7 Reasons I’m Thankful I Grew Up On A Farm

I love college. I love having my own apartment with my own kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. I love my classes and professors. And I especially love seeing my friends every day.

As much as I love college though, I still enjoy coming home.
My favorite part of going home would have to be seeing my grandpa and spending time on the farm where I grew up.

Over Christmas break, I rode the four wheeler with Papaw as he fed his cattle and I was reminded how blessed I am to have grown up in such an amazing place. Here are a few of the reasons I’m glad I grew up on a farm.

 

1. Wide open spaces.

With acres and acres of cow pasture and hay meadows surrounding our place, I was never cooped up. My sister and I had plenty of room to run, yell and show out like kids. Inside, we had to behave our manners. But outside, we could act as wild as we wanted. 

 

2. I learned the value of hard work.

Coming from a family of mostly girls, my Papaw was blessed (stuck) with only granddaughters. However, this didn’t stop him from working us like boys. I was expected to do physical labor, but it made me appreciate the result of my efforts. 

 

3. I know where my food comes from.

As an ag major, I’m often baffled by how many people don’t know where their food comes from or don’t understand many of the misconceptions behind the food we eat every day. By growing up on a farm, it’s helped me understand what it takes to produce our food, that it’s safe and it’s given me a deep appreciation for farmers. 

 

4. Pets were never hard to come by.

Aside from cattle, I’ve also been the proud owner of numerous dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, sheep, goats, turtles, guineas, turkeys, a few donkeys and once, even a pet mole (yes I know, they’re weird creatures).  

 

5. My imagination was put to the test.

From mud pies and climbing trees to playing veterinarian with my stuffed animals – there was always better things to do than sit inside and watch TV.

 

6. I had to learn to be responsible.

Growing up, I was always given my own set of responsibilities. When I was younger, it was helping my grandma cook, clean or feed the animals. As I got older, I was solely responsible for my show animals and bigger tasks like cooking full meals. I knew what my responsibilities were and that they wouldn’t get done if I wasn’t the one who did them.

 

7. I was shown unwavering faith.

Farming is hard. It’s full of the unexpected and surprises. Because of this, there are times when you’re not strong enough to face trials on your own. I was blessed with a family who turned their eyes to God when times got hard, rather than getting discouraged. They taught me that despite the uncertainty and challenging problems we face, that The Lord will help see you through it, even if it’s in ways you don’t expect.  

 

You either lived on a farm or wished you did. -Luke Bryan
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Lessons Learned From Showing Livestock

This weekend I went to help my younger cousin work with her show lamb, and let me say I’ve still got it. 😉 Okay, maybe not completely but I still remember quite a bit about showing livestock. I might not be the best showman, but the lessons I learned from being one still stick with me today.


1. You will never know it all. 

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

 

2. How to keep records and manage money.

635727508085770797-585229263_no-moneyI’m not going to lie, showing livestock is expensive. It takes a lot of investment to be competitive. Aside from buying the animal, you have to pay for feed, supplements, halters, shelter, and many other things your animals need. When I had my show animals, I kept notebooks full of every expense I had, how much they ate, how much they weighed, and any profits I had.

 

3. How to be responsible of taking care of something other than myself.

responsible adultIt seems like most teenagers today spend their summers inside watching Netflix or on their phones. By having animals, I had to get up in the mornings and feed them, exercise them regularly, feed them in the afternoons and make sure they were healthy. If I didn’t take care of them, no one would.

 

4. Sometimes it’s my own fault. You can’t blame your problems on someone else.

I-think-i-have-a-problemMy first two years I showed a lamb, I wasn’t very good. I never made sale and it always seemed like I was placed towards the end of my class. I was so frustrated by this because every time I would come to a fair, people would look at my sheep in her pen and tell me how good she looked! So why wasn’t she placing higher? Because of me. It was a very humbling experience to realize that I wasn’t a great showman and something needed to change. I watched videos, asked for advice, went to other livestock shows to get the help I needed. When I finally swallowed my pride, I was able to eventually improve my skills enough to win the showmanship award a couple of times.

 

5. Hard work pays off and stands out.

hard workEnduring 100+ degree weather isn’t fun. Getting up early and going to bed late isn’t ideal. But when you step into that show ring and your animal does exactly what you want it to and what you have been teaching it all summer, it’s extremely gratifying.

