LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (November 20, 2017) – During a ceremony on Monday at the State Capitol, Governor Hutchinson joined agriculture leaders, industry partners, and students from Arkansas 4H and FFA as he declared the week of November 19-26 as Turkey Week in Arkansas.

The Turkey Week proclamation highlights Arkansas’s turkey industry and its value to Arkansas’s economy and agriculture industry. The full proclamation can be found here.

“We should celebrate our farmers and ranchers all year long for providing the food, fiber, and shelter that we depend on each day, but as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, I especially want to recognize Arkansas’s turkey industry that produces over 11 percent of all U. S. turkeys,” said Governor Hutchinson. “Long hours and hard work go into the $434 million turkey industry that creates and supports 14,000 Arkansas jobs. I appreciate the work of our farmers and industry leaders who help keep our state’s economy and agriculture industry strong.”

Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward said, “Agriculture is our state’s largest industry with an economic impact of over $20 billion each year. The poultry industry, which includes turkey, chicken and eggs, provides 48.5 percent of that total, and we are thankful for the farmers and ranchers who provide this protein every year.”

Recognizing the importance of future generations to the sustainability of Arkansas’s agriculture industry, the ceremony featured participants from the 4H Turkey Project of Conway County who brought a live turkey they raised as part of the project. Speakers also recognized Cargill’s recent donation of 120,000 pounds of turkey to Arkansas food banks as one of the turkey industry’s efforts to eliminate hunger in Arkansas.

“Arkansas ranks third in the nation for turkey production and what better time to recognize their hard work than the week of Thanksgiving. Thank you to our dedicated farmers who raise 26 million turkeys per year, and industry leaders like Cargill and Butterball for their impact on our state,” said Poultry Federation President, Marvin Childers. Turkey continues to be a top protein choice for American consumers with average annual consumption being 16.7 pounds per person in 2016. Learn more about the Arkansas turkey industry and its economic impact, here.

The AAD is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation.