Sen. Mark Pryor to keynote family friendly Rice Expo


STUTTGART, Ark. — Sen. Mark Pryor is set to be the keynote speaker at the 2013 Arkansas Rice Expo, Friday, Aug. 2, at the Grand Prairie Center in Stuttgart.

“This year’s Rice Expo features more food, more family friendly activities and an even deeper lineup of farm-focused tours, exhibits and seminars,” said Chuck Wilson, director of the Rice Research and Extension Center. “We’ve tried to pack in a lot in a half-day event.”

The fun and learning begins at 8 a.m. at the Grand Prairie Center, 2709 U.S. 165.

Pryor is a key figure for agriculture in Washington, chairing the Senate subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies and is sponsor and guiding hand on the Senate agriculture appropriations bill.

Field tours begin at 9 a.m. and run though 11 a.m., with shuttle buses leaving the Grand Prairie Center at 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Want to stay out of the heat? Virtual field tours will be shown in the auditorium beginning at 9 a.m. This year’s tours include:

• Breeding for higher yield and quality

• Managing bacterial panicle blight and other rice diseases

• Hybrid rice for Arkansas rice farmers

• NST*R implementation in Arkansas

• Nutrient Management for rice rotations

• Optimum seeding rates for new rice varieties

• Rice weed control

• Irrigation management

Janet Carson, extension horticulture specialist, author and columnist, will talk about raised-bed gardening at 10 a.m. in Grand Prairie Salon A&B.

Pryor will deliver his keynote at 11:45 a.m. in the auditorium. A fresh, hot catfish lunch, catered by the Yoder Ruritan, begins at 12:15 p.m., with Betsy Ward of the USA Rice Federation as the luncheon speaker.

For children, there will be youth archery sponsored by Mack’s Prairie Wings, the National Guard football and basketball toss, a youth BB shoot and a pedal tractor derby.

Don’t forget to check out the “Farm to You” walkthrough exhibit, enjoy the Living Well with Rice tastings and the exercise demos.

To find out more about the 2013 Arkansas Rice Expo, visit http://aaes.uark.edu/rice.html or follow us on Twitter at @ARicExpo