 

6. Complaining will not help.

1362753253_cm-21545-650528a3316409Saying how hot it is outside doesn’t cool down the temperature. Just like whining about how the judge should have picked me instead of someone else, doesn’t win a belt buckle.

 

7. Smiles, eye contact and handshakes go a long way.

smileBeing polite to a judge and keeping eye contact can really change the way they look at you as a showman and can ultimately affect the way they place your animal. In the real world, this applies to everyone you meet. Politeness and respect leaves a lasting impression.

 

8. It’s important to manage your time.

lateNot only did I show animals, but I was also extremely involved in FFA, FBLA, FCA, yearbook, student council, and church. I held officer positions, went to camps and also carved out time for my family. Balancing time between lots of different activities requires serious self-discipline.

 

9. Winning isn’t everything.

winningAt the time, purple grand champion ribbons and belt buckles were what I had my sights set on. Now, my ribbons collect dust and I never wear the belt buckles. The lessons I learned from showing livestock, though, will stick with me forever.

 

10. You represent more than yourself.

people lookingEvery time I stepped into a show ring, I was not just representing Lindsey. I was a reflection of my county, district, state, chapter, the FFA and my family. If I showed bad sportsmanship and a negative attitude, it made those I was representing look bad. If I kept a good attitude, was nice and helped others, it gave those I was representing a good image.


Did I leave anything out? Comment and let me know what showing livestock taught you! 


Not Your Average Urban Garden

“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re thousands of miles away from the corn field.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower.

With dirty hands, glistening skin, and dusty, tousled hair, Damian reaches to pull another squash off the stem before it’s too hard to eat. Damian works for an urban farm in the heart of inner-city Little Rock called Dunbar Garden.

Dunbar Garden sits on a two-acre plot, wedged between a library, school, and houses that sit side by side. It’s a flourishing garden, home to livestock, popular place to volunteer and an outdoor classroom. During the school year, students ranging from preschool to eighth grade gather around Damian with wide eyes as he brings to life topics that they have only seen in science textbooks.

Topics like plant reproduction, the worm’s digestive system, bee pollination and how food goes from the farm to the store are covered in their gardening and environmental education classes. (They teach over 150 classes a year!)

“Can we eat this?” is a question that Damian hears frequently from students touring the garden.  He said, “It’s interesting to watch kids wrap their head around the fact that their food doesn’t have to come from a store. That it actually does come from a thing that is often times stinky, dirty, sharp, pointy or itchy. It’s hard work. It doesn’t just happen.”

Learning does not stop with elementary students, as teenagers and adults alike come to see all Dunbar has to offer. Some come with eager hearts and working hands to volunteer their time and physical labor in the garden. Others, like Chef Chris McMillan from Boulevard Bistro in Little Rock, come to purchase the farm’s harvest.

What may be the most impressive stat about Dunbar Garden, is its self-sustainability.

While donations are a big part of the garden’s success and are greatly appreciated, the majority of the farm’s profits comes from selling their products. The farm’s energy is powered by a three-blade windmill that sits off to one side, towering over the garden. Aside from two paid employees, all of the planting, maintenance, and harvesting is graciously done by volunteers who randomly show up each day.

There’s a clear passion and dedication for Dunbar in the hearts of everyone who is involved with its success.

“Unity.”

A simple word that volunteer Lorraine uses to describe Dunbar Garden. It didn’t take elaborate sentences or an extensive vocabulary to show what the garden means to her. It’s become a home, a place of solitude and relaxation. Dunbar has created a family. One that is unique and full of passion, one that is working to change the way urban citizens view agriculture, one that brings a community together creating that rare unity.


 For more information about Dunbar Garden, click here.

Food Label EGG-citement

When taking a news writing class last semester, we were asked to choose a topic, interview people, and ultimately report it. The topic I chose was my University’s food supplier only uses cage-free eggs. I see this as a problem. Not only does it drive up the cost to the food supplier and ultimately students, but we do not have a say in the matter and many are misinformed about it. When asking one student on whether or not she cared if we used cage-free eggs she said, “Yeah I do. It’s healthier, right?”

No, it’s not healthier but the problem is many people do not know what to believe anymore. The truth is, the conditions the bird was raised in does not affect the nutritional quality of food. “Cage-free” birds may never even go outside.

