From the editors Spring/Summer 2015

When it comes to farming, Nathan Reed’s career went full circle. Though he grew up on a farm, when he headed to Fayetteville to pursue a degree, he wasn’t sure that farming would be his life. He finished college, went on to law school, and in 2005, found his way back to the farm.

In a way, Reed’s life — outlined in Ryan McGeeney’s Farm Family of the Year story — is like the work done by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The efforts of the Division’s research and extension programs never stray far from their deep roots in Arkansas agriculture.

In this issue, we showcase some of the Divison’s work. Writer Dave Edmark looks at a research project whose goal is to make production of one of America’s favorite fruits more sustainable. Strawberries that now travel half the globe may one day take shorter trips to the produce aisle, thanks to findings from this project. Fred Miller’s story examines a project focused on more efficient milling of rice. It’s work that may eventually help drive down the consumer cost of this staple grain.

On the Cooperative Extension Service side of the Division, families and communities are at the forefront. The 4-H Youth Development program is introducing Arkansas youngsters to the people and agencies that make our government run — preparing them to be engaged citizens and perhaps our future elected officials. In the same vein, the Leadership Arkansas program gives adults the insights and tools to improve their communities. LeadAR is profiled is a second story by McGeeney.

We hope you’ll enjoy this issue of Arkansas Land and Life. As always, we welcome your feedback. Feel free to contact Mary Hightower at 501-671-2126 or email at


GUBERNATORIAL GIFT — Members of 4-H clubs around the state visit the Capitol Building in Little Rock during the March 18 “4-H Day at the Capitol.”Participants had the chance to meet legislators, hear a speech from Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and watch the houses of the State Congress in session.


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