The Northeast Arkansas Fairgrounds in Jonesboro was busy Tuesday as farmers and producers both learned about the year that has passed and what the future may hold.
The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board and the Arkansas Corn Grain and Sorghum Board sponsored the conference, which concludes Thursday (Jan. 7) with an event at the Dumas Community Center.
At the Jonesboro event, attendees got the opportunity to learn about the 2015 year in review as well as weed control, crop insurance and outside factors impacting commodity markets.
During the luncheon, Doug Bice, High Value Markets Program Director for the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, spoke about the new uses and markets for sorghum.
At least 500,000 acres of sorghum was planted in Arkansas during 2015, officials said at the meeting.
Officials also spoke about two statewide projects that began in 2015.
They include Ag in the Classroom: Farm to Table STEM Workshop and the Kitchen/Fields Table Tour.
Funding from the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board helped sponsor the first ever agriculture based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) workshop to be held in Arkansas.
The Arkansas Ag in the Classroom program partnered with the STEM Development Center at Henderson State University to conduct an intensive three-day workshop with 18 junior and senior high teachers utilizing agriculture to teach STEM concepts. Teachers received instruction on Ag science connections to core science classes using Ag scientists and included STEM connections, hands-on lessons and a tool kit to use in their classroom.
Guest instructors covered nitrogen fixation, soils, genetics, hormones, antibiotics and embryology. The workshop also included a field trip to a local farm to see the real world application of these concepts and the impact of agricultural research. The instruction these 18 teachers received will impact approximately 1,500 students during the school year.
The Kitchen|Fields Table Tour is an educational program launched by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.
The program is an exclusive partnership with four locally owned Arkansas restaurants in the Central, Northeast and Northwest regions of the state. During each restaurants’ three month feature, they serve a dish centered around soybeans. The purpose of this program is to educate and make consumers aware of the impact they have on the soybean industry.
By consuming soy and other foods that consume soy, Arkansans are able to support their local soybean farmers and contribute to Arkansas’ $2 billion soybean industry.
The partner restaurants and feature schedule for the 2015-2016 Kitchen|Fields Table Tour include:
South on Main, Little Rock: July-Sept. 2015
J Town’s Grill, Jonesboro: Oct.-Dec. 2015
The Hive, Bentonville: Jan.-Mar. 2016
The Southern Gourmasian, Little Rock: April-June 2016.