April 2019
Arkansas Peanut Month

Governor Asa Hutchinson  declared March as Arkansas Peanut Month during a proclamation ceremony at the Capitol March 21. Peanuts contribute $25 million to the economy, making it the fifth largest cash crop in the state.

Governor Declares Peanut Month - video
Arkansas Agriculture Week

March 10-16 was Arkansas Ag Week and in celebration of this week, the Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD) featured a
“We AR Ag” campaign.

The AAD shared stories and information every day highlighting different aspects of the fields, processing plants and food products that consumers see every day. seen every day. If you didn't get a chance to see them during Ag Week, you can still catch them.
Arbor Day Celebration

Arkansas Urban Forestry Council (AUFC) held an Arbor Day celebration at the Governor's Mansion March 18, where  Governor Asa Hutchinson presented a proclamation and joined Arkansas' First Lady, Susan Hutchinson; AUFC's Executive Director, Donna Hertlein; and Arkansas Forestry Commission's Urban Forestry Program Coordinator, Krista Quinn, in planting a rare Stern's Medler tree on the grounds. Find more photos  here
Arkansas Women in Ag Conference

The  Arkansas Women in Agriculture Conference, held in Little Rock March 11-13, included a panel of speakers from a wide variety of specialties and backgrounds to discuss careers in agriculture. On the panel: Lea Brewer, Animal Science Research Assistant; Brandy Johnson, Full Time Farmer; Emily Russell, Credit Analyst with Farm Credit of Western Arkansas; Tezra Woody, Deputy Regional Director of USDA Office of Hearing and Appeals; Cynthia Edwards, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture; Michelle Bufkin, Membership Director of Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association; Kait Walters, Broiler Technician at Tyson Foods.
Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program
Deadline - April 12

Arkansas has five opportunities for qualified veterinarians to offset a significant portion of the debt incurred in pursuit of their veterinary medicine degrees in return for their service in certain high-priority veterinary shortage situations. For individuals that commit to at least three years to providing vet services in a designated shortage area, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture may repay up to $25,000 of student loan debt per year. Deadline for applications is April 12. See the shortage areas here and more details on the program here .
Arkansas Livestock & Poultry Commission
Tyler Davis - Ashdown
For more information read the article here .
Retirements
AAD held a retirement ceremony and celebration for Doug Akin, Assistant State Forester - Forest Management, upon his retirement from the Forestry Commission. He will now head on to a second career.

More photos of the farewell/retirement ceremony can be seen here .
Kenny Fant, District 2 Ranger in Howard county, celebrated his retirement after 13 years with the Forestry Commission. Shane Booth (right) presented Kenny with a certificate of retirement.
Arkansas Grown

Welcome to the 2019 edition of Arkansas Grown.
The Arkansas Agriculture Department exists to serve and promote Arkansas agriculture, our state’s largest industry. Our goal with each edition of Arkansas Grown is to provide you an overview of the breadth and diversity of Arkansas agriculture and the families that make the industry possible.
Advanced Rural Crimes Investigation Class
AAD's Law Enforcement Officers attended Advanced Rural Crimes Investigation class last week in Stigler, Oklahoma. The class, sponsored by  Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry , was attended by 47 officers from across Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas and Special Agents from Arkansas.
Century Farm Applications Due May 31

The AAD is now accepting applications for the 2019 Arkansas Century Farm program. This program recognizes Arkansas families who have owned and farmed the same land for at least 100 years. Online and printable applications are available here . There is no cost to apply.
Help Smokey Bear Celebrate His 75th Birthday
with a “Shout-Out”

AAD's Forestry Commission (AFC) is sponsoring a Smokey Bear “Shout-Out” contest through April 19 to celebrate Smokey’s 75th birthday. Smokey is the fictional bear that was designated the symbol for forest fire prevention in 1944 by the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council.

Elementary classes across Arkansas are invited to record a short video wishing Smokey a happy birthday and to share it on the AFC and the AAD social media sites for a chance to win a birthday party with Smokey.
Arkansas Ag Fact: Peanuts

  • Arkansas harvested 25,000 acres and 120 million pounds of peanuts in 11 counties in 2018
  • The value of Arkansas' peanut crop is more than $25 million, making it the fifth largest cash crop in the state
  • Arkansas was deemed a primary peanut-producing state by the USDA in 2014 and granted a seat on the National Peanut Board
  • Greg Gill, a peanut farmer from Walnut Ridge, was the first Arkansan to serve as the chairman of the National Peanut Board in 2018
  • Arkansas is home to two peanut buying points in Portia and Pocahontas, providing jobs to 125 residents
  • Arkansas is home to Skippy peanut butter facility, located in Little Rock
  • A recent announcement was made of two new farmer-owned peanut facilities in the state: a $50 million buying and shelling plant in Jonesboro and an $8 million buying point in Marianna
Arkansas Grown T-shirts

Arkansas Grown t-shirts are $15 and available in sizes YS-Adult XXXL. There is a $2 handling fee for shipped orders. Send your name, size and address to marketing@agriculture.arkansas.gov. .