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FRONT PORCH Nov.-Dec. 2013

Mississippi River

State Park 50 years in the making Holiday help on the way: appetizers buttermilk pie time saving tips

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Thank You for 20 YEARS of support for

A s h Since 1994, MASH (Medical Applications of Science for Health) has provided an important early start toward medical education for rural Arkansas high school students. They’re the ones most likely to come back home to practice. 2013 MENTOR Partners UAMS Regional Centers Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Arkansas Farm Bureau Baptist Health 2013 Platinum Level Contributors ($1001&up) St. Francis County Farm Bureau Ken & Karen Tillman 2013 Gold Level Contributors ($501-$1000) Baxter County Farm Bureau Boone County Farm Bureau Clark County Farm Bureau Cleburne County Farm Bureau Cleveland County Farm Bureau 2

Craighead County Farm Bureau Greene County Farm Bureau Independence County Farm Bureau Jefferson County Farm Bureau Sebastian County Farm Bureau Van Buren County Farm Bureau 2013 Silver Level Contributors ($251-$500) Arkansas County Farm Bureau Chicot County Farm Bureau Clay County Farm Bureau Crittenden County Farm Bureau Desha County Farm Bureau Grant County Farm Bureau Howard County Farm Bureau Lee County Farm Bureau Lonoke County Farm Bureau Marion County Farm Bureau

Miller County Farm Bureau Phillips County Farm Bureau Polk County Farm Bureau Prairie County Farm Bureau Pulaski County Farm Bureau Scott County Farm Bureau White County Farm Bureau Woodruff County Farm Bureau 2013 Bronze Level Contributors (up to $250) Ashley County Farm Bureau Carroll County Farm Bureau Columbia County Farm Bureau Conway County Farm Bureau Crawford County Farm Bureau Cross County Farm Bureau Faulkner County Farm Bureau Franklin County Farm Bureau

F r o n t P o r c h I arf b .com*A*S*H

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Front Porch November - December 2013 C





Farm Bureau



by Randy Veach

President, Arkansas Farm Bureau

My parents were around when the

private sectors are working to address those

meaning electricity had gotten to the

challenges. I also serve on the Fast Access

countryside in the late 1930s. It was a life-

for Students, Teachers and Economic Results

changing experience.

(FASTER) Committee, formed by Gov. Mike

A similar sensation swept in with

telephone service to rural Arkansas,

On the Cover ­— The St. Francis and Mississippi rivers flow together in a landscape of picturesque wetlands on the easternmost edge of Arkansas’ newest state park, Mississippi River State Park. The park was 50 years in the making and was primarily funded through the 1/8 of 1 percent conservation sales tax. Send comments to:


3 4

Mississippi River State Park Keith Sutton

Farm Bureau Matters Randy Veach Thinking Out Loud Rodney Baker

14 Taste Arkansas

Tara Johnson

16 Garden Home Design 20 22 24

P. Allen Smith Do It Yourself Monte Burch Health & Safety Jennifer Victory In the Kitchen Tayla Tate Boerner

Rhonda Whitley at Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation Farm Bureau Center P.O. Box 31 • Little Rock, AR 72203-0031 Fax: (501) 228-1557 Please provide membership number. Created by Publishing Concepts, Inc. For Advertising info contact David Brown • 1-800-561-4686

Beebe because of his strong support for adequate bandwidth.

mandated in the 1930s by the Federal

From my view, our state has a lot of

Communications Commission (FCC),

work to do to bring equal and adequate

though it was many years before access was

broadband services to our schools, businesses

available for many. In the early days we

and rural communities. Agriculture and

shared a “party line,” and each home on that

our rural communities are codependent.

party line had a distinctive ring.

Without access to adequate broadband our

The goal of the FCC’s Universal Services

Act then – and remains today – was to

ensure all Americans, regardless of where

rural communities will not succeed. Nor will agriculture. In the 1960s, one farmer averaged feeding

they live, receive quality telephone service at

26 people. Today, that one farmer feeds 155

reasonable rates.

people. We’ve been able to do that because of

A combination of government

incredible expansions in livestock and crop

involvement and entrepreneurial vigor was

yields, driven by research and technology.

needed to bring those technologies to people

With the world’s population expected

who had been without something that was

to reach 9 billion by 2050, technology

commonplace in the larger communities in

innovations, including broadband, will play

our state.

a vital role in feeding the world.

We face a similar situation in 2013 with

Without access to adequate broadband,

broadband access in Arkansas. Our state

some of our schools seem as isolated as the

ranks at or near the bottom in national

one-room schoolhouse of my grandparents’

rankings of digital learning and broadband

generation. Today, distance learning

access. TechNet’s 2012 Broadband Index

capabilities can provide any student,

listed Arkansas 50th among all state for

regardless of location, access to the best

broadband access. The rural nature of

teachers and subject matter.

Arkansas compounds the problem.

For address changes, contact:

and state leaders from both the public and

“lights came on” in rural Mississippi County,

If the future difference makers for

That does not mean to imply all of

Arkansas are to come from Arkansas, we need

rural Arkansas is a broadband wasteland.

to do everything we can to ensure our school

Ritter Communications and South Arkansas

systems are delivering what they need.

Telephone offer some of the fastest

Adequate broadband is central to that goal.

connectivity speeds in the country in some

We should use the Universal Service Act

of Arkansas’ most rural areas. But there

as a template for broadband coverage and

are large parts of our state where adequate

ensure that our citizens, regardless of where

broadband access is still a vision.

they live, can receive quality broadband

I was fortunate to be part of the recent

service at reasonable rates. To do that will,

Connecting Arkansas Internet Conference.

once again, be a life-changing experience.

