Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Saturday, June 28, 2014

University of Arkansas Fayetteville Garners More Recognition

Northwest Arkansas would not be what it is today were it not for the presence of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The cultural and economic impact is so large as to be difficult to quantify, but definitely contributes to our high quality of life.

A few recent, very disparate happenings--which some might find surprising--have attracted national attention to the university and our corner of the world.

First, James Patterson, internationally acclaimed New York Times best-selling author of mysteries and children’s books, has created eight additional teacher-education scholarships at the University of Arkansas for academic year 2014-15. Mr. Patterson gifted the first eight James PattersonTeacher Education Scholarships to U of A in 2013-14. Arkansas is one of 20 universities nationwide that is the recipient of these scholarship funds.

Recipients will receive $6,000 each. In order to be eligible, a student must be enrolled full time in an education program in the College of Education and Health Professions and have expressed an interest in pursuing a career as an elementary school teacher with a focus on reading and literacy.

The deadline to apply is July 21. More information is available by emailing llfoste@uark.edu.

Next, Jingyi Chen, assistant professor of physical chemistry at U of A, has been included in a list of the world’s most highly cited researchers in 2014. The list, Highly Cited Researchers, is compiled annually by Thompson-Reuters.

To make the list, scientists must rank among the top 1 percent most cited for their subject field and year of publication, earning them the mark of exceptional impact.

Dr. Chen works in the field of nanomaterials. (A nanometer is one millionth of a millimeter - approximately 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.)

And lastly, Bob Harrington, professor and 21st Century Endowed Chair in Hospitality in the Bumpers College at U of A and an expert on food and wine pairing, has been filmed for a documentary due out later this year. The documentary focuses on the evolution of current thoughts on wine and food matching.

Harrington was selected based on his systematic food and wine pairing approach, which he presented in his 2008 book, Food and Wine Pairing: A Sensory Experience.  His approach is based on empirical relationships that seem to drive a feeling of match and is based on 12 main interacting relationships of wine and food elements.

These three examples from extremely different fields have received recognition in different ways. Perhaps you are as surprised as I was to find these people in little old Arkansas. It used to be that for almost everything, the attitude was “thank God for Mississippi”, as Arkansas ranked at or near the bottom in most lists and studies. That appears to be changing….

Thursday, June 05, 2014

More Organic Food Choices Coming to NW Arkansas

As many have no doubt already heard, the rumor that a WholeFoods Market is coming to Fayetteville has proven true. The company announced it will build a store on College Avenue – a mere two miles north of Ozark Natural Foods. Many advocates of healthier food choices welcomed the news. Since Fayetteville is a university town, which many have compared to Austin, Texas, before it grew; the idea of Whole Foods in Fayetteville seems like a natural extension for the company, which is based in Austin.

However, consumers will have to be patient. Whole Foods Market is not scheduled to open until fall 2015.

Organic foods have been available, especially in Fayetteville and Rogers, for some time. Ozark Natural Foods has been open for more than 30 years. And Cook’s Natural Market, a family owned and operated store located on West Walnut in Rogers, has offered organic foods for some time.

The Fresh Market at Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers opened two years ago and has also proven popular with customers seeking fresh, natural, organic foods.

On a local level, Wal-Mart and Harp’s offer a limited selection of products and organic produce.
Wal-Mart is expanding organic food options by relaunching the Wild Oats brand of packaged organic and natural foods. WM says prices will belower than competitors on a wide variety of products.  

So, rather than availability, the problem has been cost. It is not unusual to see prices of organic foods double the usual items at a supermarket.

I think that’s why folks are excited to learn competition is coming to the Fayetteville market.
Competition is a good thing. It forces management to look at all aspects of their business; top to bottom.

ONF and WFM have totally different business models. One is not necessarily better than the other. Much depends on management plus the perspective of the consumer.

Ozark Natural Foods is a locally owned co-op (ownership by and for its members.) Owners/members have certain privileges such as discounts and exclusive sales events not available to the general public. At the end of a particularly profitable year, patronage refunds may be paid to members.

Whole Foods Market is a publicly traded corporation operating more than 360 stores. Stock holders own the business and when finances are good, dividends are paid to stock holders.

Will WFM’s economy of size help keep prices lower than ONF? Or will ONF save money on transportation expenses by buying from local suppliers? Only time will tell.

Many shoppers will probably drive by one or both stores while running errands. Surely they will compare prices and availability and decide for themselves which store best meets their needs. 

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