This spring, something new is blooming at Arkansas PBS – a segment featuring stories of life and innovation from small towns in every corner of the state. “Good Roots,” explores rural community life, agribusiness and how these things are evolving through modern advances. The Growing Season is funded through a Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network Grant provided by the United States Department of Agriculture and administered by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, and seeks to shine a light on Arkansas’s rich rural culture and communities. Segments focus on the real stories of rural life, while addressing relevant topics like agriculture, health care, the economy, technology, policy and more.
Mental Health & Farming
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, farming is considered one of the most stressful occupations in the United States with a suicide rate reaching about 50% higher than the national average. The latest episode of “Good Roots” features Wendy Blackwood, a licensed professional counselor working to normalize the discussion of mental health in the agriculture community.
The State of Agriculture 2022
Agriculture is the state's largest industry annually contributing more than $19.4 billion to the economy. We take a look at some of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for agriculture in 2022 with Secretary Wes Ward, Arkansas Dept. of Agriculture and Mike Freeze, Vice President of Arkansas Farm Bureau Board.
Good Roots - February 18, 2022
A Farmer's Friend--A story of Farmer Mental Health
A Farmer's Friend--A story of Farmer Mental Health
Arkansas’s unpredictable weather can have dramatic impacts on farming, and in turn, farmers’ livelihoods.
“Good Roots” visits Fat Top Farm in Farmington, Arkansas, to see how mushroom farmers are fulfilling a niche demand from customers, chefs and supermarkets.
Rabbit Ridge Farms
Visit Rabbit Ridge Farms in Bee Branch, Arkansas, to see how a love for community, each other and unique farming techniques help educate families about where their food comes from.
Ja’Dayia Kursh, Rodeo Queen
In 2017, Ja’Dayia Kursh did something that no one in Arkansas had done – she became the state’s first Black Rodeo Queen. Kursh shares her journey, and how she spends her time advocating for diversity and mentoring a new generation.
After years of learning to cook with renowned chefs, working on farms across the Mediterranean, and seeing high-yield, small space growing methods firsthand, Raimondo created Urbana Farmstead, tucked 13 minutes from downtown Little Rock. There, Raimondo teaches canning and cooking classes to inform people where their food comes from and how to use it in various ways.
Good Roots: Infinity Farms
Theron and Jeanie Rowbotham of Infinity Ranch in Hagersville, Arkansas, are the eighth generation to call their slice of farmland home, and they’re making strides to give it economic stability for many years to come. The Rowbothams share how installing solar panels on the farm has impacted its future.
Global Impact of Arkansas Rice Production
Arkansas is a global leader of rice production, exporting 9 billion pounds per year to more than 25 countries. Host Lauren McCullough speaks with Kelly Robbins, executive director of Arkansas Rice, who shares current details about this top commodity. She tours the Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie in Stuttgart and visits Whitaker Farms in McGehee.
Arkansas Discovery Farms
Host Lauren McCullough travels to Southeast Arkansas to explore how the Arkansas Discovery Farms Program is promoting agricultural sustainability and environmental awareness in partnership with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. She visits Stevens Farms Inc. and Dabbs Farms, two of the 12 properties in the state selected to participate in the Discovery Farms Program.
Birdeye Farms and ASU Regional Farmers' Market
We’ll find out why the secret is in the soil as host Lauren McCullough visits Whit Smith — a fifth-generation farmer and teen entrepreneur in Cherry Valley — to explore his organic farming techniques at Birdeye Farms. Then, we’re traveling to the ASU Regional Farmers’ Market in Jonesboro to learn more about their upcoming expansion and the local community offerings with Dr. Kim Pittcock.
How does a veteran get an agricultural operation started? Segment host Logan Duvall explores this question as he and Boozman visit veteran-run farms, including The Farm at Barefoot Bend in Lonsdale, Arkansas.
Rural Medical Transportation and Trauma Services
Arkansas is facing a shortage of nurses and clinical personnel at a time when they’ve rarely been needed more. Learn how these shortages are impacting the entire state, and hear the challenges of providing emergency medical services (EMS) in the face of COVID-19 in rural Arkansas with “Good Roots.”
Agritourism at Subiaco Abbey and Urbana Farmstead
Agritourism is not only a way to generate extra income for the producer but provide social benefits to the community. Host Lauren McCullough visits two agritourism locations here in Arkansas to find out what makes them unique and how they plan to keep visitors coming back. Featured: Subiaco Abbey & Urbana Farmstead
The Carpenter Family's 50-Year Delta Farming Legacy
“Good Roots” travels to Grady this month to introduce the Carpenter family – who has been farming in the Delta for 50 years – and explores the challenges faced by minority farmers.
Barnhill Orchards, Bemis Honey Bee Farm, Bernice Garden
Take a look at the sweet side of Arkansas agriculture, including a spring favorite – strawberries! Meet the man behind Barnhill Orchards and learn about a family legacy. Then visit a honey bee farm where the Bemis’ are sharing their love and knowledge of these vital pollinators. Plus, we kick off our Farmers Market Roundup at the Bernice Garden Farmers’ Market.
Regenerative Farming at Ralston Farms
Visit the Ralston family to explore regenerative agriculture techniques that, among other benefits, help restore soil health, resulting in high quality, nutrient dense food. Logan Duvall hosts.
Meet the Hosts
A small business entrepreneur and outspoken voice for cancer awareness and research, Duvall is the co-owner of Me and McGee Market in North Little Rock.
Currently nominated for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society 2021 Man of the Year, Duvall is no stranger to adversity. First losing his grandfather to cancer in 2016, followed by the battles and triumphs of his then 5-year-old son who went on to beat stage 4 cancer. Duvall has dedicated an entire section of his market, “Lander’s Corner,” in an effort to educate and supply the supplemental and nutritional needs for those battling with cancer.
“He has passion and he is dedicated and he is hard working. I don’t think he meets a stranger. You meet him once and you just know he sees you. He sees you as a person, he wants to know you and he wants to help you. That’s truly who Logan is.” - Ansley Watson | LLS Leadership Team (KATV Good Afternoon AR Host)Website: Me and McGee Market
Facebook: Me and McGee Market on Facebook
Instagram: Me and McGee Market on Instagram
YouTube: Me and McGee Market on YouTube
Lauren McCullough is a creative entrepreneur, dividing her as a photographer, videographer and on-camera talent. Her passion lies in capturing and sharing the special moments that make up the "every day". Action shots and candids can be just as meaningful as a perfectly posed portrait. Lauren's broad range of talents and endeavors have influenced how she approaches each project.
Lauren's roots are in the southwest part of the state, where she grew up on the family farm showing registered Brangus cattle and raising chickens. She credits her father for instilling in her the "make hay while the sun shines" work ethic. Though she resides in the capital city now, she holds tight to the fond memories of fishing, gardening, and living the country-life with her close-knit family in Nashville, Arkansas.
As with any project that comes her way, Lauren is excited to meet fellow Arkansans, hear their experiences and share their unique stories with the world.