There, the challenges of delivering high-

God bless you and your families. God

speed Internet to all Arkansans were

bless our farmers and ranchers. And God

debated, along with how local, regional,

bless Arkansas Farm Bureau.

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Thinking Out Loud

Front Porch Arkansas Farm Bureau © 2013 Official membership publication of Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation. Front Porch is mailed to more than 200,000 member-families. SUBSCRIPTIONS: Included in membership dues.

Arkansas Farm Bureau Officers: President Randy Veach Manila Vice President Rich Hillman Carlisle Secretary/Treasurer Tom Jones Pottsville Executive Vice President Rodney Baker Little Rock Directors: Richard Armstrong, Ozark Troy Buck, Alpine Jon Carroll, Moro Joe Christian, Jonesboro Terry Dabbs, Stuttgart Mike Freeze, England Bruce Jackson, Lockesburg Johnny Loftin, El Dorado Gene Pharr, Lincoln Rusty Smith, Des Arc Allen Stewart, Mena Mike Sullivan, Burdette Leo Sutterfield, Mountain View


Ex Officio Sherry Felts, Joiner Brent Lassiter, Newport Janice Marsh, McCrory Brian Walker, Horatio Executive Editor: Steve Eddington Editor: Gregg Patterson Contributing Writers: Ken Moore, Keith Sutton, Chris Wilson Research Assistant: Brenda Gregory ADVERTISING: Contact David Brown at Publishing Concepts, Inc. for advertising rates. (501) 221-9986 Fax (501) 225-3735 Front Porch (USPS 019-879) is published bi-monthly by the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation, 10720 Kanis Rd., Little Rock, AR 72211. Periodicals Postage paid at Little Rock, Ark. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Front Porch, P.O. Box 31, Little Rock, AR 72203. Issue #89. 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.



Executive Vice President, Arkansas Farm Bureau

This issue of Front Porch coincides with

practices. There is a growing attitude that

the beginning of my tenure as executive

public opinion should trump science and

vice president of Arkansas Farm Bureau. I’m

property rights, and we must be ready to

grateful and appreciative for the opportunity

stand solidly with our family farms on these

to continue serving this organization and its

issues. The recent controversy surrounding


the good folks at C&H hog farm in Newton

I grew up in a farm family in northeast

County and court decisions on endangered

Arkansas, served as state FFA president,

species are examples of issues that can be

earned undergraduate and graduate degrees

skewed by outside forces.

in agriculture. I have been fortunate to live

To equip ourselves to face these

out my passions with the Arkansas Farm

challenges, we must embrace changes in

Bureau for more than 36 years, most recently

technology that allow us to effectively

leading the lobbying and advocacy efforts.

connect with the public, as well as our own

The column title, Thinking Out Loud, is

a reflection of how I operate with those I

membership. We must also remain acutely aware that

am closest to. I usually arrange thoughts in

our greatest strength is our members, our

my mind, while at the same time sharing

county Farm Bureau organizations. Many

them with others. It’s a process that has been

already do a great job. Now, more than

helpful to me.

ever, it’s essential we all attend and actively

So indulge me, if you will, while I think out loud.

participate in our county board meetings, annual meetings, and legislative functions.

My vision of the future of Farm Bureau

Our best work is done at the local level.

is an organization that continues to reflect

These efforts are critical to the success of our

the beliefs and purposes on which it was

organization. They’re also opportunities to

originally founded, but recognizes and is

develop and equip local leaders. Additional

equipped to meet the challenges of our

participation, training and attention to detail

rapidly changing society.

will result in stronger, more effective county

Farm Bureau exists to represent and serve you. To do this we effectively must

organizations. I’m optimistic about the future of

be prepared to meet your needs and

Arkansas Farm Bureau. The work we do to


improve conditions for farmers and ranchers

The challenges we will face are complicated by the shrinking population

is a part of our DNA and always will be. The ability of the farming and ranching

of farmers and ranchers and successive

community to feed, clothe and provide

generations farther removed from the land.

shelter to our state, our country and much

Many of our challenges are familiar but

of the world is one of America’s greatest

will continue to grow in momentum and

strengths. It’s noble work and something for


which we should all take great pride. Let’s

Public concerns about the environment

continue the good work of this organization,

and food safety are easily manipulated by

embrace our challenges and prepare ourselves

alarmist groups against modern farming

to meet the future.

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craft your

holIday adventure

isten to live performances of acoustic Southern mountain music. Visit with artisans creating handcrafted heirloom treasures. Meander through the beauty of the ever-changing herb gardens. Enjoy the home-style fare at the Skillet Restaurant. Relax in comfort in one of the Cabins at Dry Creek. Experience the adventure and challenge of Loco Ropes. The Craft Village is open through November 30th for your holiday shopping enjoyment. Register now for one of our holiday events.

Upcoming Events November

7-9 • Annual Fall Bluegrass Festival 2 8 • Thanksgiving Day Buffet and Gospel

Concert with Pam Setser and Joni Bishop

29 • Christmas Concert with

Pam Setser and Joni Bishop


13 • Ozark Christmas Feast and Dinner Theater

M O U N T A I N V I E W, A R K A N S A S

Cabin Reservations: 800-264-3655 • Information: 870-269-3851 • Front Porch


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Mississippi River

State Park


F ro n t P or c h


a r m

Crowley’s Ridge gets a new park Story and photos by Keith Sutton


Arkansas’ newest state park,

Mississippi River State Park, is predominantly on the southern end of Crowley’s Ridge and briefly borders the Mississippi River where the St. Francis River enters the “Father of Waters.” The park takes in some of the unique geological features of Crowley’s Ridge, a special place that the big river helped birth.

