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FALL 2019

Doing it Her Way Also: What Arkansas Grows


Arkansas Game and Fish Commission offers private landowners technical assistance and advice managing wildlife through a statewide staff of private lands biologists. Private land biologists are deicated to helping landowners achieve their goals by writing customized habitat plans based on the soils, current land use and habitat types of their property. They can even identify possible government assis ance programs to help offset any costs of improving the habitat value for wildlife. With almost 90 percent of Arkansas’s land being privately owned, Wildlife management cannot be accomplished simply through the relatively small islands of publicly managed land. Many species, such as northern bobwhite, wild turkey and waterfowl, require large areas of

connected habitat to thrive. That requires the help of many private landowners working together. Below are some of the examples of programs or permits that AGFC Private Lands Biologist can use to help landowners improve wildlife habitat and meet wildlife management goals on their property. Deer Management Assistance Program The Deer Management Assistance Program provides technical assistance to landowners and hunting clubs to improve deer populations. Biologists work with land managers to assess habitat quality and the potential to support a healthy, well-balanced deer herd. They evaluate historical, present and future deer management efforts and meet with clubs and land managers to explain options and expected results.


Acres for Wildlife Acres for Wildlife is a free environmental action program of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission which targets all wildlife species and gives special emphasis on species of greatest conservation concern. It improves habitat and encourages landowners to consider wildlife needs in conjunction with good farming, livestock production and forestry practices. The program does not retire cropland or grazing land, nor does it open “posted� land to hunters. This is left entirely to the discretion of the landowner. NEW Predator Control Permit The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission recently relaxed hunting regulations on certain predator species Coyote, raccoon, opossum and striped skunk may now be hunted year-round on private land in Arkansas. There are no daily or possession limits to any of these species on private land, and wanton waste regulations will no longer apply to these four species. A new free Predator-Control Permit also is available to private landowners, which will let permit holders shoot or trap bobcat, coyote, gray fox, red fox, opossum, raccoon and striped skunk day or night. This permit is now available at AGFC.com. The regulation change allows private landowners more opportunities to reduce these predators on their property to try to boost their quail and turkey numbers.

Find A Private Lands Biologist Central Jason Honey 501-580-5390

Northwest Hugh Lumpkin 479-353-7674

East Central Daniel Greenfield 870-569-8124

East David Graves 870-319-0668

North Central Ben Field 501-442-6197

Southeast Bubba Groves 870-224-3334

West Central Clint Johnson 501-270-1926

West Michelle Furr 479-222-5894

Northeast Bo Reid 870-291-1281

Southwest Ricky Chastain 870-331-1297


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6 CONTENT Farm Bureau Matters

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Helping Farmers, Helping You

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Doing It Her Way

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Randy Veach

Warren Carter Rob Anderson

What Grows in Arkansas?

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Rural Road Stories

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Member Services Update

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Taste Arkansas

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Delta Child

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Keith Sutton

Autumn Wood

Ashley Wallace and Rob Anderson Talya Tate Boerner

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Cover design by Bryan Pistole

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Farm Bureau Matters

by Randy Veach | President, Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation

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llow me, please, to begin my final column in Front Porch magazine with something I wrote in this space for the very first time back in 2009 after being elected president of Arkansas Farm Bureau. The trust and respect the county Farm Bureaus have placed with me is truly overwhelming. Since announcing in early July that I would not be seeking another term as president, I have been uplifted by the many prayers, well-wishers, thanks and appreciation that have been offered to me and my wife Thelma. During my 20 years on the state board of directors I have done my best to represent you with a servant’s heart and an attentive eye on the things that matter most to our members. My priorities of faith, family and Farm Bureau are shared by so many of you. Without question, the most meaningful part of serving as leader of the state’s largest agricultural advocacy organization for the past 11 years has been the opportunity to represent the values and beliefs of our grassroots membership. Farm Bureau has been a powerful grassroots force within our state for the past 85 years and our nation over the last 100 years. It is my hope that you strengthen your commitment to Farm Bureau, to help make this organization as relevant tomorrow as it has been since its founding in 1935. We are well positioned to continue to serve a meaningful role in the lives of Arkansas’ farmers and ranchers if you continue to be engaged, educated and empowered through our grassroots process. The voice of agriculture is but a whisper without everyone standing together, united and resolute. Thelma and I will continue to stand with our farmers and ranchers. My involvement with Farm Bureau dates back about 35 years. I was running for county quorum court at that time, confident that I had the energy and ideas to make a real difference in my county. I approached Pat Sullivan, a local

community leader (and, coincidentally, county and state Farm Bureau board member), seeking his support. He left me with something far more important than his vote for that quorum court seat. He told me I needed to become involved in Farm Bureau, where I could put my energy and passion into an organization that would make a difference in what I loved, and that was agriculture. He could not have put it any more direct, and the next year I was invited to be part of the board for Mississippi County Farm Bureau board. Little did I know that his advice would have such a profound impact on the balance of my life. Please know I will not be stepping away from my advocacy efforts. I expect to continue to be active in my county Farm Bureau, I will serve as chairman and president of the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance company until my term expires in February, and I was reappointed to a four-year term on the USDA Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee. My role as president has enabled me to reach out to other parts of the world to convey the important role Arkansas agriculture plays in our world’s supply of food, fiber and shelter. To serve as the president of Arkansas Farm Bureau has been an honor and a privilege that has overwhelmed me, with appreciation, gratitude and love. It has meant more to me, Thelma and our family than you will ever know. In closing, I defer to scripture. From Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The trust and respect you have placed with me over the last 11 years has been truly overwhelming. Thank you, Farm Bureau members, for your unbroken faith, for your willingness to stand with us, and for your support of Arkansas’ largest industry, agriculture.

