Sweet Potato Farming A Profitable Business - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Wynne, Keith Boles Reports

Sweet Potato Farming A Profitable Business

WYNNE (KAIT) The Matthews family has been raising sweet potatoes outside Wynne for over a hundred years. It's a sweet business, to get those orange beauties from their fields to your kitchen.

You have to look real hard to find a sweet potato farm in Arkansas. There are only about 5 or 6 compared to our southern neighbors.

Browne Matthews Jr. "Where you go to like Mississippi or Louisiana or North Carolina where there's probably a hundred in each state."

The Matthews family has been raising sweet potatoes for over a hundred years.

Browne Matthews is a fourth generation potato farmer. He says their real busy season just ended.

"September to after Thanksgiving. Till Thanksgiving is over with and then it slows down after that. You're pretty busy for three months, Sept, Oct, November."

It looked pretty busy to me as I watched the cleaning and sorting process. Very hands on.

Matthews, "Pretty labor intensive, lotta labor, when we're digging potatoes we work about 55 people out here."

Some of that labor includes his dad Browne Matthews Sr. His mom Nedra who works in the office with browns' wife Samantha and Garrett their son who worked with grandma on the line today.

In the coolers are hundreds of crates of sweet potatoes waiting to be processed.

Matthews, "We pre-wet them first then we bring them in the back, we dump them in the vat the water vat, they come through the washer and then we start hand grading them right there. Then we do the final grade on this end and we catch em and stack them on pallets to send them out on trucks. "

And the word out in the scientific world is that the sweet potato is actually better for you than broccoli. And you can't make french fries out of broccoli.

Nedra Matthews, "Nutritionally it's very good for you. They have done studies and they have found out that it actually surpasses broccoli which was the number 1 vegetable."

But is it really a vegetable?

Matthews, "I'm afraid not. It's a root but they are calling it a vegetable ."

Root, vegetable, sweet potato, yam or tater. What ever you call it. They taste good and that's what matters to the Matthews family.

Browne Matthews, "People say good things about my potatoes. They like them, they say they're good and sweet. That's what I probably like best. People enjoy what they are getting from me. I really like that."

 

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • AHTD plans to widen Highway 49

    AHTD plans to widen Highway 49

    Thursday, July 20 2017 11:36 PM EDT2017-07-21 03:36:43 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 11:41 PM EDT2017-07-21 03:41:29 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    Since the early 1990’s, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has worked to widen Highway 49 and now, they are moving forward with continuing that project.

    Since the early 1990’s, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has worked to widen Highway 49 and now, they are moving forward with continuing that project.

  • Debate continues over healthcare, Medicaid funding

    Debate continues over healthcare, Medicaid funding

    Thursday, July 20 2017 10:51 PM EDT2017-07-21 02:51:11 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 11:17 PM EDT2017-07-21 03:17:36 GMT
    Five Rivers Medical Center in Pocahontas (Source: KAIT)Five Rivers Medical Center in Pocahontas (Source: KAIT)

    The current debate over healthcare in the United States has included discussions over the future of the Medicaid program. 

    The current debate over healthcare in the United States has included discussions over the future of the Medicaid program. 

  • Crews responded to crash in Lawrence County

    Crews responded to crash in Lawrence County

    Thursday, July 20 2017 2:28 PM EDT2017-07-20 18:28:45 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 11:12 PM EDT2017-07-21 03:12:43 GMT

    Lawrence County Dispatch said first responders worked a crash on Highway 25 between Lynn and Lake Charles.

    Lawrence County Dispatch said first responders worked a crash on Highway 25 between Lynn and Lake Charles.

Powered by Frankly