Community Spotlight: Overview of Poinsett County

November 27, 2006 - Posted at 6:10 p.m. CST

POINSETT COUNTY, AR - The Good Neighbor Community Spotlight shines on the 39th county created in Arkansas...Poinsett.

Like much of Region 8, Poinsett County has a heavy stake in agriculture and unfortunately farmers have struggled the past few years.  But oddly enough, agriculture could still play a huge part in the counties future.

"When you look at Poinsett County you look at some of the towns and communities and you see the schools and towns losing population," said Charles Nix, publisher of The Modern News, "I think it is important to do something economically to stabilize the county and the community."

The Modern News is based out of Harrisburg and is the country's oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi River operating under the same founder's name. Nix believes the Poinsett County economy is built strongly on agriculture. As one of the top producing rice counties in the nation, farmers have been impacted by increasing input costs and decreasing market costs.

"For small communities that depend on agriculture then you do see a downturn that hurts small communities," said Nix.

However he feels the county will rebound and that the opportunities for farmers and other agriculture based businesses is bright.

"You hear a lot today about bio fuels and alternative fuel sources this might be a part an area of the country that you might see get involved with something like that," said Nix.

He also believes that the counties close proximity to Jonesboro will play a role in the future.

"That can be good and bad in some ways but if we can learn to coat tail on that and be part of the economic growth it could help us all," said Nix.

Combine Jonesboro's growth and an emerging automotive economy in the Marion area could mean good things for a county located in between both.

"I think we are situated in an area where we could see a boom if two or three things fall into place," said Nix.

There is another piece of the Poinsett County economy that goes fairly unnoticed...While Stuttgart is known for being a duck capitol of Arkansas, Poinsett County has seen its tourism capitol increase over the past four or five years as more hunters are attracted to the area.