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North Little Rock farmer works to get more women into farming

Agriculture is the largest industry in Arkansas— we spoke with one woman who's working hard to increase female farm ownership in the Natural State.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — According to the Arkansas Farm Bureau, there are 49,000 fams in our state, and because of this Agriculture is actually the largest industry in the Natural State.

Kesha Cobbs is an urban farmer who started growing her own fruits and vegetables about 15 years ago right in her own backyard. 

“I started initially because I remember the day, I had to choose between buying something healthy or putting gas in my car to take my son to school. And I’m like what gives? So, this beautiful food is coming out of the ground, and I need to be able to grow it,” said Cobb.

Over the years Cobb has taught other people how to do the same thing in their backyard.

“Now I have a pop-up farmers market here at my house and I can collect snap benefits for that and teach other people how to do the same,” she explained.

She also said that her goal is to inspire other women.

“I don't see a lot of farmers that are Black women, I don't see a lot of farmers that are women,” said Cobb. “So, with us representing less than 1% of farmers in the state, it's very important for me to see representation.”

This led her to start a chapter of National Women in Agriculture right here in the Natural State. 

“Black women only comprise 400 farmers in the state,” said Cobb. “So, we want to only not only empower Black women but women as a whole to enter the agriculture industry where it's the number one industry in Arkansas.”

The chapter has been up and running for about a year, and Cobb hopes it will continue to grow.

“We're working on a project right now to bring in 1000 little girls into the organization and established the youngest farmers in Arkansas,” Cobb explained.

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