A new monthly series dedicated to Arkansas's agricultural heritage.
"Agri Arkansas" is a celebration of agriculture in Arkansas, featuring experts, innovators and challenges all present in the state's largest industry. It is designed to celebrate agriculture in Arkansas, develop conversations on complex issues.
According to the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research & Extension, agriculture accounted for $17 billion of value added to the Arkansas economy in 2011 and provides approximately one in every six jobs in the state.
"'Agri Arkansas' is not your granddad's farm report," AETN producer Kevin Clark said. "Our segments will reintroduce our audience to the source of their food. We will illustrate how Arkansas is in the top 25 states in the production of 24 agricultural commodities. Arkansas is the top producer in the U.S. for rice and baitfish, second in broilers and third in catfish and turkey. 'Agri Arkansas' will celebrate Arkansas's successes and illuminate issues important to both farmers and consumers."
The series is funded, in part, by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture and the Moving Image Trust Fund.
Agri Arkansas June 2015 How has the role of women in agriculture changed over the past few decades? Dr. Jennie Popp with the University of Arkansas joins us for a discussion. Also, community gardens all over Arkansas people are coming together this spring to get their hands dirty and source their own food.
Agri Arkansas May 2015 Dive into the waters of Arkansas aquaculture. Arkansas is home to some of the largest fish farms in the United States; and the industry is more diverse than you may think. Also we will learn about the Arkansas Wine Trail. And finally, we will visit with a family in Stuttgart who uses the farming lifestyle to serve in a unique way - as a foster family.
Agri Arkansas April 2015 "It's what's for dinner." So says the advertising campaign for the beef industry. We will take a closer look at the beef cattle industry in Arkansas. Plus we will visit with L. C. Ratchford, a buffalo farmer from Marshall, Arkansas.
Agri Arkansas March 2015 The soybean, often referred to as The Miracle Bean because of its many uses, will be the focus of March's Agri Arkansas. The soybean crop generates about $1.7 billion annually for Arkansas and is grown on over 3 million acres. Also this month, Arkansas is the first state to grow edamame commercially. One of the fastest growing specialty foods in the United States, edamame is a type of soybean that makes for a great snack.
Agri Arkansas January 2015 The hardest worker in all of Agriculture? Some say it is the honeybee. In January's Agri Arkansas we will take a closer look at Arkansas's state insect. Plus, we will find out if the phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder, the spontaneous die-off of entire colonies of bees, has affected Arkansas. And finally, Backyard Beekeeping - what you need to know.
Agri Arkansas December 2014 Dairy in Arkansas was once big business, but the past few decades has seen a fall off of the number of active dairy farmers in the Natural State. In December's Agri Arkansas we will take a closer look at the dairy industry. Plus, raw milk - recent legislation has made it legal to sell raw milk in Arkansas. We will tell you where you can find it and what you need to know before you drink it. And finally, we will visit with Kent Walker, a cheese maker based out of Little Rock.
Agri Arkansas October 2014 In October, Agri Arkansas will be taking a closer look at rice. Arkansas is the leading producer of rice in the U.S. Why? What brought rice to Arkansas? How does rice get from the field to the table? And, what are the challenges facing the rice industry in the future? Also, we look ahead to the year 2050. The Arkansas Water Plan hasn't had a comprehensive update in over 20 years. We will take a look at the 2014 Arkansas Water Plan.
Agri Arkansas September 2014 It can be said that Arkansas is an agricultural state. Agriculture impacts our stateís economy on just about every level. Join us in September for a closer look at agricultural economics. We will also travel down to the Cummins unit in south Arkansas for a look at their prison farm operation. And, have you wondered just where to find the perfect peach? Well, we will show you a Peach Pickiní Paradise in Clarksville, Arkansas.
Agri Arkansas August 2014 It has found its way to dinner tables across the world. From food thatís fast to family suppers, it is a source of protein that anchors countless meals. The poultry industry in Arkansas has grown over the past half century and in the August episode of Agri Arkansas, we will take a closer look at that growth. Also, we will visit with the 2012 Farm Family of the year, the DeSalvo Family from Conway County. And if youíre looking for an easier way to eat local, the Arkansas Agriculture Department has some on-line tools youíll want to know about. Join us for this monthís Agri Arkansas.
Each episode features segments from around Arkansas and discussions with experts. Former news anchor and veteran reporter Tony Brooks will host the series.
"I'm looking forward to sharing stories about the number one industry in Arkansas," Brooks said. "The series will bring our viewers into the daily lives of the men and women who make our farms and ranches some of the most productive in the nation and the world. We'll learn about the tremendous diversity of Arkansas agriculture and how important this industry is to our state's economy. I encourage everyone to tune in and come to know more about their neighbors who help feed the world."
Future topics for the series include: Farm Family of the Year, the poultry and rice industries, alternative fuel, technology and innovation, the local movement and urban farming, prison farms, minorities in agriculture, corporate agriculture, the independent farmer, aquaculture and future farmers, among many others.