daughter, Kylee and son, Kaden.

Arkansas Agriculture




crops on the farm, but we’re also raising our children. They learn firsthand about hard work and overcoming challenges. I can speak from experience that growing up on a farm instills values in kids that are hard to come by these days. These values will help later in life whether they choose to farm or take another path.” Josh & Melissa Cureton

“Farmers truly care about the products they produce. We use the safest and most environmentally responsible methods available to produce our crops. Americans enjoy the safest and most inexpensive food supply of any nation in the world. Americans should know food security is a part of national security.” Josh & Melissa Cureton

“Farming is not just making a living for us, it’s a way of life. This is how we’re going to raise our kids in the years to come. It’s what we know and love to do.” Jeremy & Tracie Kitchens

“I want them to know about the struggle to feed and clothe the world. I want them to know where their food comes from and why we do things in certain ways. Farmers care more about the land and animals than anyone else out there. After all, it’s our livelihood, and we plan to take care of it for generations to come.” Jeremy & Tracie Kitchens


What do you want the public to know about farmers and agriculture?

“Agriculture and farmers in general strive to meet the growing consumer demand and do it in a manner that protects the environment and protects the consumer’s safety. We always have room to improve our practices, but agriculture is a necessity to feed the population.” Jamey & Sara Allen


What are your hopes for agriculture during the next year?

“I’d like to see a stronger presence of the positives surrounding agriculture throughout various social media outlets. There is

Tracie and Jeremy Kitchens raise cattle and pigs and have started a custom meat operation selling frozen pork and beef.


Arkansas Agriculture



Josh and Melissa Cureton have three children, Mattyx, 8; Cole, 10; and Gracye, 15.

a growing lack of trust from the consumer directed at producers. We need more discussion among members of the industry on how we can improve our practices so we may build more trust between producers and consumers.” Jamey & Sara Allen “One thing that could benefit agriculture is for trade to open between the U.S. and Cuba and creating fair trade agreements with China and Japan.” Josh & Melissa Cureton “I hope to see beneficial weather patterns and the rest of our crops turn out well. We hope to send a positive message to those who are against farming and get the truth out to the public.” Jeremy & Tracie Kitchens 7.

How important do you think it is for farmers to share their stories?

“There’s a lot to learn from others’ experiences. I love to listen to other producers and hear what’s working for them and what isn’t. Sharing information and experiences will help move the entire industry forward. By sharing your story, you could potentially inspire someone else to work toward achieving their goals or try something they wouldn’t otherwise.” Jamey & Sara Allen “Today, more than ever, it’s important for farmers to get involved and share their stories. There are many organizations working to make it difficult to farm because of regulations they’re trying to put in place. Farmers must be proactive and educate the

Arkansas Agriculture



public about the truths of farming.” Josh & Melissa Cureton “We can always learn from others’ mistakes and successes. Sharing our personal stories with others can always help others out in some form or fashion.” Jeremy & Tracie Kitchens 8.

How important do you think it is for farmers to work together in accomplishing goals and promoting farming?

“I think there will always be a future for our industry. However, there are many organizations that have the sole mission to destroy agriculture and our way of life. The only way to have a voice loud enough to be heard is to speak collectively. Farm Bureau provides that platform.” Jamey & Sara Allen “Our involvement in Farm Bureau has allowed us to see firsthand how important it is to have an organization that advocates for agriculture. Farm Bureau has influenced many issues that could have proven to be devastating for the family farm. It’s crucial for farmers to work together to ensure their voice is heard on concerns that affect their farms.” Josh & Melissa Cureton “If we all come together with the same mindset and the same desire and work with organizations like Farm Bureau, we can reach our goals. United we stand should be our mentality. The more we work together, the better our farms will be thus allowing us to feed the growing world.” Jeremy & Tracie Kitchens *


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Fair Labor Standards Act Update