So while many buy “cage-free” and “free-range” eggs with this image in mind…

it’s not possible to produce enough food that way to feed everyone on God’s green earth.

Below is my story I wrote for class. Free of my personal opinions, I hope it tells both sides of the story and give an insight to the truth.


Over 280 dozen eggs are cracked open a week in Arkansas Tech’s Chamber’s Cafeteria. In order for these eggs to be used by Tech’s food supplier, Chartwells, they must first pass a set of regulations. For over 10 years Chartwells has used cage-free shell eggs, according to director of dining services, Todd Nixon.

The United States Department of Agriculture defines cage-free eggs as indicating “the flock was able to freely roam a building, room, or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during their production cycle.”

The decision on whether or not these cage-free eggs are best can become a conflicting topic.

Nixon said he believes that Chartwells using cage-free eggs is more humane and even purchases them to use in his own home. He said he believes that students are not as concerned with the topic as older adults are, however, as a corporation Chartwells tries to look at the big picture of the humane treatment of animals, using sustainable fish, reduced antibiotic and hormone free milk and meat, and use local food as often as possible.

A sign hung in the Arkansas Tech cafeteria, proclaiming their use of cage-free eggs.

A sign hung in the Arkansas Tech cafeteria, proclaiming their use of cage-free eggs.

New marketing schemes used in the cafeteria, such as signs hung in the hallway, have added to students realizing the food requirements Chartwells uses. Freshmen undeclared major, Marissa Pacheco, who is a vegetarian said she noticed the newly hung posters and signs.
When it comes to whether of not the cafeteria uses cage-free eggs she said, “I don’t really see a difference, honestly.” Junior math major, Nicholas Harvey, also said he does not see a difference, stating that he has not put much thought into the matter.

Despite these students’ answers, Cass Capen-Housley, event coordinator for the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Hospitality Administration, said she believes that students do care about the way their food was raised on the farm before it reaches the table. In her own home, Capen-Housley said her family chooses to use locally grown meat and eggs and believes students prefer this as well.
“They want this connection to where their food is coming from,” she said. Capen-Houseley added that she has witnessed her students asking more questions and wanting to be more informed about food production practices.

Using cage-free eggs does have its disadvantages, according to head of the Department of Agriculture, Dr. Malcolm Rainey Jr.

“I understand the rational in why people feel it’s a good thing,” Rainey said, “but on the other side of that, ultimately this pushes up food costs to our consumers.” He said while he recognizes the public’s concerns for animal rights and welfare, there is research showing that the birds are not harmed by the use of cages and ultimately consumers can benefit from the low-cost of food.

Rainey said he believes that there is not a good public understanding of antibiotics and hormones within our food supply. He stated that when antibiotics are required in animals, there is a period of waiting time for it to leave the animal’s system before it can enter our food supply. He also said that the level of hormones used in animals is very low and tested for the safety of consumers, if they are used at all. “In chicken,” Rainey said, “there’s no such thing as that happening anymore, that’s against the law.”

Both Rainey and Capen-Housley offer similar advice to consumers: to educate themselves when making food choices.They both agree farmers or local extension agents are reliable sources to obtain facts about which type of food or label to purchase.

Rainey concluded saying, “Our consumers should be aware and work to be educated by obtaining their information from legitimate sources before they make decisions on what they should be concerned about.”

Don’t Let Your Food Outsmart You

After pilfering through the snack shelf at my house the other day and successfully finding chips to scarf down guacamole with, I began to shut the drawer when something caught my eye…
It was a bright yellow bag with giant words on it that said “GMO FREE” and “GLUTEN FREE.”


I slung the drawer back open, grabbed the bag and stood there in shock as I read it. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A bag of popcorn was boasting claims of being GMO (genetically modified organism) and gluten free.
Just in case you don’t understand why I was so surprised, as we say in the south, “There ain’t no such thing.” 

1. GMO popcorn is not a product.

Field corn and sweet corn both have strains that are genetically modified, however, genetically modified popcorn does not exist. It is not available to farmers, they do not produce it, and it is not found on shelves.

2. All types of corn are gluten free.

What is gluten you ask? It’s a protein found in whole-grain foods like wheat and barley. It’s what makes dough elastic and bread chewy. While some popcorn you get in the movies or can purchase may have gluten in it due to the oils, flavorings, or seasonings used, the corn itself has no gluten.

