Agriculture Policy Class Tours State Capitol

MONTICELLO, AR — Agricultural policy students in the University of Arkansas at Monticello School of Agriculture got a first-hand look at a regular session of the Arkansas General Assembly during a tour of the State Capitol in Little Rock last week.

            The class spent the day listening to committee meetings, interacting with legislators and lobbyists, and observing a general legislative session.
            The students first attended the House Agriculture Committee meeting where they met multiple legislators and individuals preparing to address the committee regarding specific bills.  Representative Dan Douglas, committee chair, introduced the students.  Bills considered in the meeting ranged from restrictions on the sale of dogs and cats to creating public charter schools for agriculture instruction. 

            A tour of the Capitol followed before the group attended a lunch hosted by the Arkansas Farm Bureau legislative staff.  Staff members described their relationships with legislators during the policy development process and discussed some key agricultural legislation still pending.  Students had opportunities to question the staff in small groups, share their personal backgrounds and post-graduation plans.
            Following lunch, the class returned to the Capitol to meet with Governor Asa Hutchinson.  The governor shared information about his recent session with President Trump on agricultural issues.

            Class members attended a session of the House of Representatives where they saw votes on bills approved that morning in the Agriculture Committee along with numerous other legislative proposals.  "Directly observing the discussion and voting process of the House expanded class members understanding and gave a clear vision of how complicated a general session legislative process can be," said Dr. Bob Stark, professor of agricultural policy. Also accompanying the students was Dr. Paul Francis, professor of crop and soil science.

            For more information, contact Dr. Bob Stark at (870) 460-1014.


PHOTO CAPTION: Members of UAM's agricultural policy class visit with Governor Asa Hutchinson. Pictured from left are Luke Hughes of Tillar, Bradley Sass of Tillar, Wil Clifton of Rison, McKayla Patterson of Hampton, Cody Mencer of Lake Village, McKinley Anderson of Humphrey, Allison Eubanks of Wilmar, Cody Smith of Malvern, Nathan Sims of McGehee, Governor Hutchinson, Robert Brooks of Portland, Jenna Coker of Malvern, Kase Bounds of Almyra, Grant Smith of Hamburg, Dr. Bob Stark of the UAM agriculture faculty, Lane Daley of Hamburg, and Dalton Peacock of Star City.

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