• Jennifer James | Season 3 | Episode 9 | A FarmHer That Sustains

October 31, 2018 1 Comment

Jennifer James is a FarmHer working to help operate her family’s 4th generation family farm in Arkansas. The family owns and operates H&J Land Company, planting crops on thousands of acres of land in northern Arkansas.  I arrived at the base operations for the farm, the office and processing facility, first thing in the morning. Greeted by Jennifer’s warm smile, we set out on a fun day to learn about Jennifer, her farm and rice! After showing me around the office and then a quick tour through the plant on premises where they process specialty soybeans that are shipped to Japan we jumped in the truck to head out to the field. Jennifer is responsible for the accounting and marketing within the operation as well as crop insurance and communication with the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

Until that day, I literally knew nothing about rice, other than it goes well with my Chinese takeout food.  Being from the Midwest, I had never seen it grown before. As we drove, I learned that Arkansas is the number one rice producing state and Jennifer’s family grows a lot of it.  The rice grown in Arkansas is about 50% of the rice we buy on the grocery store shelves here in the US. When I was there the rice had recently been planted and was just making its appearance above the soil.  It’s grown in between small dirt levees that are built each season, based on the grade of the land. They use irrigation to flood the fields at a certain point in the growing process because the rice thrives in wet conditions.  The water also works to keep the weeds at bay.

As we drove from field to field, I learned about Jennifer’s commitment to sustainability for the rice industry.  So much so that she is currently the sustainability chairman for USA Rice, Vice Chairman of the Arkansas Rice Farmer’s Board, and chairman of the North Central Riceland Food Drier Board.  Jennifer is a FarmHer through and through - caring about her family, her community and the soils that sustains them.

Until next time!

 




1 Response

Lea Roy
Lea Roy

November 03, 2018

Jennifer Hare James is the epitome of what we all want our daoughters to aspire to be. They may not all be farmers be our future must continue to strive to make a difference in everything we do. Never underestimate the importance of what we can accomplish in big cities or small town America and the impact that it can have across the globe. Love that I know her.

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