Without question, the most meaningful part of serving as leader of the state’s largest agricultural advocacy organization for the past 11 years has been the opportunity to represent the values and beliefs of our grassroots membership.

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Official membership publication of Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation mailed to more than 190,000 member-families. 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 • Warren Carter, Little Rock DIRECTORS:

Jon Carroll, Moro Terry Dabbs, Stuttgart Sherry Felts, Joiner Mike Freeze, Little Rock Bruce Jackson, Lockesburg Tom Jones, Pottsville Terry Laster, Strong Jeremy Miller, Huntsville Gene Pharr, Lincoln Caleb Plyler, Hope Rusty Smith, Des Arc Joe Thrash, Houston Dan Wright, Waldron EX OFFICIO

Magen Allen, Bismarck Donna Bemis, Little Rock Adam Cloninger, Keo Dustin Cowell, Deer Executive Editor • Steve Eddington Editor • Rob Anderson Contributing Writers • Ken Moore, Gregg Patterson, Ashley Wallace, Keith Sutton ADVERTISING

Contact David Brown at Publishing Concepts for advertising rates dbrown@pcipublishing.com (501) 221-9986 Fax (501) 225-3735 Front Porch (USPS 019-879) is published quarterly by the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation 10720 Kanis Rd., Little Rock, AR 72211 Periodicals Postage paid at Little Rock, AR POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Rhonda Whitley at rhonda.whitley@arfb.com Front Porch • P.O. Box 31 • Little Rock, AR 72203 Please provide membership number Issue #113 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.

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Helping Farmers, Helping You by Warren Carter | Executive Vice President, Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation

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hat is the value of joining Arkansas Farm Bureau? Why is it worth $40 a year to be a member? Of course, being a member of Arkansas Farm Bureau means you have access to some of the best insurance protections available in the state – for farms, homes, autos, businesses and more. This is of great value in and of itself, but I’d like to consider everything that a membership supports and all it returns to the community and to the individual. Being a member of Arkansas Farm Bureau means you are helping to support those who produce the safe, affordable and abundant food supply that we all rely on. It means you support rural values and rural communities. You support good roads, broadband access, job skills training and strong K-12 and higher education systems. In short, your $40 a year helps sustain work that will have a positive impact not just on rural communities, but on almost every man, woman and child in our state. Arkansas Farm Bureau turns your membership fees into support for important youth programs like 4-H and FFA and for efforts to teach “Ag in the Classroom,” so our future leaders will know where their food comes from and how it’s produced. We help fund scholarships for children and grandchildren of Farm Bureau members who pursue studies in agriculture, as well as scholarships for deserving students attending the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University. We are a sponsor of the Arkansas Governor’s Cup, which promotes and supports college students exploring entrepreneurship and innovation while in school. For 19 years, we’ve provided judges for the competition and sponsored a $10,000 cash award to the top agriculture-related business project. In 1993, we partnered with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in creating the M*A*S*H (Medical Application of Science for Health) program. It allows high school students to shadow physicians in order to learn about potential medical careers and, more importantly, how they might practice in rural communities. Through the years, the number of M*A*S*H camps has increased from 10 to 34 and the number of students attending has increased from 120 to 550 annually. In the 25 years that Farm Bureau has participated in promotion and recruitment for M*A*S*H, approximately 9,000 students representing every county in the state have attended the two-week summer experiences. Your membership helps makes this program possible. If you live in a rural area, then you may receive the benefit (or already be

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benefitting from) a former M*A*S*H student providing medical care to your community. And, of course, there are the personal benefits from your Farm Bureau membership, any number of which add up to more than you spend on annual dues. For example, all Farm Bureau members receive added value the day they join. Every member has an accidental death policy for $2,500, along with their spouse and $1,250 on each child. In addition, they become part of a $2,500 reward program for the conviction of theft or vandalism of a member’s property. The Lifeline Health Screening Program is a service that screens individuals for issues that could lead to heart attacks or strokes. Some 1,189 members have taken advantage of this benefit, saving them more than $5,000 this year alone. Perhaps ArFB’s most popular member benefit is our ChildSaver Program. First offered in the 1980s, it allows Farm Bureau members to purchase an infant safety car seat for $25 or a child booster seat for $15 direct from the factory. This is a savings of more than half the price at any retail discount store. More than 4,000 car and safety seats are purchased each year by our members. Next, there are the popular options for discounts on food, travel, and goods. The SavingsPlus program features more than 20 companies offering specials and lower rates to Farm Bureau members. Since 2014, 23,207 coupons have been redeemed that saved our members more than $233,000. In 2018 and through the first six months of 2019 the SavingsPlus program resulted in more than $2 million in savings for our members. And there’s the popular savings programs with Ford Motor Company and John Deere, and the Choice Hotels discount, which has saved almost 11,000 members more than $64,000 in the past year. Finally, there’s Farm Bureau Bank benefit, which has become one of our most successful. A total of 4,301 members are using the Farm Bureau Bank, where lower interest rates have saved our members $102,221. And that doesn’t even take into account the special Membership Dues Reimbursement program available through the Farm Bureau Member Rewards Mastercard. Merriam-Webster offers a number of meanings for “value.” Monetary worth is first on the list, of course, but I think “relative worth, utility or importance” is more appropriate when discussing membership in Arkansas Farm Bureau. I believe that you certainly get a “fair return or equivalent in goods and services” when you join, and I hope you believe you support a mission and a set of programs that are of great worth and importance to our state.