So imagine my surprise when I saw this bag bragging about facts that are actually  true of all popcorn produced.
I was so surprised, in fact, that I decided to point it out via Twitter. Even Skinny Pop knows that popcorn contains neither gluten or GMOs, and yet, they still choose to proclaim it on their golden bag.

I get it. I mean, how else are they supposed to compete with Orville Redenbacher? It’s a smart strategy from a marketing standpoint and it catches buyers eyes in the store, just like it caught mine when I pulled it out of the snack drawer.
What bothers me is how trigger words like “GMO free” and “gluten free” spark emotion in consumers. Suddenly, many average people see these words and are compelled to think that this somehow means it’s better for them. That GMOs and gluten are bad.

 

 
But that’s not true.  

 

 
Genetic modification is a breeding technique that allows plant breeders to take individual traits from one plant or organism and transfer them to the plant they want to improve. It can also be used to make a change to an existing trait in plants. Thanks to GMOs, we’re able to produce more food on less land. They also can be developed to use less pesticides than conventional farming and have been tested for safety. In order for a genetically modified organism to enter the market, it first goes through approximately 13 years and $136 million of testing. Want to know more about genetic modification? Click here.

Gluten, as I said before, is a protein found in whole-grain foods. Some people have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, and therefore should stay away from gluten. But, in the past couple of years, more and more people have adopted the trend of becoming gluten free. The truth is that having a gluten free diet is not healthier and will not help you loose weight. In fact, foods that are gluten free can contain more sugars and fats to try and make up for the loss of taste. Gluten free also tends to be low in a wide range of important nutrients (vitamin B, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and fiber.) Learn more about gluten free by watching this video.

A lot of people try to avoid gluten and GMO products, without actually knowing what they are. Check out these videos:

In the end, if you want to buy products like Skinny Pop that use labels like “GMO free” or “gluten free,” that’s your choice. That’s the great thing about our food supply here in America, you have options.  You should, however, know why you are buying the products you prefer. Don’t choose your products because you think the label means it’s healthier or better for you.

Don’t let your food (or your food packaging) outsmart you.

bees travel across frame

My Day With “The Bee Man”

James Rhein’s phone rings again as he walks away to answer a call from a fellow beekeeper in need of advice. On an average day, “The Bee Man,” will receive anywhere from two to 10 calls from beekeepers across the state, never turning anyone away.

James is 72-years old and has had bees for 39 years at his home in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting James and getting a glimpse into the life of a beekeeper. Even at 72, James strolled around the room and showed his wit with feisty one-liners and countless bee facts.

My adventure began in the garage of James’s mother’s home, where he and his wife, Linda, brought a hive to show how honey is extracted. Taking a heated knife, James and Linda took turns removing the cappings (wax that covers cells full of honey) on each side of the frame. After the cappings had been removed, the frames of honey were placed into an extractor, a machine which spins to remove honey from the cells of a comb. After the honey was pulled from the cells and emptied into a bucket, James poured the honey through a strainer, to remove any impurities. When the process is over, the honey is able to be sold as “raw honey.”

click on an image to enlarge it

During this process, James and Linda, buzzed around the room at work. “Busy bees” is a fitting description for the frenzied lives they both lead. Although they are both retired, they manage a cattle farm, are active supporters of the local FFA chapter, hold positions in their county Farm Bureau and are active in their church. James teaches beekeeping classes throughout the year for free and both he and Linda serve as officers for the Arkansas Bee Keepers Association. Aside from these commitments, they maintain between 40-50 hives.

James also gave me the opportunity to see the inside of a hive. As he pulled out frames with bees on them, I was shocked to see they didn’t acknowledged us. Instead, the bees shuffled across the comb without losing focus of the task at hand, and (thankfully) without stinging us. Much like James and Linda, the bees never stopped moving.

I was surprised to learn each bee has a specific task they focus on.
Worker bees are females with undeveloped reproductive organs. Aside from laying eggs, they do all the work in the colony and feed and clean the queen. A worker bee only lives to be six weeks old, but can live longer during the winter months when it’s not as active.
The queen bee’s primary purpose is to lay eggs and will lay anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 eggs a day. Queen bees can live for five to six years in the wild, but commercial bee keepers usually have a new queen every year.
Drones are male bees. Their only job is to mate virgin queens. This only happens once (drones die after mating), and then the queen bee is mated for life. Drones are found in hives during the warm months, but are evicted from the hive in the winter because they no longer serve a purpose.
According to James, a single hive contains 50,000 to 60,000 worker bees, 200 to 500 drones, and one queen.