The Delta of eastern Arkansas

Open for business Opened this spring, the visitor center at Mississippi River State Park provides educational exhibits for guests, who come to study, observe and explore the Arkansas Delta, the Mississippi River and Crowley’s Ridge.

looks as flat as a tabletop except for this narrow 200-mile-long band of rolling hills locals call “The Ridge.” It arises north of Missouri’s bootheel and bisects Clay, Greene, Craighead, Poinsett, Cross, St. Francis, Lee and Phillips counties in Arkansas before ending near Helena. No other place in the Natural State is like it. If you visit Crowley’s Ridge, you can see this ancient history exposed in tall, beautiful bluffs sheltering gravel-bottomed creeks. A walk through the woods is like a hike in the Appalachians. Rock maples and tulip poplars grace the hogbacks and hollows. Lady’sJAMESON Architects PA and Switch Photo

slippers, ginseng and bloodroot blossom in spring. The lyrical notes of songbirds enliven the woodlands. Rainbow darters flitter in creek riffles where softshell turtles forage and frogs sing. Deer, raccoons, bobcats and other mammals forage on the forested hillsides.

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establishment, Village Creek SP in

voted to partner with the U.S. Forest

Cross and St. Francis counties was

Service (USFS) to develop the park

opened. This brought into the public

within St. Francis NF. This led to

trust a much larger tract of Crowley’s

a memorandum of understanding

Ridge — almost 7,000 acres. In

between ASP and the USFS signed

that Crowley’s Ridge was a place

fact, Village Creek is the largest of

Nov. 22, 1999, and the two agencies

of great natural beauty that should

Arkansas’ 52 state parks, providing

began formulating plans for the new

be protected for future generations.

extensive opportunities for camping,


Efforts began in 1933 with the

wildlife watching, fishing, swimming,

establishment of 291-acre Crowley’s

boating, horseback riding and other

national forest will comprise

Ridge State Park (SP) on the original

activities. Five trails totaling seven

Mississippi River SP, including the

homesite of Benjamin Crowley,

miles allow hikers to explore the

recreation area on 625-acre Bear

the pioneer homesteader for whom

unique geology, abundant wildlife

Creek Lake near Marianna; the

the ridge is named. Today, visitors

and unusual plant communities of

access area at Horner’s Neck Lake,

still use the native stone-and-wood

Crowley’s Ridge.

an oxbow on the national forest’s

State parks on Crowley’s Ridge Arkansans realized long ago

facilities constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the park’s earliest years. Swimmers bathe in waters from a spring once used by Quapaw Indians. Wildflower and

eastern edge; the access area at

Mississippi River State Park The state parks just mentioned

the confluence of the St. Francis and Mississippi rivers, also on the east side; and the recreation area on 425-acre Storm Creek Lake

birding enthusiasts enjoy hiking on

were established following a north

near the national forest’s southern

Dancing Rabbit Trail. Anglers try

to south progression. Perhaps it was

end. Some projects are completed,

their luck in the park’s 31-acre fishing

to be expected then that the next

foremost among them the new


park on Crowley’s Ridge would be

12,208-square-foot information and

created even farther south, this

education facility. Inside, visitors

Fish Commission built 640-acre Lake

time in Lee and Phillips counties.

can enjoy interactive exhibits

Poinsett on Crowley’s Ridge near

Mississippi River SP, first proposed

about the area’s wildlife, plants,

Harrisburg. Lake Poinsett SP was

almost 50 years ago, was dedicated

history and geological features. The

established on the lake’s northern

on May 16 this year. It eventually

facility offers access to the half-mile

end in 1963, complete with scenic

will encompass 536 acres within

Trotting Fox Trail, an amphitheater

camping and picnicking facilities on

22,600-acre St. Francis National

for outdoor programs and Ranger

132 wooded acres. Most visitors come

Forest (NF), including upland tracts

Pond for fishing and aquatic

for the superb fishing, casting for

on Crowley’s Ridge and wetland

exploration. An adjacent multi-

Poinsett’s abundant bream, crappie,

areas adjacent the Father of Waters.

purpose building allows groups to

In 1960, the Arkansas Game and

bass and catfish.

In 1966, this area was proposed

meet here and serves as a discovery

Lake Frierson SP in southern

as a state park, but the idea was

center for visitors and students.

Greene County joined the line-up

dropped due to lack of funding.

Interpretive programs are offered,

of public lands on Crowley’s Ridge

The concept for a park adjacent

too, including guided hikes and

in 1975. The park originally was

the Mississippi wasn’t forgotten,

kayak tours.

built for day use only and offered

however, and in 1973, the state

only picnic sites, a boat ramp and

legislature authorized development

Bear Creek Lake has been renovated,

restrooms. Facilities have since been

of Mississippi River SP. It wasn’t

and now features 14 campsites with

expanded to include a visitor’s center,

until 1996, however, when

water/electric/sewer hookups, three

campsites, pavilions and nature trails.

Arkansas voters passed a 1/8-cent

walk-in tent sites and a bathhouse.

The 335-acre lake is home to a variety

conservation sales tax to help

Two new courtesy docks here

of sportfish, and the park is renowned

fund park projects, that efforts to

provide easy access to the lake.

for the beauty of its many blooming

find a park site began in earnest.

The adjacent day-use area includes

dogwood trees in spring.

