Oklahoma Farm Bureau members spent three days learning about Arkansas agriculture May 3-5 during OKFB’s Ag Tour 2023.
The group kicked off the trip with a tour of Parks Brothers Farms in Van Buren, Arkansas, to learn about the farm’s nursery operation. Members heard from third-generation agriculturist and owner Jason Parks.
The next stop was at the Fort Smith National Historic Site in Fort Smith. Members heard about the history of the fort and the instrumental role it played in Oklahoma history going back to our state’s time as a territory.
Kicking off an exciting second day, the group visited Infinity Farm in Hagersville, Arkansas. Infinity Farm is a turkey farm partially powered by solar energy. Theron and Jeanie Rowbotham shared their experience in the poultry industry and discussed the inclusion of solar energy in their operation in 2019.
At the University of Arkansas Fruit Research Station in Johnson County, members heard about the various fruit research being conducted. The station’s research is centered on a variety of fruits including peaches, blackberries, strawberries and muscadines.
Next, members visited and toured the Bacchus Family Adventure Farm in Lamar. There, members were able to learn about the Arkansas agritourism industry and discuss the differences between Oklahoma and Arkansas agritourism. Members also interacted with both the farm and exotic animals featured on the farm.
For the last stop of the day, the group toured Post Winery in Altus, Arkansas. Members experienced the winemaking process from start to finish and even participated in an evening wine tasting.
To kick off the last day of the tour, members toured the Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center in Spiro, Oklahoma. Members viewed the mounds, visited the museum full of historical artifacts and learned the importance of the Spiro people to Oklahoma history.
The final stop was at 33 Processing in Spiro, Oklahoma, which is an industrial hemp facility that creates hemp products from planting to final product. Members toured the production facility where the hemp is processed to create a bioplastic product. Bioplastics are more biodegradable and an alternative to traditional plastic products. Members also asked questions to learn more about the growing process of hemp and the bioplastic creation process.
OKFB’s ag tour is a yearly program that connects the organization’s members with agriculture, industry and attractions in a specific region of Oklahoma or nearby states.