What Arkansas farmers need to know by Bruce Tencleve, Arkansas Farm Bureau Director, Commodity and Regulatory Affairs


n 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to update the overtime regulations to reflect the original intent of the Fair Labor Standards Act and “simplify and modernize the rules, so they’re easier for workers and businesses to understand and apply.” Last May, the department issued a final rule that it believes will put more money in the pockets of middle class workers (or give them more free time). The final rule becomes effective Dec. 1, 2016. In my role with Arkansas Farm Bureau, I’ve analyzed what these changes could mean for farmers and ranchers in our state. What I’ve found is that, for those in agriculture, the new rule may be more complicated than it seems, especially for farming operations with a mix of custom work and rental farms or with ag-related businesses. It’s highly recommended that you consult an attorney or accountant to make sure your farm employees actually qualify for exemptions. Nevertheless, I’ve outlined some key definitions and concepts of the rule below, along with the key information that Arkansas farmers and ranchers will need in order to determine if or how the rule change will affect them. Definition White-collar worker is a worker who performs office jobs rather than factory, farm or construction work. He or she uses a

minimum of physical exertion, as opposed to blue-collar laborers. A white-collar worker is an employee who works in clerical, administrative and professional non-manual occupations. These workers are your farm managers who have a ‘say’ in the hiring of workers for an operation. Labor Department Rule Current: White-collar employees who are paid more than $455 per week ($23,660 per year) are exempt from overtime because of their job category. Managers, administrative staff and technical workers who worked on farms were considered farm labor and weren’t entitled to overtime, as long as they were paid at least $455 per week. New: Beginning Dec. 1, the overtime-wage standard for white-collar jobs jumps to $913 per week, or $47,476 per year. White-collar employees who earn less than $47,476 a year and who work in non-farm businesses must be paid overtime at time-and-a-half for all hours above 40 hours a week. Background Numerous American jobs are specifically exempt from overtime. They include airline employees, truckers and railroad workers, as well as farm laborers. The administration’s overtime regulation estimates that up to 4.5 million workers fall into these

Changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act go into effect Dec. 1 and may change the way some farm workers are paid. Photo by Keith Sutton


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categories, including up to 2 million Americans in transportation and 900,000 in agriculture work. Estimates indicate Arkansas will have about 52,000 workers affected by the new rule, which is 1.2 percent of the total workforce. Agriculture’s 24/7 workload poses special issues for payroll. Most farmers assume they’re not required to pay overtime for any farm work performed by their employees. But given the new rules imposed by the Department of Labor starting Dec. 1, you need to carefully review that policy and the impact on your labor expense. Farm employers aren’t required to pay time-and-a-half for overtime farm work, but they must pay for every hour worked at normal pay rates unless a salary exceeds $913 per week ($47,476 per year). The Department of Labor announced final regulations on new overtime rules May 18, greatly expanding who qualifies for overtime treatment. Exempt Agricultural Employees “Direct” agricultural work still is generally exempt from overtime, so if you’re pressed to run full speed during planting and harvest, you simply pay field hands their hourly rate multiplied by time worked. Immediate family members employed on-farm also are exempt from overtime rules. Neither of those exemptions change under the new rule. White-collar employees who work for the farm and earn under the $47,476 salary threshold - and aren’t involved in any non-farm sideline businesses - won’t need to be paid time-anda-half. However, these workers will need to be paid their flat hourly wage for all hours above 40 hours per week.

Nonexempt Agricultural Employees Today’s farms include a number of business entities, some which will qualify as “farm” and some may not. Frequently nonfarm sidelines can include commercial trucking, custom hire work or perhaps a commercial grain elevator. In those cases, the work performed is no longer exempt from overtime rules. Under the old rules, a farm’s white-collar workers were no big deal since almost everyone earned more than $23,000 a year if they were on salary, so they weren’t collecting any overtime pay. But with nontaxable benefits like housing and company vehicles, many farm employees do earn less than $47,476 a year and will now need some compensation for those excess hours. Example An hourly employee who hauls for someone other than the farm would need to be paid time-and-a-half on hours that exceed 40 hours per week. That’s the case, even if they worked 40 hours on your farm and 20 hours for your trucking company. It’s common at certain times of the year that a farm’s clerical staff or other managers put in 60 or more hours per week, so there’s a chance that farm labor costs will go up if employers don’t monitor the situation. In the end, farm employers may need to choose from several options, such as: • raising salaried employees to a higher pay rate to avoid overtime rules; • keeping them at current salary and pay overtime; • converting salaried workers to hourly workers; • reducing an employee’s hourly wages but pay overtime that will keep them at their current annual earnings. *

