Gov. Hutchinson, Cuba, Cooking Demos On Program For Aug. 7 Arkansas Rice Expo

   Gov. Asa Hutchinson will deliver the keynote at this year’s Arkansas Rice Expo, set for Friday, Aug. 7, in Stuttgart.
   The half-day event opens at 8 a.m. at the Grand Prairie Center, 2709 U.S. 165 in Stuttgart. There is no cost to attend and the event ends with a catfish lunch. Field tours of research plots, food demonstrations and family fun are all part of the expo, a salute by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture to rice production in Arkansas. 
   “Arkansas is America’s No. 1 rice state, growing more than half of the rice produced in the United States,” said Mark Cochran, head of the UA System’s Division of Agriculture. “The Rice Expo is our opportunity to celebrate the successes of the farmers who make agriculture the state’s largest industry and share some of the exciting developments from our research and extension programs.
   “We also see the Rice Expo as our open house – an invitation for the community to meet our researchers and extension educators and see their work first-hand,” he said. “We are very pleased that Gov. Hutchinson will be our keynote speaker this year.” 
   The governor is scheduled to speak at 11 a.m. 
   Hutchinson is no stranger to the Arkansas Rice Expo, having attended the last two years. 
   Rice industry issues
   This year’s event features breakout sessions that focus on issues looming large in the rice industry, including the implications of rice trade with Cuba, marketing rice and managing barnyardgrass. 
   Expo-goers will get an up close and personal look at the work being done for the rice industry by Division researchers, who will be leading field tours. 
   Event attendees with problems in the garden or landscape can take advantage of the plant disease clinic by bringing samples for diagnosis.
   There will also be a feral hog exhibit, food preservation clinic, equipment display and an update on crop application technologies. 
   Staff from the Arkansas 4-H Youth Development program will be there with activities for youngsters. And don’t miss the cooking demonstrations and tastings, and see the finalists in the rice recipe contest and the creativity on display in the rice tabletop centerpiece competition. 
   For more information, visit ∆

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