Over 400 Attend First Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo
The Arkansas Grown program, administered through the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department), partnered with several Arkansas agricultural associations and organizations to host the first Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo in Little Rock. 
The conference was open to all parties interested in Arkansas’s agriculture industry and focused on farmers and producers who grow for the local food system. The four-day event consisted of general sessions with keynote speakers, workshops, off-site farm tours, networking opportunities, and a vendor trade show with representatives from over 70 businesses and organizations. Evening events at the Sunset Lodge at Rusty Tractor Vineyard and the University of Arkansas Pulaski Tech Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute showcased Arkansas Grown food, wine, and beer. Over 400 individuals attended the conference. Photos from the event are available at here.
“The Arkansas Department of Agriculture was fortunate to partner with Arkansas organizations and associations to host the first Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo,” said Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “This event served as an excellent opportunity for our farmers to connect with each other and with organizations that provide resources and opportunities that support our state’s largest industry.”

Partner organizations included the Arkansas State Horticulture Society, Arkansas Association of Grape Growers, Arkansas Farmers Market Association/Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention, Arkansas Blackberry Growers Association, and Arkansas Agritourism Association. The Department would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the first Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo:
  • Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas, Gold
  • University of Arkansas System of Agriculture, Gold
  • Walton Family Foundation, Gold
  • AgWorks, Silver
  • American Farmland Trust, Silver
  • Arkansas Farm Bureau, Silver
  • Arkansas SARE, Silver
  • Barn2Door, Silver
  • Haygrove Garden Tunnels, Silver
  • River Valley Tractor, Silver
  • The Nurserie, Silver
  • University of Arkansas Pulaski Tech, Silver
  • Arkansas Pork Producers, Bronze
  • Arkansas Pork Producers, Bronze
  • Ben E. Keith Co., Bronze
  • Dogwood Hills Guest Farm, Bronze
  • Edwards Food Giant, Bronze
  • Harps Food Store Inc., Bronze
  • Ilex Organics, Bronze
  • Mark McLarty Ford, Bronze
  • Me & McGee Market, Bronze
  • Mountaire Corporation, Bronze
  • Ralston Family Farms, Bronze
  • Red River Auto Group, Bronze
  • Yaupon Brothers American Tea Co., Bronze
Additional Friends of Arkansas Grown sponsors can be viewed here.
Mencer Named 2022 Cotton Marketer of the Year

Congratulations to Joe Mencer of Lake Village for being named the 2022 Cotton Marketer of the Year! Read more about his accomplishments in an article from Cotton Grower Magazine here. Photo credit: Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Program
2023 Arkansas Century Farm Applications Due May 31
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the 2023 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.
“Arkansas Century Farm families have persevered challenges for at least ten decades and have contributed greatly in making Arkansas agriculture the success story that it is today,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “As our state’s largest industry, agriculture has an economic impact of over $19 billion annually and provides one in seven jobs in the state.”
To qualify, Arkansas farms must meet the following criteria:

  • The same family must have owned the farm for 100 years by Dec. 31, 2023. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews or nieces, including through marriage and adoption.
  • The farm must be at least ten acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.
Qualifying Arkansas farms will receive a personalized Arkansas Century Farm certificate and metal sign listing the farm name and year established.
Arkansas is home to more than 42,000 farms, of which 96 percent are family owned and operated.
Since the program began in 2012, 568 farms have been certified. Find lists of previously inducted Arkansas Century Farm families here.
Contact Beth Moore at 501-539-4027 or beth.moore@agriculture.arkansas.gov with questions. Applications must be received via email or postmarked on or before May 31, 2023, to be eligible for designation as a 2023 inductee. 
Arkansas AgCast from the Arkansas Grown Conference

Arkansas Farm Bureau hosted their weekly podcast from the halls of the Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo! Secretary Ward appeared on the episode to discuss the conference and the value it provides to the state's largest industry. Check out the episode here.
Arkansas Soybean Association Announces 2022 Grow for the Green
Yield Challenge Winners
Each year the Grow for the Green Soybean Yield Challenge recognizes and rewards Arkansas's top soybean producers. The contest is a product of partnership between the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, the Arkansas Soybean Association, and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. This year's contest saw 71 entrants and the top three producers were Matt Miles, Layne Miles, and Sherries Miles, all in Ashley County.

