First Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo Scheduled for January 2023
The Arkansas Grown program, administered through the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, has partnered with several Arkansas agricultural associations and organizations to host the first Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo on January 25-28, 2023, in Little Rock.
The conference and expo will consist of workshops, speakers, off-site farm tours, networking opportunities, and a vendor trade show. Evening events at the Sunset Lodge at Rusty Tractor Vineyard and the University of Arkansas Pulaski Tech Culinary and Hospitality Management Institute will showcase Arkansas Grown food and include an Arkansas Grown wine tasting.
The Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo is open to all parties interested in the Arkansas agriculture industry and will focus on farmers and producers who produce for the local food system.
Partner organizations include 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 four-day event will be held at the Embassy Suites in West Little Rock. The registration deadline is January 11, 2023. For more conference details and to register, click here.
Opportunities for sponsorship and vendor booths are still available. For more information, click here or contact Beth Moore at 
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is Hiring!
Are you passionate about Arkansas agriculture? With many new and exciting career opportunities, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture is looking for highly motivated individuals to bring their passion for the Arkansas agriculture industry to the workplace.

Visit or check out our Facebook pages for open positions in Shared Services, Forestry, Livestock and Poultry, Plant Industries, and Natural Resources!
Arkansas Department of Agriculture Cautions Horse Owners Following Recall of Alfalfa Product
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture cautions horse owners and handlers in Arkansas following a voluntary recall of alfalfa cubes from Manzanola Feeds due to a possible Clostridium botulinum health risk.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice on December 17 advising horse owners not to feed Top of the Rockies alfalfa cubes with the date codes 111222, 111322, 111422, 111522, and 111622. This product has been recalled by Manzanola Feeds of Manzanola, Colorado, which distributes directly to feed stores and co-ops in the following states: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin. Further distribution is possible, so it is important to check the date codes located on the front of the bag.
The FDA is aware of at least 98 horses in four states that showed neurologic symptoms. These cases of illness and death in horses are being investigated in cooperation with state departments of agriculture in Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Texas. The symptoms in the cases reported are consistent with botulism, and further testing is underway. At least 45 of these horses have died or were euthanized due to declining health.
Clostridium botulinum is an organism that can cause severe and potentially fatal toxicity in animals eating the contaminated food or encountering areas that have been exposed to the product. Horse owners and handlers should take precautions to protect human and animal health and immediately consult a veterinarian if your horse ate this product and shows signs of neurologic illness, such as muscle tremors, difficulty eating or swallowing, difficulty standing, or collapse.
Click here to read the full FDA release. 
Feral Hog Eradication Task Force: 2022 Update
The Feral Hog Eradication Task Force continued its efforts in 2022 and removed 13,135 feral hogs across Arkansas. Additionally, Arkansas residents reported the removal of 1,089 feral hogs last year.

Learn more about the Task Force and its efforts here.
WOTUS Update: EPA Releases Highly Anticipated Final Rule
to Redefine "Waters of the United States"
On December 30, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its long-awaited rule to redefine the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The term is central to the implementation of the CWA because only those waterbodies designated as WOTUS receive CWA protection. The new rules marks the third attempt by EPA to redefine WOTUS since 2015. In a press release issued by EPA, the Agency stated that it hoped the new rule would create a “durable definition” of WOTUS that would reduce uncertainty.

Brigit Rollins, Staff Attorney with the National Agricultural Law Center discusses the final rule here.
Importance of Irrigation in the State of Arkansas Feature

In the first issue for 2023 of Irrigation Leader, Governor Asa Hutchinson is featured in an interview highlighting the importance of proper and strategic irrigation to the state of Arkansas.

The article also features interviews with Kenneth Graves, chairman of the Arkansas Rice Growers Association; Edward Swaim, executive director of the Bayou Meto Water Management District; and Dennis Carman, director and chief engineer of the White River Irrigation District. Read the full article here.
Confinement Notification for Poultry Producers
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) continues to threaten Arkansas poultry owners. HPAI is an airborne respiratory virus that spreads easily among chickens through nasal and eye secretions, as well as manure. The virus can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. There is no public health concern, and avian influenza does not affect poultry meat or egg products, which remain safe to eat.