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Faces of Agriculture

Ten Things I Learned From Showing Livestock Life lessons abound by Lindsey Triplett


y younger cousin began showing a lamb a few years ago and as a veteran to showing livestock, I was automatically assigned as her “coach.” I was helping her with her show lamb, and let me say, I’ve still got it. OK, maybe not completely, but I still remember a lot about showing livestock. I might not be the best showman, but the lessons I learned from being one still stick with me.

1. You will never know it all. My aunt tried to sign my cousin up for a showmanship clinic to help her improve her skills. Instead of going for it, she said, “I don’t need help. I already know how to do it.” Just like in life, there’s always more to learn. The best showmen are the ones who are always eager to learn more and crave feedback about what they can improve.

and something needed to change. I watched videos, asked for advice and went to other livestock shows to get the help I needed. It wasn’t until I swallowed my pride that I was able to improve. 5. Hard work pays off and stands out. Enduring 100-plus degree weather isn’t fun. Getting up early and going to bed late isn’t ideal. But when you step into the show ring and your animal does exactly what you’ve been teaching it all summer, it’s extremely gratifying.

Whether you win or lose, there are valuable life lessons learned when competing in livestock shows. Photo by Keith Sutton

2. How to keep records and manage money. Showing livestock can be expensive, and it takes a lot of investment to be competitive. Aside from buying the animal, you have to pay for feed, shelter, equipment and other expenses. When I had my show animals, I kept notebooks full of every expense I had, how much they ate, how much they weighed and any profits I earned.

6. Complaining will not help. Complaining about how hot it is outside doesn’t cool down the temperature. Just like whining about how the judge should have picked me over someone else doesn’t win a belt buckle. 7. Smiles, eye contact and handshakes go a long way. Being polite to a judge and keeping eye contact can ultimately affect the way they look at you and your animal. In the real world, this applies to everyone you meet. Politeness and respect leave lasting impressions. 8. It’s important to manage your time. Aside from showing animals, I was very involved in high school. I held officer positions, went to camps and carved out time for my family. Balancing time between many different activities requires serious self-discipline.

3. How to be responsible for taking care of something other than myself. It seems like many teenagers now spend their summers inside watching Netflix or on their phones. By having animals, I had to get up in the mornings and feed them, exercise them regularly, feed them in the afternoons and make sure they were healthy. If I didn’t take care of them, no one would.

9. Winning isn’t everything. At the time, purple grand champion ribbons and belt buckles were what I envisioned. Now, my ribbons collect dust, and I never wear the buckles. The lessons I learned from showing livestock, though, will stick with me forever.

4. I’m the problem, but I’m also the solution. The first two years I showed a lamb, I wasn’t very good. I never qualified for the premiere sale and it always seemed like I finished toward the end of my class. This was frustrating, because when I went to a fair, other people would look at my sheep and tell me how good she looked! So why wasn’t she placing higher? Because of me. It was a very humbling experience to realize that I wasn’t a great showman

10. You represent more than yourself. Every time I stepped into a show ring, I was not only representing myself. I was also a reflection of my county, district, state, chapter, the National FFA Organization and my family. If I showed bad sportsmanship and a negative attitude, it made those I was representing look bad. If I maintained a positive attitude, it gave those I was representing a good image. *


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Ag News

Plant Board Reviews New Herbicide Farmers encouraged to engage

by Brandy Carroll, Arkansas Farm Bureau Director, Commodity Activities and Market Information