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DOING IT HER WAY An Arkansas Rancher Shares Her Story

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rendy” is not a word Jennifer Sansom uses when talking about herself, but she probably could. Based on recent research, the Ashdown cattle rancher and single mother of two finds herself on the leading edge of some emerging trends in the agriculture industry. Results of the latest Census of Agriculture survey released earlier this year reveal the number of male farmers has fallen in recent years, while the number of women farmers has grown. The survey, taken every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, showed that female producers now make up 36 percent of farmers, a 27percent increase from 2012. In fact, the numbers of very small farms, women operators and young farmers all appear to be on the rise, and many farmers and ranchers are now selling their products directly to consumers as part of their overall business operation. In fact, according to the USDA, more than 167,000 U.S. farms locally produced and sold food through direct marketing practices, resulting in $8.7 billion in revenue in 2015. Sansom is a fifth-generation rancher and the sole owner of Lick Creek Land & Cattle, Inc. Last year, she launched Lick Creek Meats to sell fresh, naturally raised meat directly to consumers in the area. “I saw the opportunity to provide good, quality food just like what I was raised on,” Sansom says of starting her straight-to-consumer meat sales business. “We always butchered our own beef and my grandparents owned a packing house, so we knew where our food was coming from, but I kept seeing people – moms especially – out there who wanted to know more about what they were eating and where their meat was coming from.” Sansom’s meat is USDA inspected and processed. She says it’s also antibiotic free and contains no added hormones – options some consumers are looking for when buying their meat. When she must treat animals on her ranch with antibiotics for illness, she explains, she does not sell meat from that animal through her consumer business. Soon after she started her beef sales, Sansom began getting requests for pork from her regular customers, so she invested in a small number of hogs – “some sows and smaller, feeder hogs,” she says – that she raises to produce bacon and sausage. Sansom and her family don’t eat much grocery store meat anymore, she says, because of some bad taste experiences in the past. She says doesn’t feel like some of what’s offered on store shelves adequately represents what American ranchers are producing. “I’ve just been disappointed,” she says. “That meat

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“I saw the opportunity to provide good, quality food just like what I was raised on,” Sansom says of starting her straightto-consumer meat sales business.

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(in stores) represents us as cattle ranchers and the public doesn’t understand that that sometimes isn’t the best, quality product.” She speaks from a great deal of experience. Sansom’s great grandparents and later her grandparents owned P&S Packing in Texarkana, which supplied much of the beef within a 75-mile radius. “I learned a lot about this business from my grandfather and my dad. My dad’s my biggest asset, I like to say,” she says. “What I learned from them was paramount. If I hadn’t been raised the way I was, there’s no way I would be doing what I’m doing. When you learn from those who’ve been doing something their entire lives, you get so much great advice that you just can’t quantify how valuable it is. I went to college, but there’s just no way you can learn all of this from a book.” After graduating high school, Sansom left her family home and ranch to attend Texas Tech University and remained in Texas for a time, where she married and had her daughter, Bandi, now 16, and son, Bannon, 13. After divorcing, she came home to Arkansas and became her father’s partner in the cattle business for a year. However, she was financially stable and thus able to borrow the necessary money to go out on her own. She chose to do so in 2011, even though she knew some doubted a single woman could make it in the business.

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With her children Bandi and Bannon at her side, Jennifer says she considers herself a “grass farmer” first, because producing quality forage for her cattle is what enables her to be a successful rancher.

Sansom says she wears “all the hats as a single mother, tractor driver, veterinarian, ranch manager and fence builder.”