On May 20, 1999, the State Parks,

picnic sites, swimming, a boat ramp

Recreation and Travel Commission

and the mile-long Bear Creek Lake

A year after Frierson’s


Several separate sites in the

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Beech Point Campground on

Hortus Ltd.

Crappie catch An osprey feeds on a crappie caught in Bear Creek Lake. Wildlife watchers can observe a varied assortment of creatures that live in Mississippi River State Park and St. Francis National Forest, including common animals such as deer, turkeys, raccoons, squirrels and dozens of bird species.

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Nature Trail.

The U.S. Forest Service will continue

Facilities at Storm Creek Lake soon

its role in the resource management

will be renovated, too, with plans

of the forest, including timber

to construct an enclosed pavilion,

and wildlife management, habitat

restrooms, new parking and lake-access

improvement, wildfire suppression and

facilities, and more.

law enforcement. Arkansas State Parks

According to State Parks Director

will continue improving facilities,

Greg Butts, “Arkansas State Parks is

constructing new ones and managing

experiencing one of the most exciting

these recreational facilities, including

stages in its history. Mississippi River

park maintenance, law enforcement

State Park is an important part of this.

and interpretation/education.”

Building a connection between phone callers with ease! Dial 7-1-1 and communicate with any caller – 24 hours a day! Arkansas Relay is a free service that provides full telephone accessibility to people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, and speech-disabled. This service allows TTY (text-telephone) users to communicate with standard telephone users through specially trained relay operators. For more information, contact Jeff Prail, Account Manager 501-221-1285 (Voice) email: (Email) visit our website:

Ozark-St. Francis National Forests Supervisor Judith Henry said, “The partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and Arkansas State Parks should be very evident to the public when visiting Mississippi River State Park. Our staffs will work side-byside here, committed to managing these outstanding natural and

Captioned Telephone (CapTel ) Service – Talk, listen and read! ®

recreational resources on the St. Francis National Forest and making the collective national forest and

If a person with a hearing loss has difficulty hearing on the phone, not anymore! They can hear everything other callers say, just like a traditional call. At the same time, the captioning service transcribes everything they say into captions, which appear on the CapTel display window. For more information, - Visit

state park experience all it can be for visitors. This will be a great benefit to the local communities and area businesses, as well. “It will be an opportunity for neighbors to continue enjoying the recreation opportunities on the St. Francis, while planned state

- Contact Arkansas TAP at 800-981-4463 or 501-686-9693 (TTY/Voice)

park amenities may encourage new visitors to enjoy exploring this unique part of Arkansas. It is the

* Offered by the Arkansas Department of Career Education/Arkansas Rehabilitation Services Division. ©2012 Arkansas Relay. All rights reserved. CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.


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only national forest that touches the Mississippi River.”

Fishin’ in the park Two park lakes — 625-acre Bear Creek Lake near Marianna and 425-acre Storm Creek Lake near West Helena — serve up excellent fishing opportunities for largemouth bass, bluegills, redear sunfish, crappie and catfish.

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Find Us Online:

To locate a Community Health Center near you, call 1-877-666-CHCA or visit CHCA website at

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World of wonder I visited Mississippi River SP recently

Later, I drove several hours along

mink hunting the shore of a pond.

scenic roadways that meander through

Every habitat bristled with birds:

with nothing more than a fishing pole, a

the park and national forest, including

flycatchers, vireos, warblers, tanagers,

camera and binoculars. It was a memorable

portions of the Great River Road,

egrets, hawks, doves, hummingbirds,


Crowley’s Ridge Scenic Byway and

woodpeckers, swallows, wrens,

Audubon’s Great River Birding Trail.

chickadees and more — 34 species in

Bear Creek Lake, I caught dozens of fish,

Wildlife was everywhere, from wooded

all. At Storm Creek Lake, I watched

including a 4-pound largemouth bass,

ridgetops to the river bottoms. I saw

an osprey catch a crappie. Great blue

several jumbo bluegills and redear sunfish,

several whitetail does with fawns,

herons were feeding young in nests

and two whopper crappie that wound up on

a solid-black fox squirrel, a mother

on Horner’s Neck Lake. Near the

my dinner plate the next day.

raccoon with three babies and a

sandy shore of the Mississippi River, I

Casting a spinner from the shore of

photographed a docile yet intimidating canebrake rattlesnake. As I was about to leave the park, an amazing sight stopped me: fields of yellow flowers that had attracted

More Bang for Your Bucks RTV1100, RTV1140, RTV900, RTV500 Utility Vehicles

thousands of swallowtail butterflies. Never have I seen so many of the gorgeous insects. I spent several more hours in the park photographing them. Together, flitting from flower to flower on wings of black and gold, they created an unforgettable scene. A visit to Mississippi River State Park can be like that. Surprises await around every corner — good surprises that will make you want to return again and again.

Getting There To reach Mississippi River State Park from Interstate 40, take Exit 239 near Forrest City and follow Ark. Highway 1 south to Marianna. (Alternatively, from Helena, take Ark. 49 west to Walnut Corner, then Ark. 1 north to

Pick your options: Diesel or gas, two seats or four. Open air or factory-installed cab. Whichever RTV you choose, you’ll get more bang for your buck… with a utility vehicle that works hard today and holds its value tomorrow.

Marianna.) From Marianna, follow Ark. 1B to Ark. 44 (Great River Road/ Crowley’s Ridge Parkway) and go 3 miles southeast to the visitor center, or 6 miles to the Bear Creek Lake Recreation Area.

