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Arkansas Cattle, Poultry & More

Agritourism is a big draw in Arkansas because agriculture is a vital part of the state’s economy. Read about the different agricultural industries in the state for some surprising agriculture facts and statistics.

Cattle

More than 30,000 Arkansas farms raise cattle for both milk and beef. $20 million worth of dairy goods are produced yearly from around 130 herds. 1.8 million head of beef cattle produce a total cash value of more than $432 million. 97% of these Arkansas cattle farms are family owned and operated with an average herd size of 30 head.

Poultry

Arkansas produces over one billion broilers each year and ranks second in the nation in broiler production, third in turkeys and eighth in eggs. The poultry industry accounts for more than 40% of Arkansas agriculture on about 7,000 farms. Arkansas exports about 14% of its poultry product, mostly to Mexico, Russia and Japan.

Swine

Welcome to Hog Country. Pigs were first introduced to The Natural State by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1541. Pigs that escaped from his expedition are probably the ancestors of the wild “Razorback” hogs famed as the mascot for the University of Arkansas. Arkansas’s domestic pig population peaked in 1940 with over 1.2 million swine. Today, there are close to 300,000 pigs on commercial farms, while Tyson Foods based in Springdale is the world’s second largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork.

Fish Farming

Arkansas is the birthplace of warm water aquaculture in the U.S. The Natural State ranks third in the production of catfish and produces 80% of all baitfish in the country. Catfish farming dates back to the 1970s, when rice and soybean farmers began looking for something else to do with their fields. Since then, Arkansas has pioneered several important developments and created the first successful commercial catfish farms. Chicot and Desha counties in the Mississippi River Delta region are the top producers of catfish in the state.

You’ll find more Arkansas agriculture facts throughout the website’s Agritourism sections. Read on to learn more!