Find the complete results from the 2022 Grown for the Green Yield Challenge here.
2023 Arkansas Grown Magazine

The latest edition of the Arkansas Grown magazine is here! With more than 25 features about Arkansas agriculture, there's something for everyone. You can view the magazine online here, or find a physical copy at various locations around the state very soon!
Photo Features
The first Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo was held at the end of last month. The event focused on farmers and producers who grow for the local food system and consisted of workshops, speakers, farm tours, off-site events, and a vendor trade show! The conference was hosted by the Arkansas Grown program in partnership with the Arkansas Blackberry Growers Association, Arkansas Farmers Market Association/ArCOP, Arkansas State Horticulture Society, Arkansas Association of Grape Growers, and Arkansas Agritourism Association. Thank you to our sponsors (a full list can be found here)! Additional photos from the event can be found here.
On January 25, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division celebrated Forestry Day at the Capitol! Staff met legislators and shared information about the Forestry Division's goals and their role in protecting Arkansas's forests. Smokey Bear even made an appearance, reminding everyone to stay fire safe!
The 59th Annual Meeting of the Arkansas Soybean Association was held on January 25 in Brinkley. Secretary Ward began the meeting with an update on agriculture in Arkansas. There was also a panel discussion on the upcoming farm bill where Fitzhugh Elder represented Senator Boozman and Joe MacFarlane represented Representative Rick Crawford.
The Arkansas Rice Annual Meeting was held on January 26 in Stuttgart. Secretary Ward welcomed attendees before they heard a discussion about Arkansas Rice Check-Off, an innovation panel, a climate-smart panel, and a legislative panel discussion on the upcoming farm bill.

On January 27, Secretary Ward and Arkansas Department of Agriculture staff visited with Senator John Boozman and President Brad Graham of the Catfish Farmers of Arkansas at their annual meeting in Hot Springs.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division crew volunteered their bulldozer to pull a Holiday Island Fire Department truck out of a ditch in Carroll County during the inclement weather at the end of January.
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. The first two issues of the digital newsletter were released in January and are available online here.

Recent Webinars:
Recent Blog Posts:

Upcoming Events:
Webinar: Get to Know the European Market
The Southern U.S. Trade Association (SUSTA) is a non-profit organization that facilitates trade between small to medium-sized southern U.S. companies and overseas importers. Since 1973, SUSTA has worked with the Departments of Agriculture to increase the export of southern U.S. food and agricultural products and enhance the economic well-being of the region.

SUSTA and Phaff Export Marketing are hosting a webinar for those interested in learning about exporting U.S. agricultural products to Europe. The webinar will be held March 1, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Central Time. Content will include a market overview, a market entry panel discussion, and a questions and answer session.

Find registration and more information here.
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture 2023 Winter Row Crop Production Meetings

Winter production meetings began in January. Dates and locations for specific meetings may be subject to change. For specific production meetings, contact your county extension office.

February Meetings

  • Feb. 8, Arkansas: Rice Research & Extension Center, Stuttgart, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Rice, Soybean, Corn)
  • Feb. 8, Craighead/Poinsett: Lake City First Baptist Church, Lake City, from 8:30 a.m. to lunch (Corn, Cotton)
  • Feb. 9, Greene: Stanford Baptist Church, Stanford, from 8 a.m. to lunch (Rice, Soybean)
  • Feb. 9, Clay: Corning Community Center, Corning, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Rice, Soybean)
  • Feb. 9, SE Arkansas: Men's Club, McGehee, from 8 a.m. to lunch (Corn, Cotton)
  • Feb. 10, White: White County Extension Office, Searcy, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Rice, Soybean, Corn)
  • Feb. 13, Lincoln/Drew/Desha: Community Center, Dumas, from 8 a.m. to lunch (Rice, Soybean)
  • Feb. 14, Monroe/St. Francis: Woodruff Electric, Forrest City, from 8 a.m. to lunch (Rice, Soybean)
  • Feb. 15, Woodruff: Three County Fairgrounds, McCrory, from 8:15 a.m. to lunch (Rice, Soybean, Corn)
  • Feb. 16, Mississippi: Arkansas Northeastern College, Blytheville, from 8:30 a.m. to lunch (Rice, Soybean)
  • Feb. 17, Randolph, Lawrence: Lawrence County Meeting Hall, Walnut Ridge, from 8:30 a.m. to lunch (Rice, Soybean, Corn)
  • Feb. 28, Crittenden: West Memphis First United Methodist Church, West Memphis, from 8:30 a.m. to lunch (Rice, Soybean)

