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Greenway Equipment of Newport has donated $2 million to the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Northeast Rice Research and Extension Center in Poinsett County.
Half the money will be used to buy agricultural equipment for the station, which is about 8 miles south of Jonesboro on State Highway 1; the other half will go toward construction of the NERREC exhibition hall, which will house new research into rice production practices.
When complete, the hall will have “research labs, facilities for community and industry meetings, and importantly, a learning space dedicated to educating grade school children and the general public on rice production in Arkansas,” Tim Burcham, director of the NERREC, said in a news release.
Greenway CEO Marshall Stewart said the hall will “open doors to new segments for our community to gain a better understanding of the importance that agriculture, specifically rice, plays in our region, state, and world.”
John Conner Jr., chairman of Greenway, is a UA alumnus whose family has grown cotton, soybeans, and rice.
“With having such an extensive family presence at the University of Arkansas, along with the importance of the rice market to our region, the Northeast Rice Research and Extension Center is a great fit for this area and the communities involved,” he said.