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Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Address | New Center Supports Forest Business: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson

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Governor Hutchinson’s Weekly Address | New Center Supports Forest Business

Governor Hutchinson’s weekly radio address can be found in MP3 format and can be downloaded here.

small rock – Today I would like to talk to you about the new Academic Center that recently opened to promote the forest industry in Arkansas.

Agriculture is the state’s primary industry, and timber plays an important role in the state’s economy. When we think of farming in the wild, the first commodity that comes to mind is usually rice, cotton, poultry, soybeans, or cattle. However, the forest industry is important to the state’s economy and agricultural production.

Last week, I went to the University of Arkansas campus in Monticello to attend the grand opening of the Arkansas Forestry Business Center. The purpose of the center is to provide technical assistance in solving forest resource challenges, degree programs, information on wood supply, market conditions and efficiencies.

The forestry industry accounts for $6 billion in Arkansas’ economy. Our state is the South’s most lumber-dependent economy and her third largest in the country. We are growing our forests twice as fast as he harvests them, and we can still be a leader in forest sustainability even with twice our wood production.

The Forestry Business Center provides many resources to the Arkansas timber industry. The center not only expands educational opportunities at his UA-Monticello, but also provides opportunities for larger economic development projects in Southern Arkansas.

Companies such as Drax and Highland Pellets have chosen to expand their operations in Arkansas. Because there are abundant and sustainable forest products. Forest business centers not only help timber producers maximize their profits, they also help attract other businesses that utilize this resource.

But forestry business centers benefit more than just Southern Arkansas timber producers. Dean Peter McKeith of the Faye Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville has long had a vision of a statewide collaboration to promote state forest products. The Forest Business Center focuses on the economic and financial aspects of the timber industry, according to Dean MacKeith, while Anthony His Timberlands Center in Fayetteville focuses on the development and promotion of forest products.

UA-Monticello has the only school of forestry in Arkansas, and UA-Fayetteville has the only school of architecture in the state, so the two programs are a natural fit.

Our state is more successful when every corner of Arkansas works together to create economic success. The Center for Forest Business benefits not only timber producers in Southern Arkansas, but all Arkansas people in his chain of forest products supply.

Congratulations to Dean Michael Blazier of UA-Monticello College of Forestry, Agriculture, and Natural Resources. And thank you for your help in keeping Arkansas pristine.

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