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“A lot of people think if you are a woman, you don’t really know anything about the cattle business. I try to prove them wrong,” she says. For her Lick Creek Land & Cattle operation, Sansom maintains a herd of around 200 head of cattle, “mama cows and calves, and Angus and SimAngus bulls,” she says. “It really is a school of hard knocks,” she says of the livestock business, adding that “it’s important to watch and learn what the best practices are in the area and explore how these methods might be expanded and improved.” She is proud to be a single woman doing such difficult work, but she admits that it presents challenges. “I think the most challenging aspect is the time commitment and that you don’t have someone ‘in it with you’ to lean on or help boost your morale,” she says. “I consider myself a strong woman, but this job still takes muscle and I have to look for new or different ways to do things or sometimes bring in some help.” That said, she finds her work extremely rewarding. “I know that I can do it on my own because I’ve been doing it for years

now. I don’t have to have a man,” she says. She says her experience has provided her the confidence to advise other women to dump the word “can’t” from their vocabulary and says to themselves, “You can do it.” “I teach my daughter that too. But sometimes I worry I’ve taught her to be a little too independent,” she says with a laugh. Sansom says her children enjoy the business, having grown up around it. They have cattle of their own and Sansom gives each of them a heifer every year. “Then we breed them and they get the calves and any earnings go into savings,” she says. “That’s how my parents started me out,” she adds. “When I went to college, the cattle became my dad’s again, but I got income from those calves as long as I was at home. I had thought that most of the money went into savings for my college, but they ended up giving it to me when I got married. I invested it and it will go back to my kids. I hope I never have to touch it.” If she didn’t have enough to do managing her herd, building fences, driving tractors and being a mom, Sansom now works for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service as the county

Sansom’s children are very involved in her cattle business and enjoy working with livestock.

Sansom maintains a herd of around 200 head of cattle, including Angus and SimAngus bulls.

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Sansom says her goal is to produce “quality cattle and beef so I can eliminate the middleman and keep our beef fresh, reasonably priced and identifiable. I want our customers to know the point of origin of their beef.”

extension agent for Little River County. “I love my job. I deal with farmers and ranchers all day, every day, which is obviously my passion. So, it fits me very well,” she says, though she admits that it has made the process of growing and expanding her meat sales business slower. Another challenge for her business has been logistics. Shipping costs from her area are often prohibitive for particular regions or outside the state. “Right now, I sell within about a 100-mile radius,” she says. “There just aren’t as many cost-effective options for shipping appropriately (with dry ice) and I want to be sure I’m giving people the highest quality product with timely delivery. On the West Coast they’ve developed a flat rate for dry ice shipping and the cost is controlled, but here the cost is sky high.” Still, Sansom is undeterred and focused on her new mission. “We are a simple family with the same frustrations, lives, and dreams as anyone else, but my passion is cattle from conception to your plate. I want to produce the best and provide my customers with the best tasting beef and pork possible.”

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Sansom’s children, Bandi, 16, and Bannon, 13, each have cattle of their own and both are on the livestock judging team at their school in Ashdown.

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U. S. Postal Service Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (Required by 39 U.S.C.3685). I. Publication title: Front Porch. 2. Publication number:01-9879. 3. Filing date: 10-9-19.4. Issue frequency: Quarterly. 5. No. of issues published annually: Four. 6. Annual Subscription Price: 7. Complete mailing address of known office of publication: Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation, 10720 Kanis Road, Little Rock, AR 72211. 8. Complete mailing address ofheadquarters 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, Rob Anderson. All addresses same as #7. 10. Owner: Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation, 11. 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: Summer 2019. 15. Extent and nature of circulation: Average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months: Actual no. copies of single issue published nearest to filing date. 15a. Total no. of copies net press run average each issue 187,913 (issued published nearest to filing date 185,971). I Sb. Paid/Requested outside-county mail subscription: 3,079 (most recent 2,490). 15c. Total paid and/or requested circulation: 188,992 (most recent 188,461). 15d. e. Not Applicable. 15f. Total Distribution: 188,992 (most recent 188,461). l 5g. Copies not distributed 30 (most recent 27). 15h. Total: 189,022 (most recent 188,488). l 5i. Percent paid: 100%. 16. Statement fownership will be pr· ed in the Fall 2019 issue of the publication. 17. Signature and Title - it Publisl siness Manager or Owner.

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What Grows A look at some of the state’s top agriculture products by cash receipts

POULTRY & EGGS

$4.9B CASH RECEIPTS

SOYBEANS

$1.5B CASH RECEIPTS

Soybeans were introduced to Arkansas in 1925 around Stuttgart. At roughly 3 million acres, soybeans are planted on more land in Arkansas than any other crop and they are grown in 41 of the state’s 75 counties. Ten percent of Arkansas’s soybean crop is used within the state as a feed additive.

The poultry industry is responsible for more than 40,000 jobs in the state. In fact, 1 in 4 agricultural jobs in Arkansas are in the poultry industry. More than a billion broilers are raised in Arkansas each year, bringing in around $3 billion annually. Meanwhile, more than 3 billion eggs are produced in Arkansas per year, bringing in more than $440 million annually. There are also more than 30 million turkeys raised in Arkansas per year.

WHAT ARE CASH RECEIPTS?

Defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, cash receipts refer to the total amount of crops or livestock sold in a calendar year. 12

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in Arkansas? RICE

COTTON

CASH RECEIPTS

CASH RECEIPTS

$413.3M

$1.02B

Arkansas is the top riceproducing state in the country and is responsible for almost 50% of the rice grown in the U.S. The rice industry contributes an estimated $6 billion each year to the state’s economy and some 25,000 jobs are related to the rice industry in the state. On average, each rice farm contributes almost $1 million to the economy

CATTLE & CALVES

$480.3M CASH RECEIPTS

CORN

$428M CASH RECEIPTS

Corn acreage in Arkansas has been steadily increasing in recent years and is consistently above 700,000 acres every year. NonGMO and GMO corn is grown in Arkansas, with roughly 80,000 acres devoted to non-GMO varieties that serve specialty poultry markets. Around 70 percent of Arkansas corn is used in-state for poultry feed.

