State Ag Chief Says Four Gaps Exist in Arkansas Industry

DECEMBER 1, 2005 - Posted at 4:00 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The head of the Arkansas Agriculture Department said today that he noticed four gaps after the creation of his new state agency.

Richard Bell told members of the Arkansas Farm Bureau that he has four goals for the department.  He wants to:

-improve farmers markets, making them bigger and better.

-develop biofuels from Arkansas crops, such as ethanol or biodiesel.

-have farmers get involved in nutrition issues, such as those in school lunch programs, and particularly in the Delta.

-build companies that would become small exporters.  He said Arkansas has large exporters but needs small companies exporting goods, too.

Bell is a former Riceland Foods executive and Nixon administration veteran.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)