Family Owned

For more information, visit www. or phone (870) 295-4040.

Since 1976


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yourself to the Conversation

Your membership is

growing tomorrow.

• • • · Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa on Lake Ouachita is Arkansas’ premier resort – with everything to offer in one exciting place! · Find an award-winning restaurant, one of the state’s largest full-service marinas and rental boat fleet, a renowned spa experience at Turtle Cove Spa and Salon, a variety of hiking/biking trails, and gorgeous scenery on the surrounding Lake Ouachita and Ouachita National Forest · Enjoy a special Fall package in our rustic-luxury, log-sided cottages with hot tubs, full kitchens and living rooms, native stone fireplace, as well as complimentary boat slip and firewood bundles for each day of your stay! · Call 870-867-2191 and ask for the “Fall Value Package.” · Prices range from $288-$432 nightly (plus lodging tax), in two and three-bedroom cottages. Visit for more information. Our families LOVE taking care of yours! Lake Ouachita Vista Trail – a trail featuring 40+ miles of trail segments through the Ouachita National Forest and along Lake Ouachita itself.


Also visit our sister resorts:

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Hundreds of student members benefit annually from more than $140,000 in scholarships from Farm Bureaus across Arkansas.


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Taste Arkansas From farm to table compiled by Tara Johnson


Thanksgiving is a week later

this year. Usually it falls on the third Thursday of November. This year, it’s the fourth Thursday. I don’t know about you, but I normally don’t start doing the bulk of my Christmas shopping until after Thanksgiving. So, I have one less week to get everything! One week might not seem

like much, but with today’s busy schedules the weeks tend to get away quickly. With that “lost week,” I know if I don’t keep on top of it, I’ll really get behind. Not getting stuff shipped to me on time is my pet holiday peeve. It always happens with at least one gift. This year, I have a plan to stay organized and make this holiday season easier. Try it, and let me know how it goes, or post your holiday time-saving tips on our Facebook page. ( ArkansasFarmBureau) Step One Note all of your holiday parties,

Plan ahead Create a menu for any dinners or parties you might be hosting at least two weeks in advance to give you time to take advantage of any grocery store sales.

dinners and any other events on your smart phone calendar. Also, make

up making you scramble to get a

parties you might be hosting. This

reminder notes if you need to buy a

potluck dish ready in time.

allows time to take advantage of

hostess gift, a new outfit or bring food. Then, set reminders for those events on your computer or email. There’s always at least one event that sneaks


any sales at the grocery store and to Step Two

check with guests about possible food

At least two weeks in advance, create a menu for any dinners or

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allergies to take into consideration. Once the menu is finalized, gather

time as possible.

How to $ave on Thanksgiving dinner

Step Three

expensive, especially if you’re

the opportunity to have face-time

supplies and make as much ahead of

Thanksgiving dinner can be During November, write down

who provides the food on our plate. It’s simply so accessible, we take it for granted. Many people don’t have

cooking for a crowd. This time of

with a farmer, but it’s farm families

names and addresses of those you’re

year is special, and I struggle to save

like mine who carefully raise turkeys,

sending cards or gifts. If you’re

money, because I want everything

rice, apples and many other foods we

planning to send gifts, brainstorm

perfect. So, I spent some time

love. Corporations aren’t caring for

ideas during November, so you aren’t

thinking about a few ways to cut cost

animals and making decisions about

trying to find something last minute.

without sacrificing quality.

crops, it’s American farm families.

When possible, I’ll casually bring up

Some friends ask their guests to

Keep them in mind this season and,


items I think the person would like

bring their favorite dish to dinner.

and gauge their reaction. Another

This is a great idea. Everyone gets at

good idea is a homemade gift. Cookies

least one thing they like, and it’s a

are a favorite in my family, and we

great conversation starter. In fact, it

Arkansas Farm Bureau’s Taste Arkansas

often send tins of cookies to family

would be really fun for everyone to

blog. For recipes, videos and farmer


bring recipe cards for their dish to

profiles visit

pass around.


Step Four The designer in me loves wrapping

Tara Johnson is a contributor to

Another way to lower costs of your meal is buy store-brand items

paper. I like buying two to three

instead of brand name. Often,

different rolls with some kind of

these products are exactly the

theme. For example, one year I did

same with different packaging. I’ll

winter white with three different

admit there are a few brands I’m

patterns. Buy wrapping paper early.

fiercely loyal to but not many.

In December, the selection starts

if you can, thank a farmer.

My favorite tip is to make the

to get picked over. Plus, if you buy

most of leftovers. Use leftover

wrapping paper early, you can wrap as

turkey and cranberry sauce for

you buy presents to avoid a marathon

turkey and cranberry sandwiches.

wrapping session later.

Use leftover dinner rolls to make

1. Make sure to thaw your turkey completely before cooking.

sliders. Have leftover mashed Step Five Have fun decorating your home.

potatoes and gravy as a side with another meal. Don’t just eat the

Don’t make it a chore. Plan it like an

same meal until the leftovers are

activity with hot cocoa and holiday

gone, get creative and make new

cookies. Give yourself plenty of time


and include the family members. These are memory makers, and this time of year is all about family and close friends, so enjoy it together. Finally, remember to slow down

3. Skip basting your bird, it can make the skin soggy.

Thank a farmer This holiday season, thank a farmer. The hardworking men and

and try to stay stress free. This is the

women in agriculture use skills

part I have trouble with the most.

handed down for generations,

Sometimes your casserole gets a little

new technology, good old

crispier than you intended. Sometimes

fashioned ingenuity and elbow

your decorations might break. Other

grease to provide our country

times you might forget to include

with safe, affordable, sustainable

someone on your card list. These

and delicious food. One of the

things happen. The holidays aren’t

wonderful things about living in

ruined because of it.

this country is it’s easy to forget

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2. The perfect oven temperature for cooking a whole bird is 400 degrees.