Bees are remarkable creatures, responsible for about 1/3 of all the food Americans eat.

I now have a newfound respect and appreciation for honeybees and James Rhein, “The Bee Man.”

James Rhein & Lindsey

“The Bee Man” and I

 

Fish Farming

When someone thinks of agriculture, they typically think of livestock or row crops. What may not pop into a person’s head, however, is fish farming.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the Aquaculture/Fisheries Center at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

aquacultrue-research-station

The Aquaculture Research Station at UAPB

This center is recognized as a leader in aquaculture/fisheries education, research and extension programs. It’s pretty amazing that we are home to this here in Arkansas! Catfish farming has decreased in Arkansas over the past couple of years due to the cost of production. However, Arkansas still remains the leader in baitfish (live fish bought by anglers as bait for recreational and sport fishing) production and ranks third nationally in catfish production.

Fish farming is not my area of expertise, but I decided I would share some pictures from my trip, along with a couple of facts about fish farming!

    1. Arkansas is the largest producer of baitfish in the United States and is home to the world’s largest minnow producer, as well as the largest goldfish producer.
    2. U.S. aquaculture farmers must adhere to the strictest health and environmental standards in the world. That makes our fish among the safest in the world!
    3. Around 11,000 acres are devoted to catfish production in Arkansas.  (89,400 acres in the United States.)
    4. Mature catfish lay 3,000 to 4,000 eggs annually per pound of body weight.
    5. Consumption of fish has been known to reduce the risk of heart problems.
    6. 94 percent of all farm-raised catfish in the United States is raised in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas.
    7. An estimated 396.6 million pounds of catfish have been sold in the U.S., generating $429.2 million.
catfish-feeding

When it’s time to eat, a tractor and feeder is used to shoot food out into the water.

 

img_79201

The “windmill” object is used to keep oxygen circulating through the water. The pond is separated so that fish are only kept on one side. This increases efficiency and allows them to keep the water the fish are kept on, cleaner.


For more information about catfish production in Arkansas, click here.

Defending Without Being Defensive

I love people and I love to talk to people. Actually, I love to talk in general. My grandpa calls it “the gift of gab,” and I definitely have it! As an “agvocate,” one of my favorite topics to talk about is, of course, agriculture. There are days though, when I see Facebook or Twitter posts from people who are misinformed about this important topic, and it makes it hard to not get defensive.

Pictures like this one I saw on Facebook…

false-infographic-about-milk

Example of a false infographic

Send all kinds of emotions through me. Anger, frustration, and complete disbelief. I want so badly to comment, yell, and pound into their head how wrong they are to believe these things. Sometimes it takes a few moments to step back and realize arguing with them and shouting, “You’re wrong!” won’t get the kind of reaction I want.

When doing research for my internship with Farm Bureau, I came across this article by Cassie Davis, an Arkansas dairy farmer. In her article she quotes Carlton Munson saying, “The moment a person becomes defensive, learning ceases.”

And it’s true.

The moment I start to yell and holler at a person telling them what they believe is wrong, they will stop listening to me and my message will be lost. I can’t let my emotions get the best of me if I truly want someone to hear what I have to say.

So please believe me when I say I am not trying to force my beliefs down your throat. I want you to hear what I have to say to combat this awful ad:

1. There are not actually pus cells in milk
Cows can get an infection in their mammary glands called mastitis. When and if this happens, the cows are treated with antibiotics. During the cow’s treatment, the milk containing antibiotics is dumped until all traces of it are gone. Many sanitation and prevention methods are taken to make sure your milk is safe, healthy, and pus-free. Read more about this here or from this dairy farmer.

2. Hormones in milk will not hurt you
Bovine somatotropin (BST) is a naturally occurring hormone found in the pituitary gland of cattle. This hormone triggers nutrients to increase growth in young cattle and milk production in dairy cows.  Artificial BST (called rBST) is used to increase milk production. However, the levels of using this artificial hormone are much lower than the levels of naturally occurring hormones already found in milk. These hormones will not hurt you, but if you’re still worried, many milk companies actually will not accept milk using this artificial hormone. In the store, milk without it is labeled “rBST/BGH free”. Read more here.