$404.5M

The state is home to over 21,000 cattle operations with cattle produced in every county. Arkansas ranks 11th nationally in the inventory of beef cows. Ninety seven percent of Arkansas cattle farms are family owned and operated with an average cow herd size of near 40 head. Front Porch

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ARKANSAS FARM BUREAU • FALL 2019

CASH RECEIPTS

In 2018, Arkansas was the 4th-largest cottonproducing state in the country, with 1.15 million 480-pound bales. That’s enough to make over 247 million pairs of jeans. Arkansas has 214,000 family forest landowners. An estimated 1 in 14 Arkansans own forestland. The industry provides direct employment of 27,749 skilled workers and has annual economic impact of $6.4 billion. Arkansas ranks fourth in the nation for total Timberland Acres – 19 million acres • Forest make up 58% of the total land area in Arkansas • 80% of the forest land is private o Families own 58% of privately held land • 20% is public (state and Federal) • In 2016, 1.6 trees were grown for each tree harvested continued on page 14>>

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<<continued from page 13

HOGS

PEANUTS

DAIRY

CASH RECEIPTS

CASH RECEIPTS

$60.3M $23.2M CASH RECEIPTS

Swine were first introduced into what is now Arkansas by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1541. There are around a million pigs produced in Arkansas annually. Current estimates indicate 95 percent or more of the swine in Arkansas are grown under contract. The contracting company supplies the hogs, feed, field help for herd health and production management and a market for the hogs.

WHEAT

$25.5M CASH RECEIPTS

In recent years, production has averaged 34.8 million bushels on 600,000 acres annually. Most wheat acres are “double cropped” with soybeans following the wheat harvest. Arkansas produces soft red winter wheat that is ideal for baking items like flat breads, pastries, cookies and crackers. 14

$12.2M

In recent years, farmland devoted to peanuts has increased to more than 20,000 acres. After the decline of the industry in the late 80s, many Arkansas farmers began growing peanuts again in the early 2000s. Most of Arkansas’s peanuts are shipped out of the state for shelling and sent back to Arkansas for processing for consumption.

In the state of Arkansas, there are around 35 licensed dairy herds. Milk production of Arkansas dairy farms yielded approximately 8 million gallons of milk in 2018. In Arkansas, the average dairy cow produces about 4.7 gallons of milk per day, which is more than 1,715 gallons of milk over the course of a typical year.

According to the most recent data, Arkansas ranks number one in the nation in baitfish production with 47 operations. In addition, Arkansas was listed among the top five states in the nation for catfish production with 41 farms.

AQUACULTURE

$21.6M CASH RECEIPTS

BONUS FACT! According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, Arkansas ranks 35th in the nation in “Vegetables, Potatoes and Melons” harvested for sale. Front Porch

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Story and photos by Keith Sutton

A RK A NS A S QUILT T R A IL S

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utumn’s coolness and colors beckon people outdoors this time of year. Summer’s sluggishness has departed, and many feel an urge to roam in the Natural State outdoors.

New “quilt trails” popping up in several Arkansas counties offer good reasons to do just that. While you might not have heard of them because they’re so new, there’s a good chance you’ve seen some of the colorful squares of stitchery-inspired art that blaze the way for all the Arkansas Quilt Trail driving tours. Sometimes called barn quilts, each is a multi-hued rendition of a single quilt square, like the patterns on colorful blankets made in days past by country women gathered for quilting bees. You might see one on the side of a barn, hanging on the exterior of a small-town business or brightening the wall of a community building, home or historical structure. Each is different from all the others, and each has a unique story to tell. Their purpose is to draw tourists to each area in hopes they will stop at stores, restaurants and gas stations along the way and spend money that helps boost the local economies. A Quilt Trails project started in Ohio in 2001 when Donna Sue Groves of Manchester put a block on her barn to honor her mother, a noted quilter. From that simple act, the project has spread to 43 states and Canada. Arkansas’ first quilt trail started with a conversation between Renee Carr of Fox and Glenda Osten of Mountain View. “I had learned about quilt trails while visiting western North Carolina more than 10 years ago,” says Carr, who is now our state’s quilt trails coordinator. “Several years later, Glenda and I began talking about quilt trails. She loves to travel and had seen quilt trails across the eastern United States. We talked about how fitting a quilt trail would be in Stone County where we live and decided to start a trail in 2015.”