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4. Let your bird rest for 20 minutes before cutting into it.


Garden Home Design Home for the holidays Five essential holiday homemaking tips

2. Mood music I have a wonderful list of favorite holiday songs I play throughout the season, whether I’m decorating, cooking or entertaining.


• “The Christmas Song”

by P. Allen Smith

The holiday season is one of my

favorite times of year. I always look

• “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” • “Let It Snow” • “Rockin’ Around the Christmas 1. Holiday greenery


Decorating your home with

• “A Holly Jolly Christmas”

forward to filling the Garden Retreat

greenery is a great way to usher in

• “White Christmas”

with the sights, sounds, scents and

the holiday season. Each piece in my

• “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like

tastes of the holidays. Fill your home

Holiday Greenery Collection provides

with some of my holiday favorites

the perfect accent to your holiday

and be ready to share the season with

décor, and fills your home with the

your family and friends.

fresh scent of pine.

Christmas” • “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow” • “Have Yourself a Merry Little

Mark Fonville

Hortus Ltd.


Seasonal greenery Decorating your home with winter greenery helps set the holiday mood. Using spray painted gourds or angelic figures can also add to the festive atmosphere. 16

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• “Jingle Bells” • “Do You Hear What I Hear” • “Silent Night” • “O Holy Night” • “The 12 Days of Christmas” • “What Child is This” • “Carol of the Bells” • The entire “Nutcracker Suite” 3. Food What I love most about the holidays is cooking. Preparing meals is my gift to those I love. This time of year, I love to finish a meal by serving Buttermilk Pecan Pie.

Ingredients: 1 cup pecan halves ¼ cup firmly packed lightbrown sugar

¼ cup dark corn syrup

8 tablespoons butter, melted 1 ½ cups sugar 3 eggs, beaten

Pie to die for Buttermilk pie is a taste and texture sensation that will liven up any holiday season meal.

¼ cup all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lower the oven to 325 degrees F.

Volunteering is also a great way to

1 cup buttermilk

Combine all the remaining

help organizations get through the

ingredients in a mixing bowl, and

holidays while giving back to your

pour the mixture into the unbaked


1 unbaked pie crust, 9-inch

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil, and lightly grease the foil. Stir the pecan halves, light-brown sugar and dark corn syrup together

pie crust. Scatter the chopped glazed pecans evenly on top of the pie filling.

While the food, music and

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour,

stirring every 4 minutes, for 12 to 15 minutes or until the glaze thickens. Remove the pan from the oven

decorations provide everything

or until set. Let the pie cool on a

needed for a festive season, what

wire rack before serving at room

matters most is being able to share


it all with my family and friends. I

in a small bowl. Spread the mixture out on the jelly-roll pan and bake,

5. Family and friends

share this time of year with those 4. Philanthropy

closest to me. We share laughs,

I’m always mindful of my many blessings. This is a great time of year

delicious meals and memories of holidays past.

to remember your blessings, and

and spread the pecans in a single

support a charitable organization.

layer on wax paper. Let the pecans

Many organizations allow you to

cool completely, separating them

make a donation in someone’s

with a spoon as they cool.

name. What a meaningful gift.

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Season’s greetings and best wishes for a joyous and prosperous New Year.




AT THE GARDEN HOME! TOURS NOV 8, 15, 22 DEC 12, 13, 19, 20 $90 per person

The Garden Home Retreat at Moss Mountain Farm in Roland is decked out in all of its holiday finery, and you’re sure to find inspiration for your own holiday home! Join us for our annual winter celebration, which includes a tour of the house and gardens, followed by a seasonal plated lunch from Allen’s new cookbook.

Allen in the er at me winrtden Ho Ga

the gard

Allen at h


Space is limited. Visit, email or call Joyce at 501.519.5793 to make your reservation! 18

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Home The Garden - 2012

Arkansas Farm and Ranch Families Provide‌ 24% of Arkansas Jobs


Safe, affordable food


75% of Wildlife Habitat

Lacy Glover

Former Miss Arkansas and Spokesperson for the Arkansas Foundation for Agriculture

Wildlife Habitat While Protecting the Environment


Foundation for Agriculture

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DoItYourself Build a rod case An easy-to-build gift idea

by Monte Burch

rods, such as below-the-dam catfishing or surf rods, can be a hassle. A good rod case can protect rods strapped to an automobile roof, stored in the back of a pickup or even on a plane. In one

screw it on to. For more secure

overseas airline flight, my purchased

transport, attach a small padlock

rod case came out of the luggage

hasp to the end cap and pipe.

conveyor almost bent into a U-shape. I

This can be further secured with

knew then the trip wasn’t going to be

a small padlock. You will need


to bend the hasp pieces slightly

You can, however, build a rod

to fit the pipe and cap contours.

case that’s not only solid but is also

Then attach a screen door

simple. All you need is a section of PVC

handle as a carry handle. Cut

plumbing pipe. The diameter of the

two foam or heavy felt pieces

pipe is determined by the amount and

and add one to each end to

size of rods you intend to transport.

protect rod tips and butts.

You’ll also need a couple of end caps of the appropriate size. Cut the pipe to the correct length using a hacksaw.



Then carefully sand all cut edges

Plastic PVC plumbing pipe — length and diameter to suit

extremely smooth.

