Republican Senator John Boozman will launch his annual Ag Tour in Fayetteville Aug. 22 – appearing on social media under the hashtag #ARisAg – with visits to farms and agricultural facilities across the state.
“Agriculture is our state’s leading industry, so it is important to hear directly from Arkansas farmers and ranchers about how Washington can address their needs, particularly as we begin writing the next farm bill,” Boozman says. “I look forward to visiting with our producers on this tour, finding out what is working and what needs to be fixed, and sharing their experiences when I return to Washington to strengthen and support food and fiber production in the Natural State.”
The senator’s tour will include meetings with ranchers, farmers and other agricultural stakeholders – at farms, production facilities and research operations in the following counties: Washington, Franklin, Johnson, Pope, Yell, Faulkner, White, Lonoke, Prairie, Phillips, Arkansas, Lincoln, Chicot, Ashley, Union and Columbia.
The first day starts at the Pauline Whitaker Animal Science Center in Fayetteville to discuss ongoing national practices to improve farming, the Wiederkehr Winery in Wiederkehr Village to tour it, and the Peach Pickin’ Paradise orchard in Lamar to learn better the impact of increasing input costs and of the drought on their business.
Next, on Aug. 23, the senator will tour the West Fraser Sawmill in Russellville, see the Stokes family – chief caretakers of the Razorback mascot Tusk – at their farm in Dardanelle, and observe some of the naturally grown flora at Bell Urban Farm in Conway – all before attending a roundtable with the White County Farm Bureau in Searcy about increasing input costs, current markets and drought impacts.
Aug. 24 will include the Bayou Meto Pump Project in Lonoke to gain its status, the Grand Prairie Pump Project in Hazen, Haynie Farms in Marvell to tour and the new Phillips County food pantry in Lexa to see it.
On Aug. 25, Boozman will visit LTD Farms in Stuttgart as part of the University of Arkansas Extension Service’s Discovery Farms Program; see Miles Goggans as Arkansas Tree Farmer of the year at his farm in Star City; meet Sammy Angel, President of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association at Epstein Gin Co. in Lake Village; and end with Brad Graham, President of the Catfish Farmers of Arkansas, at Catpro Catfish Farm in Portland.
Boozman will conclude the Ag Tour on Aug. 26 with a tour of the Draggin’ M Ranch in El Dorado and 777 Farms in Magnolia, owned by the Daniels family who raise and cut fresh beef.
As a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Boozman marks the Ag Tour a cornerstone of his August in-state work period.
More information is available on the senator’s website.