Did you know that every frozen Butterball turkey was produced right here in Arkansas? And that may not be the only thing on your plate this holiday season that came from the work of an Arkansas farmer.
Our farmers produce everything from the main course to the ingredients of the pecan pie.
Arkansas is number three in the nation in turkey production. And we are the sixth largest producer in the United States of sweet potatoes.
Our farmers also have a hand in the pecan and pumpkin pies. We are one of fourteen states in the nation to grow pecans. And while we are proud to be home to many pumpkin patches across the state, we do not produce enough to support every supermarket. Arkansas pumpkins however can be found at your local farmers markets or pumpkin patch.
Corn is another major crop. Our farmers harvested more than 595,000 acres of corn last year.
Although few go shopping for actual soybeans during the holidays, there is a very good chance the soybean plays a significant part in your feast. This year Arkansas ranks as 10th in the nation in soybean production. Soybean oil is used in cooking and frying foods. Margarine is a product made from soybean oil. Salad dressings and mayonnaises are made with soybean oil. It is also used for animal feed for farm animals.
Agriculture contributes more the $21 billion in economic value for the state. For those Arkansans who do not live on a farm or have relatives who are farmers, we encourage you to reconnect your children with the origin of food. Visiting a farm can build a conceptual understanding of food sources, while also providing an opportunity to form healthy eating habits.
So this holiday season, thank a farmer. And look for the “Arkansas Grown” label at your local supermarket as another way to show your appreciation.