Thank goodness its Friday! On Fridays I will post a photo from the ranch and discuss the subject. Take a gander and see if you can guess what we are looking at…

Alright so this one’s not really from the ranch, but everybody loves some good ice cream. What do you get when you combine the Arkansas Razorback Hog Call and Arkansas’ Favorite Ice Cream? Woo Pig Chewy! Made by my favorite hometown, family-owned ice cream company. Well, at least it was until last week when Yarnell’s Ice Cream announced it was closing its doors and ceasing production.

Yarnell’s Ice Cream, based in Searcy, Arkansas, serves Arkansas, and parts of Mississippi and Tennessee. The 75 year old company has deep family roots and is still owned by the Yarnell Family. As a kid, my family raised cattle on the original dairy farm. We turned the milking barn into a vaccination corral, and raised cattle for beef instead of milk production. In the 3rd grade my class took a field trip to the plant where we tasted several of their flavors. Yarnell’s has always been a strong part of the community of <20,000 and a huge part of Arkansas events, especially Arkansas Razorback Athletics with their themed ice cream flavors. My favorite happens to be Woo Pig Chewy. It was with a heavy heart that I savored my final bowl this last weekend.

Janice Person brought up a good point in her blog about the ice cream. With such a push for local foods, why would a regional food company be struggling so? Everyone I know has nothing but support the company, it’s 200 employees, and love their flavors. In fact, it’s the only ice cream you’ll find in my freezer. Are consumers preaching one thing, but practicing another, unaware of the source of their food? Did regional consumers realize this was a locally and family owned company? Kinda makes me wonder, how much do we pay attention to our food sources…

On a brighter note…. July is Ice Cream Month!!! How do you plan to celebrate?

  • It takes 12 lbs. of milk to make just one gallon of ice cream. (Thank a Dairy Farmer!)
  • The U.S. enjoys an average of 48 pints of ice cream per person, per year, more than any other country.
  • Of all the days of the week, most ice cream is bought on Sunday!
  • James Madison had ice cream served at his inaugural ball – the milk came straight from the Madison’s own cows!
  • Ronald Reagan dubbed July “National Ice Cream Month” and the 3rd Sunday “National Ice Cream Day” in 1984

Other than my Yarnell’s Woo Pig Chewy, my favorite flavor is Butter Pecan. What about you?

Have you ever tried Yarnell’s Ice Cream? Do you have a favorite regional brand?