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Arkansas Rice Expo feeds minds, stomachs

By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture
June 12, 2017 

Fast facts

(370 words)
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LITTLE ROCK – New tools for soil fertility, new technologies for weed control and live cooking demonstrations are on the agenda for the 2017 Arkansas Rice Expo, Aug. 4, at the Grand Prairie Center. 


“The seventh annual Rice Expo is our chance to not only celebrate rice, but also the Arkansas farmers who grow this crop and keep our state’s ag-driven economy healthy,” said Mark Cochran, vice president-agriculture for the University of Arkansas System and head of the system’s Division of Agriculture. “Arkansas remains the nation’s top rice grower, producing more than half the U.S. output for this commodity.” 

Doors open at 8 a.m. and the event runs through lunch. There is no charge for admission or the catfish lunch being catered by Yoder Ruritan. 

This year’s Rice Expo will feature presentations on fruit varieties and fruit growing by Janet Carson, extension horticulture specialist and author and White County Extension Agent Sherri Sanders. 

Keith Cleek, extension area program associate, and Leigh Ann Bullington, Woodruff County extension staff chair, will be returning with their popular live cook demonstrations. This year, they’ll have some ideas for folks who want to take rice beyond the savory and into the realm of the sweet tooth.   

The Rice Expo Rice Recipe contest returns this year. The deadline for entries is Friday, June16. 

There will be plenty for young people to do, with 4-H activities indoors and out. 

2017 field tours

Tours of field research and technology at the Rice Research and Extension Center are the heart and soul of the Arkansas Rice Expo. Tour buses will depart from the Grand Prairie Center. This year's tours: 

  • Stop 1 - Foundation Seed Facility - Don't miss a tour of this state-of-the-art facility in its first year online. Tours to be given by facility director Glenn Bathke. 
  • Stop 2 – Rice Variety Observation Bay - Karen Moldenhauer, rice breeder for the U of A System Division of Agriculture will offer a breeding program overview and Jarrod Hardke, extension rice agronomist, will give an update on the season and agronomics.
  • Stop 3 – Weed Control and Soil Fertility - Bob Scott, extension weed scientist, will discuss new herbicide technologies and Trent Roberts, extension soil scientist, will introduce new tools and recommendations for soil fertility. 


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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