To mitigate the disease risk from contact with the birds or their droppings, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Livestock and Poultry Division strongly recommends taking the following steps for the next 30 days:

  • Keep your birds indoors or covered to prevent exposure to wild or migratory birds.
  • Restrict access to any source of water that may have been contaminated by wild birds.
  • Implement strict biosecurity on the premises. Alert all farm personnel of the increased risk of HPAI. Especially focusing on biosecurity methods to prevent exposure to wild waterfowl or their droppings.
  • Monitor all flocks for increased mortality or clinical signs and report any concerns to your veterinarian, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Division at 501-225-1598, or your local Arkansas Cooperative Extension County Agent. You can find your county office here:

Read the full confinement notification here. Find more information on HPAI here.
Arkansas Farm to School Recipe Contest Winner Featured
The winning recipe of the Arkansas Farm to School Cook Off, hosted by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program, was featured in a national list of student-created dishes. The list covered student-made dishes from across the country and was put together by FoodService Director magazine.

Read more here.
2022 Arkansas Grown
While Robin and Tim Ralston were thrilled when their two adult daughters wanted to change careers in 2017 and join their parents and brother at the farm, they knew changes would be necessary for the operation to support additional partners. Those changes led to the development of a vertically integrated, farm to fork, agricultural operation that provided the first rice from Arkansas to be exported to China in July 2021.

Read more about how an Arkansas family farm expanded into Chinese markets in the 2022 edition of Arkansas Grown. You can view the magazine online here, or find a physical copy at various locations around the state.
Photo Features
Secretary Ward appeared on THV11's The Vine to talk about the upcoming Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo. Watch the segment from The Vine here.
Ground work has started for the new Forestry Division District 6 office in Clarksville.
Forestry Division District 1 hosted an ATV training class for new hires.
Forestry Division crews assisted the Jessieville School District with clean up after recent storms significantly damaged the high school.
New Resources, Trainings, & Opportunities
Floodplain Management Training Opportunity
A floodplain manager accreditation workshop will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, at the Henderson State University Garrison Activity & Conference Center Wilson Room. This course meets the state accreditation requirements and there is no fee to attend.

To register for this opportunity, please contact Toni R. Brown by email at or by phone at (501) 682-3982.
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
Respond to the 2022 Census of Agriculture
The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Even small plots of land- whether rural or urban- growing fruit, vegetables, or some food animals count if $1,000 or more of such products were raised and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year. For America's farmers and ranchers, the Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity. Watch Secretary Wes Ward's message on the ag census here.

The response deadline is February 2023. For more information, click here.

Find the latest ag census information here.
Secretary Vilsack Statement on the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released a statement last month after the U.S. Senate and U.S. House passed the fiscal year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill, sending to President Biden's desk several crucial investments to advance the U.S. Department of Agriculture's priorities for rural America. Read the full statement here.
National Animal Health Laboratory Network: Protecting the American
Agriculture System for 20 Years
The National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), is a network of federal, state, and university-associated veterinary diagnostic laboratories that provides ongoing disease surveillance; responds quickly to disease events; communicates diagnostic outcomes to decision makers; and has the capability and capacity to meet diagnostic needs during animal disease outbreaks. This network was created through the cooperation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Originally composed of 12 laboratories, NAHLN has grown to include 60 laboratories distributed throughout the United States that are capable of testing large numbers of samples for specific disease agents.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Tollett Veterinary Diagnostic Lab is the latest lab to join the network as a branch of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. The Tollett Lab has been operated by the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station for 14 years, offering diagnostics for poultry and mammals.

Read more about NAHLN, its impact, and the new lab in Fayetteville 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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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: Arkansas's Top Commodities
  • #1 in Rice
  • #3 in Broilers
  • #3 in Turkeys Raised
  • #3 in Cotton
  • #3 in Cottonseed
  • #4 in Catfish
  • #7 in Peanuts
  • #8 in Eggs
  • #11 in Beef Cattle
  • #11 in Soybeans
Upcoming Agriculture Events
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