As we gather around our tables this Thanksgiving, we encourage Arkansans to take a moment to acknowledge the unsung heroes of this holiday season—our farmers.
Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude for the blessings in our lives, and the hardworking men and women who toil in the fields, day in and day out, deserve a special place in our hearts this season. Arkansas farmers are the ones responsible for growing the crops and raising the livestock that grace many of our tables.
In fact, Arkansas ranks 3rd in the nation in turkeys raised. But that’s not the only popular Thanksgiving dish that may have started its journey on an Arkansas farm.
Arkansas is the 4th largest producer of sweet potatoes and our state ranks 6th in the nation in the acreage of pecans.
In the last year, Arkansas farmers harvested more than 695,000 acres of corn.
Arkansas currently ranks 11th in the nation in soybean production. Soybean oil is used to make hundreds of foods, including mayonnaise, peanut butter, and ranch dressing.
From casseroles to rice pudding, another Arkansas crop makes its way to the Thanksgiving table every year. Arkansas ranks first among rice-producing states, accounting for more than 50 percent of U.S. rice production.
Agriculture is Arkansas’s largest industry, adding around $16 billion to our state’s economy every year. There are 49,346 farms statewide and 97 percent of Arkansas’ farms are family-owned.
So, as you savor each bite of your Thanksgiving meal, remember to give thanks to the individuals who make this feast possible. Let's make this holiday a true celebration of gratitude, not only for the food on our plates but for the hands that nurture the land.
You can help show your appreciation to our Arkansas farmers and food service workers by looking for the “Arkansas Grown” label at your local supermarket.