Construction on new research center hopes to expand rice farming

Published: May. 9, 2023 at 7:00 PM CDT|Updated: May. 9, 2023 at 9:36 PM CDT
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HARRISBURG, Ark. (KAIT) - Ground was broken Tuesday on a new Northeast Rice Research and Extension Center.

Many individuals from around the area gathered to start construction on the new space. All of which was put together by The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture which looks to advance the rice industry for years to come.

Deacue Fields, The Vice President of Agriculture at the UA System Division of Agriculture, is looking forward to the new opportunities that will allow for the education of generations to come.

“This will have the education component as opposed to other research and extension centers and we are focusing on educating consumers and youth on where their food comes from and how agriculture improves their quality of life,” Fields said.

Members of the farming industry, like Greenway CEO Marshall Stewart, talked about how important this center will be.

“We have to have continual experimentation and research done whether it is varieties, whether its irrigation practices, whether its farming practices to continue to move this industry forward,” Stewart said.

Representatives from the UA Division of Agriculture said Arkansas was the top producer of rice in the United States in 2022, and they hope to start construction on the center as soon as possible.