3. There are no antibiotics in milk
This one drives me crazy. Simply put, no milk contains antibiotics. The only chance of you consuming antibiotics in milk is if you buy raw milk (which is actually illegal in many states). Antibiotics are used in dairy cattle. When this happens, however, those cows are milked separately and then their milk is thrown away. If a trace of antibiotics is found in the milk tank collected by companies, it is all thrown away and the dairy farmer is out a lot of money. To read more about this process go here.

4. Feces is not found in milk
I’m not even sure what to say about this one except it is wrong. Sanitation is a huge part of diary farming both before and after the cows are milked. If you would like some insight into how a cow is milked, go here.

5. Milk is good for you
The truth is, milk offers many nutrients your body needs and can readily absorb. You can find out about the truth about milk here and read about milk alternatives here.

If you don’t know what to believe or want to know more about the foods farmers produce, ask them! Don’t resort to infographics covering your social media walls for “facts”. There’s no better resource than the farmers who are actually making the product, and they want to talk to you! If you can’t find one locally to talk to in person, use resources such as:

Bottom line:
Don’t only listen to what I’m saying. Be informed, do your research, and make your own decisions about the products you consume.
If you are an advocate for agriculture, learn to tell your story to others by being proactive instead of reactive. Be mindful of others’ feelings. And learn to defend your side of the story without becoming defensive.

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My grandparents dairy-farmed for 35 years right before I was born. Here’s a little throwback of my mom in the milk barn!

screen-shot-2015-05-16-at-11-28-41-am

Nice hair, Mom. 🙂

 

 

 

The Man Who Saved A Billion Lives

Norman Borlaug. When you hear his name, do you recognize it all all? The majority of people sadly don’t. This week I had to do a presentation over Dr. Borlaug, a man whose name I have been familiar with for the past couple of years. When I was telling my boyfriend about the presentation I have to do on him, he just simply asked, “Who is Norman Borlaug?” I was shocked. My boyfriend, who is going to school to be an agriculture educator, didn’t even know who Dr. Borlaug was. For those of you who are in the same boat, I’ll give you a quick run down.

Dr. Borlaug was a plant scientist who developed different varieties of wheat. The big deal about this wheat, however, was it had disease resistance, could grow in conditions with varying latitude, and have a very high yield. In short, this means wheat could be grown in places which it could not have been before, and more could be produced. Through his research and development, it’s estimated Dr. Borlaug saved one billion lives from famine and starvation. Dr. Borlaug also created a “Nobel Prize” of sorts for agriculturists. This award, called the “World Food Prize“, recognizes individuals who have made advances in food availability in our world.

Dr. Borlaug changed the world and helped feed countless people and yet, the average American isn’t familiar with him. As an agriculture advocate I love being able to answer the question,“Who is Norman Borlaug?” and now hopefully you can too!

IMG_2427.JPG

My Prezi about Dr. Borlaug and his work


Read more about Dr. Norman Borlaug by clicking here.

Got What You Need Rice Here

If you haven’t already noticed, I’m a huge supporter of the agriculture industry and I absolutely adore the agriculture department at Arkansas Tech. Today I had the opportunity to share my love for our department with our agriculture ambassador team. Through donations from Farm Bureau and Riceland, we passed out bags of rice with brochures that I designed containing Arkansas Rice facts and information about our department. Did you know that Arkansas produces 49% of the nation’s rice? We’re number 1 in rice production for the entire United States! It was such a cool experience to be able to tell people why I love my department and to teach about one of our biggest agriculture commodities in Arkansas. Students who stopped by got to see how rice goes through a mill to remove the hull and they could also sit in a combine simulator to see what it is like when rice is harvested. It was a rainy day, but it definitely didn’t rain on our rice parade.

Two other ambassadors standing in front of our rice information booth we put together.

 

rice-mill-model

We used this small scale model of a rice mill to show how the hull is removed from rice before it hits the grocery store.

 

farm-bureau-ag-simulator

Two of our ambassadors sit inside the combine simulator provided by Farm Bureau.

 


Find out more about my university’s department of agriculture here.