Agriculture

Arkansas Agriculture and Manufacturing Facts for Kids

Learning is fun! Explore the information below to find out more about Arkansas agriculture and manufacturing facts for kids.

Arkansas Agriculture

Although Arkansas is known for its rice, poultry and cotton production, the agriculture industry is much broader than just those three.  Did you know Arkansas is the birthplace of warm water aquaculture in the U.S.?  Or that Arkansas is the oldest grape juice and wine producing states in the South?  You can learn more about these and other crops in the Arkansas Grown agritourism brochure. Download a copy here to start reading.

Rice:

More than 50 percent of the world's population is dependent upon rice for 80 percent of its diet. This is good news for the state since Arkansas rice production tops that of any other state in the nation. The Grand Prairie and Delta regions of Eastern Arkansas provide the perfect soil and other conditions to grow the crop in abundance.

Two of the largest Arkansas rice production companies include Producers Rice Mill and Riceland Foods, both of which have corporate headquarters in Stuttgart. Stuttgart is known as the "duck and rice capital of the world."

Learn more about towns in the Delta region.

Poultry:

Arkansas also leads the nation in poultry production and Tyson, Inc., headquartered in Springdale, is the largest poultry producing company in the world. Though not based here, Pilgrim's Pride Poultry has a major plant in the state as well. Other such businesses located in Arkansas include George's and Cargill in Springdale; OK Industries and Twin Rivers Foods, Fort Smith; North Arkansas Poultry, Rogers; Simmons in Siloam Springs; Butterball, Huntsville; Honeysuckle White (a division of Cargill) in Ozark; and Peterson Farms in Decatur. For more information on Northwest Arkansas, visit the NWA tourism Web site.

Cotton:

Children with cotton

Arkansas is one of the leaders in the country when it comes to cotton production, especially in the Delta area. Mississippi County is home to what many industry experts consider to be the largest gin in the world, a 10-stand cotton gin that was built in 1992 by Adams Land Co. in Leachville, in the northwest corner of the state. Ronnie Kennett, vice president of land management for Adams, said the new gin, in combination with the company's old three-stand gin, produced a record 186,000 bales of cotton one year. More recently, production from the 10-stand gin has averaged 110,000 to 140,000 running bales per year.

Learn more about towns in the Delta region.

More Fun Arkansas Agriculture Facts:

  • Scott Winfield Bond, born into slavery in Mississippi, came to eastern Arkansas during his teens and built a farming empire following the Civil War. He is considered to be the first black millionaire in Arkansas.
  • The state produces all crops normally grown in the temperate zone and, with the exception of citrus fruits, grows practically every crop produced in the United States.
  • Arkansas ranks 14th among states in cash receipts from farm markets, with a total of 4,973,164 harvested acres.
  • Nationally, Arkansas is #1 in rice and poultry production; #5 in sorghum, grain; #6 in cotton and #8 in soybeans and grapes.
  • Adams Cotton Gin in Leachville is the world's largest cotton gin; located in the Buffalo Island area.
  • In 1901, Benton County produced more apples than any other county in the nation. In tribute, the Arkansas General Assembly adopted the apple blossom as the official "state flower."
  • The Arkansas Rice Growers' Cooperative Association assisted Ataullah Durrani, an Afghan living in New York, with the development of instant rice. His patent was purchased by General Foods in the 1940s.