Happy Thanksgiving! I wish you and your family a reflective time to count all your blessings from this past year. Even if you have experienced challenge or tragedy, I hope that you have been able to glean ways to always be positive and grateful.

This Thanksgiving, the Arkansas House is thanking our local farmers. As you and your family sit down to a delicious Thanksgiving feast, I hope you will consider how much our Arkansas farmers have contributed to this holiday celebration.

Did you know that Arkansas farmers are fifth in the nation in turkey production; fifth nationally in sweet potato production; are one of only fifteen states to grow pecans; harvests over 645,000 acres of corn, and ranked 11 th in soybean production?

Soybeans are used in frying and cooking foods and is one of the main ingredients found in margarine, salad dressing, and mayonnaise. We are all certainly grateful to our Arkansas farmers in this Thanksgiving season and we acknowledge the good things they produce that we might use on our tables this week.

I have shared with you that one of my personal platform items is jobs and job creation. For example, turkey farming supports more than 14,000 jobs in our state. In 2018, Arkansas poultry farms produced almost 600,000 pounds of turkey.

Additionally, the rice industry contributes $34 billion to our nation’s economy and more than 40 percent of all rice in the United States is grown right here in our state. So please remember the rice farmers when you enjoy your broccoli cheese casserole this holiday.

Arkansas harvests 4,800 acres of sweet potatoes and over 15,000 acres of pecans. You can also find pumpkins for your pumpkin pies this holiday at your local farmers’ market.

There are almost 44,000 farms in our state that support the largest portion of our economy. Farming is our states’ number one industry. Arkansas farms spread over 13 million acres and contribute more than $20 billion to our economy accounting for nearly 500,000 jobs.

The 92nd assembly has also supported farming efforts with programs such as Act 506, the “Farm to School” program. This program was established to help our children create and continually practice healthy habits of eating fresh while schools participate in buying from local processors and producers. This program creates jobs as well as positive economic impact for District 11 and our state.

I just wanted to take some time to paint a positive picture for District 11 families. As you prepare your holiday feasts, please reflect upon how some of your meal preparations impact us all. As you make your grocery selections, look for “Arkansas Grown” labels at your local supermarkets. We all have so much to be thankful for, and Arkansas farmers are certainly a reason.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you and your family enjoy a restful holiday.

I like to share informative items that constituents might find useful. If you have questions about any legislation or the legislative process, feel free to contact me via email at [email protected] or by phone at 501-682-6211.