Arkansas is the 2011 Spotlight State at Sunbelt Ag Expo.

Andy Guffey, who is with the Arkansas Farm Bureau, says the state’s agriculture industry has come together in a big way to promote the many segments of agriculture that thrive in Arkansas.

This year’s theme is “Grow Arkansas.” The exhibit will feature Arkansas crop production and the state’s livestock industry. Though Guffey says they have had virtually universal support for the exhibit from the state’s agriculture industry, the exhibit will be more about overall agricultural crops and products than about any of the participating agencies.

There will be a spotlight on agri-tourism, different row crops and different livestock operations will be highlighted. There also will be sections that promote horticulture and timber. And, the Department of Agriculture will feature some marketing tools used by state farmers.

 “We will have input and support from the Farm Bureau, Department of Agriculture, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension, Arkansas Rice Council, Arkansas Poultry and Egg Association, Arkansas Corn and Grain Board, all our farm credit agencies and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives — well virtually every group in the state will play a part in helping us promote agriculture at Sunbelt Expo this year,” Guffey says.

Visitors to the Arkansas tent will get a bag of Arkansas rice and Arkansas Spring Water. During the event, the Apostles of Blue Grass will be performing and leaders of various statewide agriculture organizations will be on hand to talk about agriculture.

There will be a drawing for an Apple I-pod each day of the three-day Expo. Among the Arkansas agriculture leaders on hand at the Expo will be Tony Windham, the associate vice-president for agriculture at the University of Arkansas. He will be speaking at the ribbon-cutting for the exhibit and at the annual luncheon featuring the Farmer of the Year competition.