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The brightly colored “Dresden Plate” quilt block was painted by Glenda Osten who helped start the Arkansas Quilt Trail project. It can be seen just off the courthouse square at 106 E. Washington in Mountain View. Front Porch

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Van Buren County’s quilt trail currently features 12 quilt blocks, including “Mystic Maze” on the Van Buren County Museum at 211 3rd St. in Clinton. The ladies quickly learned that Don and Carol Adams already had two quilt squares hanging on their Luber Road property near Mountain View. “Bear Tracks” and “Windmill” were painted by Carol in 2007 after an inspirational trip to Iowa. The first honors the bruins native to Arkansas with four paw prints in primary colors, and the second, with its blueand-yellow windmill blades, reflects the wind blowing at the Adams’ Ozark Mountains home. Both hang on the barn behind the Adams home. The Adams’ quilt squares became the launching point for the Stone County Trail and soon were followed by two more squares — “Turkey Tracks” and “Basket in a Basket” — painted by Carol Adams to hang on the family’s house. The Ozark Folk Center joined in the effort by creating a square called “Log Cabin” that adorns the side of the state park’s general store. Renee Carr honored her family’s Civil War history with “Union Star” and “Confederate Star” on her father’s barn between Rushing and Mountain View. Glenda Osten painted “Union,” plus other quilt blocks near Mountain View’s courthouse square, including “Dresden Plate” at the Mountain View Meeting Place (106 E. Washington), “Music Warms the Heart” at 101 E. Main St. and “Sunbonnet Sue” at Aunt Minnie’s Yellow House (116 Howard Ave.). “It took a few years to develop, but we have 20 blocks in our county now,” Carr says. When the Stone County trail was up and going, Carr started hearing from people in neighboring counties who wanted to start their own quilt trails. “The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce decided to sponsor their county’s trail and used local artists to paint blocks that are placed in communities across the county,” Carr says. “I determined that creating quilt trails

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on a county basis would work best and that we would have a website that shares the story behind each block — ArkansasQuiltTrails.com. Our state has a deep tradition of quilting and beautiful places to hang the colorful patterns.” Carr was soon coordinating the expansion of quilt trails across the state. “I recruit a volunteer coordinator for each county and help guide the process,” she says. “Once a county has 12 approved quilt blocks up, then we add that county’s trail to the website and promote it. “We currently have five counties with developed trails, totaling about 93 blocks,” she continues. “These are Stone, Searcy, Van Buren, Perry and Baxter counties. A new brochure, sponsored by the Rural Community Alliance, Stone Bank and Farm Bureau agencies in Stone, Van Buren, Perry and Searcy counties was distributed this summer to Arkansas welcome centers and across the region featuring the five county trails.” Another 11 counties are at various stages in their development, bringing the total to 16 that are developing quilt trails. “These include Newton, Cleburne, Boone, Pike, Yell, Sebastian, Craighead and Washington,” says Carr. “Montgomery, Polk and Scott counties are the latest to embark on quilt trail building.” Arkansas is unique in allowing all of its 75 counties to create trails. This statewide presence will allow better promotion of the trails, and county coordinators will be able to share their experiences with their counterparts. continued on page 20>>

Some Arkansas quilt blocks are found in unusual places, like this “Patriotic Pinwheel” on a grain bin at 3109 Highway 60 West near Perryville.

The “Log Cabin” quilt block adorns one end of the general store at Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View. According to ArkansasQuiltTrails. com, this is “a quilt pattern that became popular after the American Civil War as sewing machines became common. This block is simple to piece, preserves fabric from old clothing, creates a practical item and provides unlimited design possibilities.” 19


<<continued from page 19

“Another unique feature of Arkansas Quilt Trails is that the story behind each barn quilt is shared on the website,” says Carr. “The story may be about the barn, home, building or community where it’s located, or the particular pattern and why it was chosen, the painter or the persons who sponsored it. Preserving local history is as important to us as providing something pretty to look at.” For more information on our state’s quilt trails, including an interactive map with addresses of all the quilt square locations, visit ArkansasQuiltTrails. com. If you are interested in becoming a participant, volunteer county coordinator, sponsor or donor, email carr@ArkansasQuiltTrails.com. New quilt squares are regularly added to ArkansasQuiltTrails. com for existing trails, so be sure to visit the website before planning your trip.

This barn, built from oak logs milled on the site in 1950, features “Bowtie” (left) and “Pinwheel” quilt blocks. The structure is part of Luther and Janice Branscum’s Tick Creek Farm, a Searcy County cattle operation near Oxley that has been owned by Luther’s family since the 1800s

The colorful blocks travelers see when following one of our state’s quilt trails often appear on barns in rural areas off the beaten path. This barn quilt, called “Apple Blossom,” is at 4533 Highway 66 between Oxley and Leslie in Searcy County.