t’s already a difficult gauntlet for new weed control technology to reach the market, and it’s only getting more challenging. Arkansas farmers are battling an increasing number of herbicide-resistant weeds. This requires additional cultivation, herbicide applications and even chopping crews. Unfortunately, regulatory agencies and the courts have delayed the release of new technology that could help farmers produce corn, cotton and soybeans more efficiently. For example, Dow created the Enlist™ Production System. It relies on a new, less-volatile, pre-mix of glyphosate and 2,4-D choline called Enlist Duo™. When matched with herbicide-tolerant varieties of corn, cotton and soybeans, it fights Palmer Amaranth and other hard-to-kill weeds. Meanwhile, Monsanto has created the Xtend™ production system. It relies on dicamba-tolerant varieties and new less-volatile formulations of dicamba herbicide including M1691, Roundup Xtend™ with VaporGrip and XtendiMax™. BASF offers Engenia™, also a dicamba-based product. Nationally, herbicide-resistant seed varieties are regulated by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the approval process for these new varieties often takes years. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) regulates herbicides, and approval comes with additional comment and review periods. Also further delaying the approval process are lawsuits by environmental groups. The Center for Biological Diversity claims USEPA violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) which requires the regulatory agency to prove the products have no significant impact on any endangered species or habitat. Groups like this have been successful in convincing courts to rescind the approvals and require USEPA to prove, on a state-by-state and crop-by-crop basis that the registrations don’t violate the ESA. In Arkansas, the State Plant Board has authority to enforce USDA and USEPA regulations concerning seed and pesticides. It also has authority to create stricter regulations on those products if deemed necessary. The State Plant Board has recently approved regulations regarding the new technology. Applying Enlist™ herbicide will be exempt from some of the regulations restricting the use of other formulations of 2,4-D in Arkansas. This includes the aerial application ban that exists in certain cotton growing counties. The original exemption was approved for a two-year trial period. The board has reviewed data gathered by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and determined the exemption should be made permanent. The State Plant Board also reviewed available data and recent drift complaints regarding dicamba and decided additional regulations were needed to protect susceptible crops. The proposal is for the two most volatile formulations (acid and DME salt) of dicamba


There’s a need to get better herbicides approved and to market quicker to fight aggressive weeds like pigweed. Photo by Keith Sutton to be banned in Arkansas, with an exception for use on pasture and grassland 1 mile from susceptible crops. DGA salt and sodium salt formulations of dicamba are recommended to be banned from April 15-Sept. 15, with the same exemption for pasture and grassland. All of Monsanto’s new products are included in this category. This means if USEPA approves a label, BASF’s new dicamba formulation, Engenia™, will be the only product legally available to spray over the top of Xtend™ cotton and soybeans in Arkansas. The plant board also approved regulations to create a New Technology Certification Training program. All applicators must complete the New Technology Certification Training before applying Enlist™, Xtend™ or Engenia™ products to new seed technologies. The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service will handle certification training. Additionally, the plant board has proposed increasing the maximum civil penalty it can assess from $1,000 to $25,000 for intentional, egregious violations. The General Assembly is expected to take up the issue during the next session. Farm Bureau members should consider these issues during the policy development process to make sure your voice is heard. The public comment period for the proposals is now open. There is a public hearing scheduled for Nov. 21 at 1:30 p.m. The board will consider final adoption of the proposed regulations at this special meeting. Submit comments directly to the Arkansas State Plant Board, Pesticide Division, 1 Natural Resource Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205. *

Arkansas Agriculture



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Policy Update

On the Ballot by Michelle Kitchens


n Election Day, Arkansans will vote on seven statewide ballot issues. Arkansas Farm Bureau believes an informed voter is an empowered voter. Through our grassroots policy development process, our organization has developed positions on several issues related to these ballot items. Issue No. 1 - Proposing an Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Concerning The Terms, Election, And Eligibility of Elected Officials  • If a candidate is the only filed candidate for an office, they are considered elected • Defines “infamous crime” as it relates to disqualification for public office: ◦◦ Felony offense ◦◦ Abuse of office as defined under Arkansas law ◦◦ Tampering as defined under Arkansas law ◦◦ Misdemeanor in which the defendant admits an act of deceit, fraud or false statement, including without limitation a misdemeanor related to the election process • Extending county elected terms from two years to four (circuit clerks, county judge, sheriff, assessor, coroner, treasurer, surveyor) Does not include justice of the peace positions. • Prohibits county office holders from holding civil office Arkansas Farm Bureau policy supports changing the terms for countywide officials and justices of the peace from two years to four years. Issue No. 2 - An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to Allow the Governor to Retain His or Her Powers and Duties When Absent from the State