March Meetings

  • Mar. 1, Clark: Huneycutt Farms/Benchmark Ag, Arkadelphia, from 8:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. (Rice, Soybean, Corn, Cotton)
  • Mar. 2, River Valley: Yesterday's Restaurant, Morrilton, from 10 a.m. to lunch (Rice)
  • Mar. 7, St. Francis: Woodruff Electric, Forrest City, from 9:15 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Peanuts)

Visit here to learn more about the meetings and see the full calendar.
Senate Ag Committee Internship Opportunity
Applications are now being accepted for a summer internship opportunity with Senator Boozman’s Minority Staff on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

The application deadline is Friday, March 17, no later than 5:00 p.m. CT. Click here to apply or for more information.
Free Online Beekeeping Course
Do you or someone you know have an interest in beekeeping? The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service offers a free educational online beekeeping course! Dr. Jon Zawislak, entomologist and EAS-certified Master Beekeeper, breaks down everything you need to know to get started. Visit here for more information.
Defend the Flock: Bird Health Awareness Week

February 26-March 3 is Bird Health Awareness Week! This week is dedicated too helping all poultry growers learn about the importance of biosecurity and ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Click here to learn more about Defend the Flock.
Outstanding Teacher of the Year Applications Open

Do you know of a teacher doing a great job with Ag in the Classroom? You can nominate them for Arkansas Ag in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher of the Year! Nominations are open until April 1. For more information or to download an application click here.
The Poultry Federation Food Safety Conference
The Poultry Federation's 11th Annual Food Safety Conference is scheduled to take place on March 7-9, 2023, at the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Food safety professionals, industry representatives, and members of the academic community from across the country are encouraged to attend the conference where they will receive information on food safety, quality, and compliance challenges. Visit here to learn more and register.

Arkansas Department of Agriculture's
Annual Report

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report provides information about the Department and how it served Arkansas agriculture, our state's largest industry, from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. Click here to view the 2022 Annual Report.
USDA Updates
1890 National Scholars Program Now Accepting Applications
The 1890 National Scholars Program is currently open to high school seniors entering their freshman year of college, and rising college sophomores and juniors until March 15, 2023. The 1890 National Scholars Program is a partnership between the United States Department of Agriculture and 1890 Land-Grant Universities which provides full tuition, employment, employee benefits, fees, books, and room and board each year for up to 4 years to select students. To view the applicant guidebook click here. To apply using the new 2023 E-application, click here.
USDA Cash Rents and Leases Survey
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct the Cash Rents and Leases survey starting February 6. The survey provides the basis for estimates of the current year’s cash rents paid for irrigated cropland, non-irrigated cropland, and permanent pasture. Over 241,000 survey recipients across the United States have been selected to complete the survey, which can be completed online at agcounts.usda.gov, by mail, or phone.

Data collected ensures accurate cash rental rates. The survey will also give landowners a useful tool in negotiating rental agreements and making other business deicisions for their operation, according to Delta Regional Director Eugene Young. Learn more 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.
Follow us on social media!

For the latest in Arkansas agriculture, be sure to follow us on social media! Links to our social media pages can be found here.
Arkansas Ag Facts: Forestry
  • Arkansas ranks #6 nationally in the production of forest-related commodities.
  • Arkansas forest industries state economic contributions total $6.5 billion each year.
  • Arkansas has 19 million acres of forests with over 12 billion trees.
  • In 2022, the Forestry Division aerially surveyed 5.6 million acres for insect, disease, and fire damage; identifying over 22,000 damaged acres.
  • In 2022, the Forestry Division assisted 5,508 landowners with management plans and forestry needs.
  • As of 2022, Arkansas has 46 tree cities impacting more than 1,057,000 Arkansas residents.
Upcoming Agriculture Events
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