Leaders and Farmers Hope to Solve Downward Agriculture Trend


(KARK) It’s been in Trent Dabbs blood for generations. He’s worked on the family farm in Stuttgart since he was a kid.

“I think if I didn’t have a family farm to come back to I would have done something else but it’s kind of a tradition,” said Dabbs.

But in recent years, farming has caused more headaches. Trending down in what he calls the farming roller coaster.

Dabbs said, “Last year the weather bit us early, we had 400 acres of ground we didn’t even get planted.”

Meeting in Little Rock, Dabbs and 80 other Arkansas farmers hope to hear from local legislators on their plan to improve the agriculture industry.

“I think the number one thing is to get some of these trade deals passed,” said Dabbs.

“I’m sure I’ll hear a lot from them on issues and concerns,” said Congressman Bruce Westerman.

Westerman said some ideas include sponsoring a trade bill.

“Congressman Crawford has a bill that would allow them to export rice to Cuba,” explained Westerman.

Dabbs said, “Arkansas as a whole is the top rice producing state in the country so if we could the Cuba market open that would be a huge deal for us.”

Congressman Westerman argued Arkansas should look at other places too. But these farmers said for now, all eyes are on Cuba.

“We’re in a prime location in our position to be able to deliver it to them,” said Dabbs.

He said he should be on his tractor today, working on the fields while Mother Nature cooperates. Instead, he hopes the ideas local leaders are planting, will help farms across Arkansas continue to grow for generations to come.

“It’s great getting to work with your dad everyday, I hope my little girl that’s 3 and she rides the tractor with me and it’s fun doing that,” said Dabbs.

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