LITTLE ROCK — An Okolona farm was one of 37 Arkansas farms recently inducted into the Arkansas Century Farm Program.
Established in 1917, the Bell Farm is located in Okolona and is owned by Carroll W. Bell. They currently produce timber, hay, and grazing land for livestock.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson was joined this week by Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward and the Arkansas Department of Agriculture in inducting the farms into the program.
The Arkansas Century Farm program recognizes Arkansas farms of 10 acres or more owned by the same family for at least 100 years. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture began the Century Farm program in 2012 to highlight the contributions of these families to the agriculture industry as well as their overall contributions to our state.
Agriculture is Arkansas’s largest industry, contributing more than $19 billion to the state’s economy annually and providing one of every seven jobs in the state. Arkansas consistently ranks in the top 25 nationally in the production of more than 16 agricultural commodities.
“Agriculture is Arkansas’s No. 1 industry,” Hutchinson said. “Farmers are the strength of our state. To be a farmer takes great perseverance. No one is more optimistic than a farmer, No one perseveres more. The families that have held the same farm for a hundred years or more demonstrate that. Farm families are essential for our economy, but you also are part of the fabric of our state.”
Throughout the state there are 563 farms currently recognized as Arkansas Century Farms. The 37 newly inducted Century Farms are located in the following 25 counties: Arkansas, Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clark, Cleveland, Conway, Craighead, Crawford, Faulkner, Franklin, Fulton, Garland, Independence, Izard, Lincoln, Lonoke, Newton, Perry, Prairie, Pulaski, Searcy, Van Buren, and White.
A list of Arkansas Century Farms can be found at agriculture.arkansas.gov/arkansas-department-of-agricultureservices/arkansas-century-farm-program/. Find the photos from the induction ceremony at flic.kr/s/aHBqjA9BdZ.