Arkansas Century Farm Program Honors 36 Farms from 25 Counties

On November 27, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders was joined by Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward to induct 36 farms into the Arkansas Century Farm Program.

The Arkansas Century Farm Program recognizes Arkansas farms of 10 acres or more owned by the same family for at least 100 years. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture established the program in 2012 to highlight the contributions of these families to the agriculture industry as well as our state. The program is voluntary and there is no cost for participating families. Agriculture is the largest industry in Arkansas and contributes more than $20.9 billion to the state’s economy annually. Arkansas has 41,900 farms and 96 percent are family owned.

“A country that can’t feed itself, fuel itself, and clothe itself can’t survive. That’s why it’s so important to thank and support our farmers,” said Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “[I was] honored to join the newest inductees to Arkansas’ Century Farm Program. These 36 families have farmed the same land for over a century.”

604 farms are currently recognized as Arkansas Century Farms throughout the state. The 36 newly inducted farms are located in the following counties: Arkansas, Carroll, Cleburne, Conway, Craighead, Dallas, Faulkner, Fulton, Greene, Hempstead, Howard, Izard, Jackson, Jefferson, Lee, Little River, Logan, Lonoke, Mississippi, Monroe, Nevada, Ouachita, Perry, Randolph, and Van Buren.

A list of this year's inductees can be found here. Learn more about the program and find previous inductees here.

View 2023 Induction Ceremony Photos

JA Farms Named 2023 Arkansas Farm Family of the Year

Congratulations to the Allen Family for being named the 2023 Arkansas Farm Family of the Year! Jeremy and Magen Allen of Bismarck are the owners of JA Farms, a diversified enterprise, including a feed business, trucking company, and retail farm store in addition to cattle and hay operations. The Allens have been farming for 28 years. Photos courtesy of Arkansas Farm Bureau. Read the full release from Arkansas Farm Bureau here.

Arkansas Farm Bureau Selects Leaders

Dan Wright, a poultry producer from Waldron, was elected on December 1 as Arkansas Farm Bureau’s president, becoming the 12th person to serve in that role in the organization’s 89-year history. Mike Freeze of Little Rock will continue as vice president for the agriculture advocacy organization. Both were elected during Farm Bureau’s state convention at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

Voting delegates also re-elected seven board members to two-year terms. They are Sherry Felts, Joiner; Bob Shofner, Centerton; Jon Carroll, Moro; Joe Thrash, Houston; Terry Laster, Strong; Chase Groves, Garland City; and Jack Evans of Lonoke.

Read the full release from Arkansas Farm Bureau here.

Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo

Mark your calendars! The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is partnering with several Arkansas agriculture associations and organizations to host the 2024 Arkansas Grown Conference & Expo. The conference will be held January 25-27, 2024, at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

The conference is open to all parties interested in Arkansas agriculture, the state’s largest industry, and focuses on the farmers and producers who grow for our local food system. The event will consist of workshops, speakers, an off-site farm tour, networking opportunities, and a vendor trade show.

Registration includes access to general sessions, workshops, and entrance to the expo. Opportunities for sponsorship and vendor booths are available.

Learn More and Register

Arkansas Poultry Producers Encouraged to Implement Strict Biosecurity Practices

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) continues to threaten Arkansas poultry owners. All poultry flocks are encouraged to follow the strictest biosecurity on their farms to prevent the spread of the disease. Poultry owners should monitor their flocks and report any possible symptoms to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture at 501-823-1746. Learn more about HPAI and the steps you can take to protect your flock here.

2023 Arkansas Grown Magazine

For centuries, the practice of family farming has been the foundation of the agricultural industry in the United States. The Arkansas Century Farm Program offers a way to recognize families around the state who have owned the same land for at least 100 years.

Read more about the program in the 2023 edition of Arkansas Grown. You can view the magazine online here, or find a physical copy at various locations around the state! With more than 25 features about Arkansas agriculture, there's something for everyone.

Photo Features

The Arkansas Beef Council met on December 7 at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. Members heard administrative updates from staff, an overview of recent research and promotion activities, and reports from various organizations. Following the meeting, members and attendees toured the Arkansas Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's annual Christmas tree was delivered by Forestry Division staff on December 4. The tree is from Bradbury Christmas Tree Farm, an Arkansas Grown member. Pictured (from left): State Forester Kyle Cunningham, Rickey Bradbury, Forester Robert Floyd, Deputy State Forester Darren Spinks.

Blytheville was Arkansas's Capital for a Day on November 30. Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her Cabinet secretaries spent the day touring businesses and meeting with local officials. Secretary Ward joined Governor Sanders for a tour of Yamato Steel Company and Viserion Grain.

On November 27, Forestry Division employees in Howard and Pike counties hosted a program where over 130 elementary school students learned about fire safety and prevention.

New Resources, Trainings, & Opportunities

New Resources from the National Agricultural Law Center

Introducing The Feed:

The body of laws, policies, and regulations affecting agriculture is vast and fast-changing, but the National Agricultural Law Center has introduced The Feed, a biweekly newsletter aimed at keeping industry professionals up to date.

Content is written by research attorneys but is designed for non-attorneys as well. Find recent issues of The Feed here.

Upcoming Webinars:


Recent Blog Posts:

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service to Host Avian Influenza Webinar

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service will host a free webinar workshop covering highly pathogenic avian influenza disease recognition and prevention in poultry flocks. The webinar will be held on December 12 at 6 p.m. and will be aimed at small and backyard hobby flock owners. The webinar is free to attend, but registration is required. Learn more and register here.

Looking to enhance the holiday season? Make it an Arkansas Grown & Arkansas Made Christmas! Find holiday essentials, from the perfect tree to handmade gifts, all in one place. Visit the Arkansas Grown website to find everything you need to make this season a success while supporting local growers, producers, and artisans!

USDA Updates

USDA Announces December 2023 Lending Rates for Agricultural Producers

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced loan interest rates for December 2023, which are effective December 1, 2023. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans provide important access to capital to help agricultural producers start or expand their farming operation, purchase equipment and storage structures, or meet cash flow needs. Find the lending rates and more information from USDA here.

Weekly Market Summary

Each Friday, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture publishes a comprehensive Weekly Market Summary, which includes the Arkansas Weekly Livestock Auction Summary and Related Individual Market Sale Summaries, National Weekly Rice Summary, Memphis Weekly Feed Report, Weekly Rice, Grain, Cotton, and Feed Futures Trends, Weekly Livestock and Milk Futures Trends, Bid Prices to Farmers, Arkansas Daily Grain Report, Heading Links for Historical Data, and news.

The summary is available on the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Market Reports webpage, as well as each Division's webpage and Facebook page, and you may sign-up to receive the summary by email at Subscribe To Notifications And Publications.
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Ag Facts: Arkansas Century Farm Program

  • Arkansas has 41,900 farms and 96 percent are family owned.
  • The Arkansas agriculture industry's achievements would not be possible without the dedicated, efficient, and innovative Arkansas farm families who work tirelessly to provide food, fiber, and shelter at home and abroad.
  • The Arkansas Century Farm Program was established in 2012 to honor farm families who have owned and farmed the same land for at least 100 years. These farms represent Arkansas's rich agricultural heritage and highlight the deep family ties and important historical relevance of agriculture in the Natural State.
  • Since 2012, over 600 Arkansas farms and families have been inducted into the Arkansas Century Farm Program, including 36 farms inducted in November 2023.
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The Arkansas Department of Agriculture offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.