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M E M B E R S E R V I C E S U P D AT E

Harvest Season Savings

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arvest season is coming to an end and many Arkansas farmers and ranchers are already planning their equipment purchases for 2020. If they’re members of Arkansas Farm Bureau, then they can factor in some savings. Farm Bureau members may receive an incentive discount of $300-$500 – depending on the tractor or implement acquired – valid toward the lease or purchase of an eligible tractor or implement from a Case-IH Agriculture dealer. Eligible individual, family or business members will receive the following manufacturer discounts on purchases of the listed products: • $300 off Compact Farmall tractors (B & C Series), Round Balers, Small Square Balers, Disc Mower Conditioners, Sickle Mower Conditioners and Case IH Scout; • $500 off Farmall Utilities – A, C, U, & 100A Series, Maxxum Series, Self-propelled Windrowers and Large Square Balers. These discounts will be available in addition to any other discounts, promotions, rebates or offers that might be provided from time-to-time by Case IH or a Case IH dealer, but it’s not valid on prior purchases.

by Autumn Wood

Members Save Up To…

$

500 OFF

Select Tractors & Equipment

For Complete Details…

www.arfb.com

®

A few more things to keep in mind: • Valid FB Membership Verification Certificate must be presented to dealer prior to delivery. Members providing a certificate after the date of delivery will not be eligible for discounts. • One certificate per lease or purchase. • Eligible FB members may obtain an unlimited number of valid certificates at fbadvantage.com/deals/case. • Certificates do expire. Not available in all states. • Program subject to change without notice. See dealer for complete details.


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$750 BONUS CASH

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Riser Harness

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Marked Tree Ford of West Memphis

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West Memphis

Excel Ford

Conway

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Cavenaugh Ford

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Corning

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Trotter Ford Lincoln

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For Arkansas Farm Bureau Members Riser Harness 2000 E. Race Ave. Searcy, AR 72143 501-268-2486 www.riserharnessford.com De Queen Auto Group, Inc. 863 E. Collin Raye Dr. De Queen, AR 71832 870-642-3604 Mena Ford, Inc. 1103 Hwy 71 North Mena, AR 71953 479-394-2214 menaford@sbcglobal.net www.menaford.com Trotter Ford Lincoln 3801 Bobo Road Pine Bluff, AR 72422 888-443-7921 www.trotterford.com Tried, True, Trotter

Vaughn Ford Sales, Inc. 106 Hwy 63 West Marked Tree, AR 72365 870-358-2822 www.vaughnford.com Smith Ford, Inc. 908 E. Oak St. Conway, AR 72032 501-329-9881 www.smith-ford.net Glen Sain Ford, Inc. Danny Ford, owner 1301 Hwy 49 North Paragould, AR 72450 870-236-8546 www.glensainford.net

Cavenaugh Ford 2000 E. Highland Drive Jonesboro, AR 72401 870-972-8000

Excel Ford 2040 W. Main St. Cabot, AR 72023 501-843-3536 www.excelfordofcabot.com Red Taylor Ford, Inc. 401 W. Second St. Corning, AR 72422 870-857-3516 www.redtaylorford.com

Ford of West Memphis 2400 North Service Rd. West Memphis, AR 72301 870-735-9800 www.fordofwestmemphis.com Ryburn Motor Company, Inc. 156 Highway 425 South Monticello, AR 71655 870-367-5353 www.ryburnautomotive.com


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e t T s a s T ansa k r A

his monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s feature story subject, Jennifer Sansom of Ashdown, likes to find delicious new ways to use the meat she produces through her

ranch operations and direct sales business, Lick Creek Meats. For the recipe she shared with us, Sansom picked out a cool-weather favorite that she cooks regularly for

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her own family.

By Ashley Wallace and Rob Anderson

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“We just had it at our Sansom Annual Pumpkin Carving,” she says. Once called “Texas Chili” or “Jennifer’s Chili” and now, “Lick Creek Chili,” it’s inspired by and adapted from a chili served at a restaurant in Buffalo Gap, Texas, where her mother’s family is from. The basic recipe is mild, but Sansom seasons it to taste and prefers to add more raw jalapenos to hers and a bit more of each spice.

Lick Creek Chili

Ingredients:

4 pounds chili-ground meat 1 large onion 2 cloves garlic 1 tsp ground oregano 1 tsp cumin 3 T chili powder 2 16-oz cans of tomatoes, crushed or 2 pounds of fresh ripe tomatoes, diced 2 cups hot water 2 green bell peppers, chopped 3 large red sweet peppers, chopped 3 large yellow sweet peppers, chopped 2-3 jalapenos, to taste Salt, to taste 


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ARKANSAS FARM BUREAU • FALL 2019

Directions:

Put the chili meat, onion, and garlic in a large heavy boiled or skillet. Sear until light colored. Add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, tomatoes, and hot water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer about an hour. As fat cooks out, skim off. Add the peppers and salt, to taste, and cook for 15 minutes. Makes 9 large bowls of chili.

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D E LTA C H I L D In Delta Child, author Talya Tate Boerner draws on her Mississippi County childhood to deliver readers back to a simpler time when screen doors slammed, kids tromped cotton, and Momma baked cornbread for supper every night. Boerner, a fourth-generation Arkansas farm girl, has been published in "Arkansas Review," "Deep South Magazine," and "Delta Crossroads." Her award-winning debut novel, "The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee," is also set in northeast Arkansas. Follow her blog "Grace Grits and Gardening" (www.gracegritsgarden.com) for more tales of Arkansas farming, gardening, and comfort food.