Matching PVC end caps (2 required)

Plastic pipe can cut, so you might want to wear leather gloves while sanding. Using PVC glue, fasten one


one smooth end cap and one threaded end cap with matching threaded joint

end cap in place. Sand the inside of

PVC glue

the second cap so it will slide on and

Hasp (1 optional)

off the pipe easily. If you want a non-

Screen door handle (1 optional)

secure transport case, simply use a pair

Small bolts & lock nuts to fit hasp & screen

of eye hooks and a small bungee cord to hold the end cap in place. Or use

door handle Foam or felt (2 small pieces required)

a threaded end cap with a matching threaded joint glued to the PVC pipe to


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Gregg Patterson


Transporting rods, especially long

Rod protection Transporting fishing rods can sometimes be a hassle. This rod transport case is sturdy and easy to build. If you prefer, glue a threaded joint on one end of the PVC pipe, and get a threaded cap to screw on it.

We believe your sense of security is more important than your sense of humor. It seems insurance ads have just become a way to have a few laughs. But we don’t think there’s anything funny about protecting our members with dependable auto coverage. When it comes to helping you get through the worst life has to offer, we’re all business.

Real service. Real people.

TASTE from farm to table

Food, like nothing else, brings us together. After all, everyone eats. ARAUPR42160

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.

*Farm Bureau® Mutual Insurance Co. of Arkansas, Inc. *Southern Farm Bureau® Casualty Insurance Co. *Southern Farm Bureau® Life Insurance Co., Jackson, MS

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w w w .a r m


Health&Safety Rural regional health care Improving efficiency, cost and effectiveness

A by Jennifer Victory

A name change for several medical

facilities around the state is bringing a familiar face to rural communities. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Regional Programs has been offering medical care in rural communities for many years through its Area Health Education Centers (AHEC). Many familiar with UAMS may not realize the connection between the two. As a result, during the last several months, AHECs have undergone a name change. The eight centers scattered around the state are now known as UAMS Regional Centers. According to Dr. Mark Mengel, vice

the centers. “As the largest provider for

chancellor for regional programs at UAMS,

Medicaid patients in the counties where

we realized many of our facilities were

the new title provides citizens in rural

our regional centers are located, we

inadequate for this new model. The

communities a better idea of UAMS’s reach.

needed to find a method that would yield

physical arrangement of a clinic is very

“UAMS is seen by many as a big medical

better outcomes for our patients with

important to this particular model of care,”

center in Little Rock. We want everyone to

lower costs. A team-based approach that

Mengel said.

be aware of the network of care we have

focuses on management and prevention

that extends to every part of the state,” he

of chronic illnesses is the first step in

design, allowing team members to be based


accomplishing that, “said Mengel.

in the middle with exam rooms around

All UAMS Regional Centers emphasize

This approach offers patients several

“As we moved to team-based care,

Clinics will now be a pod-shaped

them, versus the old system where exam

primary care and educating resident and

medical professionals working together on

rooms were located down a long hall. This

medical students. Along with these services,

their case, along with a care coordinator

gives medical professionals easy access to

each one is becoming individualized to its

helping coordinate care and monitor

other team members during a consultation.

patients’ needs by focusing on areas that

the patient’s disease. Chronic illnesses

are critical to the communities they serve.

management, such as diabetes and heart

realizes there will be challenges. “The

Some centers are expanding telemedicine

disease, is important, because it prevents

outcomes we have measured so far have

in their facility, while others see the need

unnecessary visits to the emergency

been less than desirable. We have a long

to bring in more specialists. For example,

room and decreases hospital stays for the

way to go to improve health care in

UAMS SW in Texarkana is working with


Arkansas. But with a new model of care

Arkansas Children’s Hospital to establish pediatric subspecialty clinics. Incorporating a team-based approach to medical care is a new priority for


Introducing a new model of care

As with any major change, Mengel

and new facility design, we’re heading in

means not only changes in the treatment

the right direction.” For more information

of patients but also changes in the

about UAMS Regional Centers, please visit

physical facility.

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Gregg Patterson

Bacon-wrapped Dates Stuffed with Almonds and Feta An adventure in making do with what you have


The winner is ... Bacon-wrapped Dates Stuffed with Almonds and Feta cheese dipped in a miso-soy sweet orange marmalade sauce was the winning recipe at the 2013 Arkansas Women Bloggers conference. The winning team was (from left to right) Kellee Mayfield, Talya Boerner, Ashley Mayo, Ceri Wilkin and Lenora Riedel.

by Talya Tate Boerner

Arkansas Women Bloggers held its

annual conference in September at Ferncliff Camp just outside Little Rock. On the agenda for Day One — a food challenge demanding quick, sharp skills not unlike today’s Food Network reality cooking shows. Seven teams received boxes of

According to the impressive slate of important part of the food equation.

foodie judges from Memphis and Little

identical ingredients along with a pantry

The appetizer our team created was

stocked with basics. To add a twist to the

inspired by one of my favorite Southern

marmalade and miso soy would make

event, each team could use one secret

Living party recipes, Bacon-wrapped

plywood taste great! 

ingredient. With only 45 minutes to create

Almond-Stuffed Apricots. Our first

It’s that good.

an appetizer dish, competition was intense.

stumbling block — the pantry had no

I was part of the winning team led

Rock, our dipping sauce made with orange

The saltiness of Petit Jean bacon and

apricots. Instead, we substituted dates

crumbly feta paired with sweet dates and

by Kellee Mayfield of Lake Village. Kellee

then put our heads together to produce

sweet orange marmalade proved to be a

came prepared for cooking battle, arriving

the winning dish using Arkansas Petit

delicious combination and possibly even

with a box of tricks including our team’s

Jean bacon and other ingredients. (I can’t

better than the original apricot recipe that

secret ingredient, miso soy, along with

disclose specifics, but a bit of bartering was

inspired it. 

decorative napkins and serving platters.

necessary to secure the feta cheese from

Every southern girl knows presentation is an

another team.)

