Annual Arkansas Rice meeting in Jonesboro to focus on research, - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Annual Arkansas Rice meeting in Jonesboro to focus on research, policies

Newport rice farmer Jeff Rutledge details events happening at the Convocation Center on Friday, February 5. Newport rice farmer Jeff Rutledge details events happening at the Convocation Center on Friday, February 5.
Arkansas Rice Council and rice farmers to hold annual meeting. Arkansas Rice Council and rice farmers to hold annual meeting.
New farm policies and women's event among featured program items New farm policies and women's event among featured program items
Arkansas ranks first among six major rice-producing states, accounting for over 50% of U.S. rice production in 2014. Arkansas ranks first among six major rice-producing states, accounting for over 50% of U.S. rice production in 2014.
Arkansas is home to 2,500 rice farms, 96% of which are family owned and operated. Arkansas is home to 2,500 rice farms, 96% of which are family owned and operated.
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

Congressman Rick Crawford will address the 2016 Arkansas Rice Annual Meeting Friday.

The meeting will be held at Arkansas State University’s Convocation Center.

Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward and USA Rice Federation President Betsy Ward will also speak to the crowd.

“We are going to have several breakout sessions, as well,” Jeff Rutledge, a Newport rice farmer said. “A couple of those are actually going to focus on the Farm Bill. Part of that is going to be on the regulatory aspect of it. Our Vice-President from USA Rice Federation for Government Affairs Ben Mosely will be there to speak about that.”

A sixth-generation farmer, Rutledge touted the benefits of two breakout sessions planned for the day.

“A couple of those are actually going to focus on the Farm Bill,” Rutledge said. “Then we’re also going to talk about conservation, title of the Farm Bill and have breakout sessions about that as well.”

Women in agriculture and farmer's wives are encouraged to attend the one-day event. Guest speakers for them include Miss Arkansas Rice, Lynnsey Bowler, Newport farmer Jennifer James and Riceland’s Director of Communications Robin Devore.

A free catfish lunch is sponsored by Prudential Agricultural Investments.

Two more breakout sessions will follow. Edward Swaim of the Natural Resources Commission will explain continuing efforts to implement the recommendations from the planning process, especially in drought planning and improving agricultural water use data.

Dr. Mike Daniels will discuss water quality and developments made through research on Discovery Farms across the state. Farmers can also learn how to apply and benefit from the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

Dr. Jarrod Hardke will provide research insights on “Farming for Profit” and simple ways growers can increase profitability on their operation.

The American Carbon Registry will cover what farmers need to know about selling carbon credits.

Steve “Wildman” Wilson with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will serve as master of ceremonies.

Farmers, spouses and sponsors for the event are welcome to register online at www.arkansasrice.org/annualmeeting or you can contact the Arkansas Rice Federation at (501) 375-1100.

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