Arkansas Farm Bureau policy supports the governor retaining power when out of state. Issue No. 3 - An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to Encourage Job Creation, Job Expansion and Economic Development Arkansas Farm Bureau has no policy directly related to this issue, but we supported the adoption of Amendment 82 in 2004. For a more comprehensive look at Issue 3 from supporters, voters can visit https://www.aed-arkansas. org/arkansans-for-jobs-for-theconstitutional-amendment. Issue No. 4 - An Amendment to Limit Non-Economic and Punitive

Damages in Civil Medical Care Cases • Requires legislators to pass laws specifying a maximum dollar amount of “non-economic” damages in civil actions for medical injuries brought against health care providers. ◦◦ Would restrict the amount of jury verdicts against medical care providers; ◦◦ Would limit trial attorneys to one-third of any damages won and set awards for non-economic damages in the lawsuit to $250,000 Arkansas Farm Bureau policy supports tort reform but we have not endorsed this amendment.

Arkansas Agriculture



Issue No. 5 – An Amendment to Allot Three Casinos to Operate in Arkansas It would allow the establishment of three casinos, one each in Boone, Miller and Washington counties. • Owners of the casinos are designated by the amendment • Casinos may operate all day, every day. Alcohol may be served whenever the casino is open. Arkansas Farm Bureau has no policy on this. Issue No. 6 The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016 - A proposal to make the medical use of marijuana legal under state law and establish a system regulating the cultivation, acquisition and distribution of medical marijuana. • Makes medical use of marijuana legal. • Marijuana would be dispensed by up to 40 dispensaries. • Only a doctor’s note is required to acquire marijuana; content and dosage will be up to the user. • Tax amount and use of that tax is designated in the amendment. • Employers have concerns about maintaining a drugfree workplace due to safeguards in the amendment for marijuana users.

Issue No. 7 The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act - A ballot measure to legalize the use of medical marijuana, and a system for growing and selling medical marijuana. • It provides for up to 38 initial non-profit Cannabis Care Centers across the state. Users living more than 20 miles away from a care center may apply to grow their own marijuana. • Patients must get a written recommendation by an Arkansas physician, but the list of qualifying conditions is very broad. Everything from ADHD to pain to nausea would allow permission. • Excess taxes revenues generated from the sale of marijuana would be used to buy marijuana for individuals who can’t afford it. Arkansas Farm Bureau policy opposes any attempt to legalize the production of marijuana as an agricultural or medicinal crop in Arkansas or the sale or distribution thereof. If any of these ballot items pass they’ll significantly alter Arkansas law. Space doesn’t allow us to fully explore each initiative in-depth here, but we recommend the “2016 Voter Guide” from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. It provides an unbiased research based in-depth look at each issue. It’s available at *

Forestry is a major force in Arkansas agriculture, adding an estimated $6.3 billion to the state’s economy every year.

The Arkansas Forest Resources Center — a U of A System Center of Excellence built in partnership with the U of A System Division of Agriculture and the University of Arkansas at Monticello — fosters growth in this industry by: • Conducting tree variety trials

• Providing technical assistance for forestland owners

• Researching management techniques for soft- and hardwood lands

• Conducting research and providing education on woodland wildlife management

For more information, contact your county extension office or the Arkansas Forest Resources Center at (870)460-1052.

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DIVISION OF AGRICULTURE RESEARCH & EXTENSION University of Arkansas System The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.


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This year’s corn harvest was one of the largest ever. Keith Sutton shot this photo in late September in Jackson County.

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Existing Farm Bureau Bank loans are excluded from this offer. *Rate disclosed as Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and based on exceptional credit. Rates are subject to change without notice. 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 09/30/2016. Rates and financing are limited new or used equipment 2011 and newer. Visit for rates and financing on equipment 2006 – 2010. A down payment may be required for new or used equipment purchases. Farm Bureau Bank does not finance totaled, reconditioned, refurbished or salvaged equipment. Non-member rates may be 4% higher than posted rates. This offer is not available in all states.

Arkansas Agriculture - Fall 2016