Bacon-wrapped Dates Stuffed with Almonds and Feta


This appetizer will be a crowd pleaser at your next holiday gathering. 

Place on wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once to brown each side. 

12 slices bacon, cut into halves

24 dates 

(according to package instructions) to make ½ cup. Add to

24 whole raw almonds, unsalted

marmalade and heat in a small, microwave-safe bowl 1 minute or

feta cheese crumbles

until blended. 

3-4 green onions, chopped

Arrange appetizers on a serving platter. Drizzle with dipping

1 cup orange marmalade 

sauce and top with chopped green onions. You can add a sprinkle

miso soy paste to make ½ cup (or ½ cup of soy sauce)

of extra feta, too.

While the dates bake, mix miso soy paste with water

Serve warm with extra sauce for dipping. Makes 24 pieces.



Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Slice a pocket into each date and stuff with one almond and a crumble of feta cheese. Squeeze the stuffed date back together and wrap with a bacon slice. Secure with wooden toothpick.


Talya Tate Boerner writes about southern life on her blog “Grace, Grits and Gardening.” She grew up on a cotton farm in Mississippi County her family still operates. She lives in Dallas. Follow her at

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Health&Safety Strike Out Stroke Health pitch SAVES lives

B H by Jennifer Victory

Health Care Reform raises a lot of questions. We’ve got AGENTS with answers. Health insurance is complicated. And with Health Care Reform on the way, it’s not getting any simpler. But don’t worry – your local agent can walk you through the changes and offer you the right health care plan with the right benefits for you. Health care may be changing, but our superior service isn’t.


Soliciting agent only. Not authorized to issue policies. Available only to residents in Arkansas.


*Farm Bureau ® Mutual Insurance Co. of Arkansas, Inc. *Southern Farm Bureau ® Casualty Insurance Co., Jackson, MS *Southern Farm Bureau ® Life Insurance Co., Jackson, MS

Real Service. Real People. That’s Farm Bureau Insurance. TM

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U. S. Postal Service Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685). 1. Publication title: Front Porch. 2. Publication number: 01-9879. 3. Filing date: 9/20/13. 4. Issue frequency: Bi-monthly. 5. No. of issues published annually: six. 6. Annual Subscription Price: 0. 7. Complete mailing address of known office of publication: Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation, 10720 Kanis Road, Little Rock, AR 72211-3825. 8. Complete mailing address of headquarters of General Business office of Publisher: Same as #7. 9. Full names and complete mailing address of Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor: Publisher, Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation; Executive Editor, Steve Eddington; Editor, Gregg Patterson. All addresses same as #7. 10. Owner: Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation. 11. Know Bondholders, Mortgages and other Security Holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages or other securities: None. 12. Tax Status: unchanged. 13. Publication title: Front Porch. 14. Issue date for Circulation date: Sept./ Oct. 2013. 15. Extent and nature of circulation: Average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months: Actural no. copies of single issue published nearest to filing date. 15a. Total no. of copies net press run average each issue 194,044 (issued published nearest to filing date 197,707). 15b. Paid/ Requested outside-country mail subscription: 192,644 (most recent 197,307). 15c. Total paid and/or requested circulation: 192,644 (most recent 196,307). 15d., e. Not Applicable. 15f. Total Distribution: 192,644 (most recent 196,307). 15g. Copies not distributed: 1,400 (most recent 1,400). 15h. Total: 194,044 (most recent 197,707). 15i. Percent paid and/or requested circulation: 100%. 16. This statement of ownership will be printed in the November/December 2013 issue of the publication. 17. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager or Owner:

Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co., Jackson, MS

Gregg Patterson Date: 9/20/13








Since 1983


Get what you want and save money - just in time for the holidays. Take advantage of Farm Bureau Bank’s special member rates on new and used recreational vehicle loans, plus flexible terms and affordable protection plans.

Contact your local agent today! Existing Farm Bureau Bank vehicle loans are excluded from this offer. * Rates disclosed as Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and are based on acquiring Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP). The advertised APR of 3.99% is effective as of September 13, 2013. Final APR may differ from the loan interest rate due to additional fees (such as a loan documentation fee, which may be applicable). For a $25,050 vehicle loan with a term of 36 months, a 45 day first payment date and a 3.99% APR, the monthly payment will be $739.08. To qualify for the disclosed rate, customer must be a Farm Bureau member. Rates may vary based on the amount financed, term and first payment date. Non-member rates may vary. Finance charges accrue from origination date of the loan. Some restrictions apply based on the make and model of vehicle offered as collateral. All loans are subject to credit approval, verification, and collateral evaluation. Other rates and financing options are available. Non-member rates may be 1-3% higher than posted rates. This offer is not available in all states and rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Rates and financing are limited to vehicle models 2004 and newer and subject to change. Farm Bureau Bank does not finance totaled, rebuilt or salvaged vehicles. Banking services provided by Farm Bureau Bank, FSB. Farm Bureau, FB, and the FB National Logo are registered service marks owned by, and used by Farm Bureau Bank FSB under license from, the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Front Porch - Nov/Dec 2013