Posted on

Women Veterans Day observed June 12


Legislative news and notes from State Rep. Deborah Ferguson

By Ralph Hardin

When one thinks about the U.S. military, it usually conjures images of brave American “fighting men,” but women have been part of the American military narrative since the Revolutionary War, initially serving as nurses, spies, and support staff.

Today, they are integral to every branch of the armed forces, serving in roles that span from combat pilots to intelligence analysts.

In her most recent legislative update, State Rep. Deborah Ferguson (D-West Memphis) made note of a move the legislature made last year to recognize these women.

“One of the pieces of legislation signed into law during the 2023 Regular Session created Women Veterans Day as a state memorial day to be celebrated on June 12 each year,” said Ferguson. “Act 115 states Women Veterans Day is ‘acknowledged as an effort to honor the work of women in the United States Armed Forces and recognizes the unique challenges women have faced.’” On June 12, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed into law the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948, allowing women the right to serve as permanent, regular members of the United States Army, United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, and United States Air Force.

“There are nearly 2 million living women veterans in the United States,” noted Ferguson. “Women currently make up approximately 10 percent of the overall veteran population. Arkansas is home to over 220,000 veterans. Of those, close to 19,000 are women.”

She said honoring women veterans means celebrating their stories and contributions. “From the trailblazing nurses of World War II to the combat officers of today, each woman veteran’s story adds a unique thread to the fabric of our history. Their resilience, bravery, and dedication have paved the way for future generations, and recognizing their sacrifices enriches our state,” Ferguson said.

The Arkansas General Assembly is committed to improving the lives of all of our veterans. If you are a veteran or a family member of a veteran in need of assistance, visit veterans.

Arkansas Farmers Markets

With over 100 farmer markets across the state, this is the perfect opportunity to explore the vibrant offerings of Arkansas agriculture. Directto- consumer sales through these markets and other channels support more than 1,500 local farmers. Whether you’re after the freshest produce, a sense of community, or a pleasant way to spend a Saturday morning, Arkansas farmers markets provide a unique and enriching experience.

These markets are more than just venues for purchasing food; they are bustling community centers. They foster connections, nurture friendships, and invigorate the local spirit. By conversing with the farmers, you gain insights into their practices and the seasonal nature of various crops.

Every trip to a farmers market brings something new. From the first strawberries of spring to the hearty squash of autumn, the produce changes with the seasons, ensuring variety and excitement yearround. Buying directly from farmers means you’re not

See FERGUSON, page A20


From page A1

only enjoying the best seasonal produce but also supporting sustainable farming.

Your dollars spent at farmers markets have a significant impact, staying within the local economy and bolstering family farms and small businesses. This economic support is crucial for rural communities across Arkansas. Additionally, consumers benefit as producers can sell their goods at retail prices, ensuring fair compensation for their hard work.

Choosing to buy local helps secure the future of these farms and ensures the continuous availability of fresh, local produce for everyone.

In 2021, the General Assembly passed the Food Freedom Act (Act 1040), allowing even more products to be sold at local farmers markets. This legislation exempts certain homemade food and drink producers from licensure and certification requirements, including those making baked goods, candies, and jellies that don’t require refrigeration.

The next Crittenden County Farmer’s Market will be Saturday, July 13, at the Marion Courthouse Square, featuring locally sourced produce, fresh eggs, baked goods, food trucks and more, from 8 a.m. until noon.. For a comprehensive list of all farmers markets in Arkansas, visit our website at

Celebrate Arkansas Farmers Market Week by supporting your local farmers and enjoying the best of what our state has to offer.

Scroll Up