Thursday was the final day our the NACAA Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Sixteen tours were offered to participants to see Arkansas agriculture and their natural State.  I had the opportunity to do Tour 4: Tourism, Town and Retirees- Adapating Agriculture to Fit the Market.  Our tour brought us to the Hot Springs, Arkansas area.

We first attended the Hot Springs Village Green Market located in the 26,000 acre, gated community that is home to many retirees.  This community was the first gated community in the United States.  Next we visited the City of Hot Springs composting facility where we learned how they are dealing with waste materials while providing quality mulch to gardeners and the greater community.

For lunch we stopped in the heart of Hot Springs and had a locally source lunch at the Superior Bathhouse Brewery.  The brewery was once home to one of the many bathhouses that were found on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs.  Just outside were numberous hot springs bubbling from the earth at 143 degrees F.

After lunch we headed to JV Farms who raises pork and chicken and sells directly to customers and restaurants.  The brawburst we had at lunch was raised on JV Farms who feeds their pigs on the brewers grains from the Superior Bathhouse brewery.  Our final visit was at Sweetwater Farms Arkansas Natural Produce who has over 25 greenhouses raising vegetables and herbs for the wholesale market.  The salad at our lunch came from their farm as well.

I always enjoy visiting farms and see how they are working with their community to bring food to the people in their area.  These farm tour opportunites allow us to bring ideas back to our farmers across the country and are a valuable part of our NACAA conference.

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