December 04, 2013 Edition

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Sen. Boozman tours
Birdsong Peanuts

U.S. Senator John Boozman tours Birdsong Peanuts facility in Portia Tuesday. Boozman is visiting various facilities in Northeast Arkansas this week to learn about production and to address issues with the economy and the Farm Bill. Boozman's agriculture liaison, Ron Chastain (second, from left), accompanied him on the tour. Birdsong Warehouse Manager Jeff Reese (left) and Manager Chris Henson led the tour.
TD Photo ~ Megan Heyl
Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

U.S. Senator John Boozman visited Birdsong Peanuts in Portia Tuesday afternoon as part of a tour around different facilities in Northeast Arkansas.

The focus of the visits is for Boozman to learn what the facilities do and how they are helping the economy.

"I like seeing how things are made and done," Boozman said. "It's good to get out and see all this."

The senator talked with Manager Chris Henson and other Birdsong employees about the state of the Farm Bill. Agriculture accounts for nearly one-quarter of Arkansas's economic activity and one out of every six jobs in Arkansas is tied to it according to Boozman.

Henson gave a tour of the warehouse currently stocked with 11,000 tons of peanuts. The growth of peanut farming in Arkansas has surpassed expectations. Henson said if someone had told him three years ago that peanut farming in Arkansas would be where it is at today he wouldn't have believed it. "Now it's like second nature," he said.

"It's really unique," Boozman said. "We like to see Arkansas agriculture expand. It's another example of how we need to get the Farm Bill passed to continue to create these jobs."

Boozman stressed that the Farm Bill is a nationwide issue, and he remains confident that a bill that the country is proud of can be crafted. He said he will remain committed to fighting for Arkansas producers until an equitable Farm Bill is signed into law.

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