Thanksgiving A

s we approach another Thanksgiving, I think back on those of my childhood. Momma created our fabulous feast, chopping and cooking for days. My little sister and I participated mainly by staying out of the kitchen. We were in charge of peripheral tasks, such as ironing and folding the cotton napkins and setting the table according to the diagram in the back of Betty Crocker’s cookbook. Nana and Papa Creecy always came to eat; so did Uncle Rex and Frances. Nine times out of ten, Daddy’s chair at the head of the table would be empty. Back then, it was normal for harvest to extend beyond Thanksgiving. I detected a bit of irony in this, even as a kid. As we celebrated harvest and named the things we were grateful for, the head honcho of our family was still working the very land that provided these things. How could that be fair? Three things I learned early on: 1) harvest outranked everything; 2) a good harvest made our big Tom turkey possible; and, 3) life wasn’t always fair. On those Thanksgivings when Daddy worked, Momma took extra care to make a plate for him. I watched as she arranged his meal in a tin pie pan—it would stay warmer, she’d said. Momma gave Daddy the largest slice of breast meat,

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in the Field

a huge scoop of creamed potatoes with giblet gravy (yuck!) puddled in the center, and a heaping spoonful of green beans that had been slow-cooked with bacon and onion. After covering the plate tightly with a length of aluminum foil, she slipped it into the warm oven and joined the family at the dining room table. God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for this food. For an instant, we sat in silence, inhaling air steeped in sage and butter. And then almost in unison, everyone began digging in, raving over the juiciest turkey ever, the melt-in-your-mouth dinner rolls, the creamiest potatoes in all the land. Momma had outdone herself again. As we ate from our best china using the sterling silver my sister and I polished the day before, my thoughts wandered to the story of the Pilgrims and Indians. Each fall, squeezed between Columbus and the Boston Tea Party, our history book devoted three whole paragraphs to the First Thanksgiving. If anyone deserved a good meal, it was those colonists who managed to survive on the Mayflower and the Indians who taught the trespassers to grow corn. I swallowed a forkful of green beans and felt eternally grateful to live on a cotton farm near Keiser in the groovy 1970s rather than back during the hardscrabble time of Jamestown, before running

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Stock Photo

by Talya Tate Boerner


water and apple pie à la mode. Uncle Rex said something funny, and everyone laughed. Papa Creecy reminded us that Santa Claus would soon come to town. Half believing, half not, my sister and I exchanged smiles. The thrill of approaching Christmas surged through me like a snap of electricity. Soon, we gorged on a variety of sweets until everyone wore heavy, glazed expressions. But I remembered Daddy’s plate in the oven. Daddy, still picking cotton. After everyone went home, and we’d scraped the dishes and stacked them like pancakes in the sink, Momma pulled Daddy’s meal from the oven. Even today, I can still feel Daddy’s still-mostly-warm plate balanced in my lap. I see my sister holding a piece of Nana’s chocolate pie, his favorite, its meringue jiggling as we bumped along the gravel roads of Mississippi County. Somehow, in the land of no street lights, in the time of no cell phones, Momma knew precisely where to find Daddy each Thanksgiving. On the backside of Coleman Lateral. Over yonder at the White Farm. I considered Momma’s ability to locate Daddy way out in the middle of nowhere to be yet another superpower of the farmer’s wife. Daddy always looked extra tired on those Thanksgiving nights, as though our earlier enthusiasm drained his last drop of his energy. In the yellow glow of Momma’s headlights, Daddy sank onto the tailgate of his truck, peeled the foil from his plate, inhaled the smell of Thanksgiving. All around him, pickers moved through the dark field beneath an explosion of stars. As it turned out, cancer cut short the number of Daddy’s Thanksgivings. And in the way time mysteriously flies, I’ve now reached his death age. In many ways, twenty-five years after his death, I’ve just begun to understand him. Today, as I reflect on past Thanksgivings, I am in awe of the legacy Daddy built, a heritage rooted in the land. I’ve learned a fourth thing only recently. While Momma whipped up meals and shepherded us to church and saw to our day-to-day raising, Daddy quite literally held the sky up over our heads. And that was his greatest superpower.

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Notice of Annual Meeting Of the members of Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation

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otice is hereby given that the annual meeting of the members of the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation will be at 8 a.m., Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in downtown Little Rock. The purpose of this meeting is to elect a Board of Directors for the ensuing year and for the transaction of such other business as may properly come before the meeting. Warren Carter Executive Vice President

Of the members of Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Arkansas, Inc.

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otice is hereby given that the annual meeting of the members of the Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Arkansas, Inc. will be at 12:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in the Arkansas Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in downtown Little Rock. The purpose of this meeting is to elect a Board of Directors for the ensuing year and for the transaction of such other business as may properly come before the meeting. David L. Moore EVP-General Manager

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ARKANSAS FARM BUREAU â&#x20AC;¢ SUMMER 2019


Profile for Arkansas Farm Bureau

Front Porch Magazine for Fall 2019  

Find out what's growing in Arkansas, learn the story of an Arkansas rancher doing this on her own, get a great chili recipe for chilly weath...

Front Porch Magazine for Fall 2019  

Find out what's growing in Arkansas, learn the story of an Arkansas rancher doing this on her own, get a great chili recipe for chilly weath...

Profile for arfb