Arkansas Volunteer Fire Departments Receive Wildfire Suppression Kits
The Rural Fire Protection program, managed by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division, received $279,562.45 as part of the 2021 Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant from the United States Forest Service to purchase and distribute 87 Wildfire Suppression Kits to rural volunteer fire departments. The kits include equipment and gear necessary for the safe suppression of wildfires and have been delivered to the volunteer fire departments listed below.
Volunteer fire departments are the primary partner to Forestry crews in wildfire response and suppression but often need the specialized equipment and gear necessary for safe wildfire suppression. Since 2014, 579 volunteer fire departments have received Wildfire Suppression Kits through the Rural Fire Protection program. Kits distributed this year include lightweight wildfire-resistant coveralls and gloves, hand rakes, back-pack water pumps, and leaf blowers.
Volunteer fire departments interested in participating in the Wildfire Suppression Kit program submit applications that are scored according to specific criteria including fire district population, the size of the response area, wildfire response equipment needs, and other factors. The application period for next year’s Wildfire Protection Kit program is expected to start in August of 2022. Fire Departments can expect to receive notification in the mail, or can find an application online here when the application period opens. Fire departments may contact Kathryn Mahan-Hooten at [email protected] or (501) 679-3183 with questions regarding the application.
Fire departments receiving the Wildfire Suppression Kits through the 2021 grant are listed below by fire department and county:
Anthonyville FD / Crittenden Co.
Arden FD / Little River Co.
Avoca FD / Benton Co.
Big Flat FD / Baxter Co.
Blackwell FD / Conway Co.
Buena Vista FD / Ouachita Co.
Cane Creek FD / Grant Co.
Capps – Batavia FD / Boone Co.
Casa FD / Perry Co.
Cash FD / Craighead Co.
Center Grove FD / Grant Co.
Chidester FD / Ouachita Co.
Cleveland FD / Conway Co.
Dalton FD / Randolph Co.
Damascus FD / Van Buren Co.
DeQueen FD / Sevier Co.
Dermott FD / Chicot Co.
Diaz FD / Jackson Co.
East Monroe Co Rural FD / Monroe Co.
Eudora FD / Chicot Co.
Faircrest FD / Union Co.
Fox FD/ Stone Co.
Frenchport FD / Ouachita Co.
Gould FD / Lincoln Co.
Grassy Knob FD / Carroll Co.
Grayson FD / Logan Co.
Greenway FD / Clay Co.
Hamburg FD / Ashley Co.
Higginson FD / White Co.
Hill Creek FD / Conway Co.
Hollis FD / Perry Co.
Hopewell FD / Cleburne Co.
Huntington FD / Sebastian Co.
Hwy 286 East FD / Faulkner Co.
Hwy 94 East FD / Benton Co.
Japton FD / Madison Co.
Johnson Co. #6/ Johnson Co.
Keiser FD / Mississippi Co.
Kirby FD / Pike Co.
Little Flock FD / Benton Co.
Locust Bayou FD / Calhoun Co.
Lonsdale FD / Garland Co.
Martin Creek FD / Sharp Co.
Martin Township FD / Pope Co.
Maysville FD / Benton Co.
McGehee FD / Desha Co.
Midland Rural FD / Sebastian Co
Monette FD / Craighead Co.
Mt. Ida FD / Montgomery Co.
Nevada Co. Fire & Rescue/ Nevada Co.
Norfork FD / Baxter Co.
Northwest Scott Co. FD / Scott Co.
Ogden FD / Little River Co.
Ouachita Co. Fire District #1/ Ouachita Co.
Oxley FD / Searcy Co.
Parthenon FD / Newton Co.
Perryville FD / Perry Co.
Piney Point FD / Benton Co.
Plainview FD / Yell Co.
Portia FD / Lawrence Co.
Prattsville FD / Grant Co.
Ratcliff Rural FD / Logan Co.
Rea Valley FD / Marion Co.
Roseville FD / Logan Co.
Saltillo FD / Faulkner Co.
Sardis FD / Conway Co.
St. Vincent FD / Conway Co.
Tillar FD / Desha Co.
Tri-Community FD / Lonoke Co.
Tull FD / Grant Co.
Tumbling Shoals- Ida FD / Cleburne Co.
Turrell FD / Crittenden Co.
Valley View FD / Craighead Co.
Waldon City FD / Scott Co.
Walker Creek FD / Lafayette Co.
Warm Springs FD /Randolph Co.
Washington FD /Hempstead Co.
Welcome Home FD / Searcy Co.
Weldon FD / Jackson Co.
West Fork FD / Washington Co.
Western Greene Co. FD / Greene Co.
Whitehouse FD/Washington Co.
Widener FD / St. Francis Co.
Wilburn FD / Cleburne Co.
Winthrop FD/ Little River Co.
Woodlawn FD / Cleveland Co
USDA’s “Find Meals for Kids” Map Locates Meal Sites for K-12 Students
Children who are eligible for free and reduced-cost meals during the school year may not have access to regular meals during the summer break. To help fill this gap, parents and caregivers of K-12 students can find information about summer meal sites in their communities using the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program “Find Meals for Kids” map.

Households can also text “Summer Meals” to 97779 or call 866-348-6479 to search for summer meals in their area. In Arkansas, this program is administered by the Arkansas Department of Human Services’ Arkansas Special Nutrition Program. Children 18 and younger may receive free meals through the program.

Find the map here. Read more about the program and its importance here.
Collaboration Highlight: Forestry Division and Arkansas NRCS
The National Association of State Foresters recently highlighted the collaborative efforts of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Technical and financial assistance is available to the more than 345,000 family forestland owners in the state through multiple agreements with the Forestry Division and NRCS. From 2019 to 2021, this agency-to-agency partnership helped Arkansas NRCS distribute $20.8 million to Arkansans for forestry practice implementation across more than 200,000 acres. During the same three-year period, the state NRCS also provided support for the installation of firebreaks across 900 miles.

Read more about the partnership here.
Cattle Producers Urged to Monitor for Ticks
Asian longhorned ticks have recently been found in northwest Arkansas. The invasive tick can transmit the Theileria orientalis parasite, which attacks blood cells. The Ikeda genotype of this organism can be fatal to cattle. Because of this, researchers and extension specialists with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture are urging cattle producers to check their herds for unusual ticks and take preventative measures.

Researchers with the Division of Agriculture are recommending risk minimization practices such as keeping pastures clipped, using insecticidal ear tags, or using insecticide-fused back rubbers cattle can walk under. Additionally, cattle producers should be on the lookout for ticks that don't look familiar and bring any they may find to their local county agent. Producers should also report all information about when the tick was found, what animal it's from, and what pastures the animal has been in.

Read more about Asian longhorned ticks and preventative steps that can be taken here.
Arkansas Department of Agriculture Partners
with State Agencies for Tornado Debris Cleanup
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division collaborated with the Arkansas Department of Transportation, Arkansas Division of Emergency Management, and others to clear debris leftover from a December 2021 tornado in Trumann. The efforts began in April of this year and wrapped up earlier this week.

For the cleanup process, the debris has been sorted by material type and method of disposal. While some debris has been transported to the nearest landfill in Jackson County, any woody debris is being burned on site. The local fire department also assisted the cleanup by controlling the dust caused by equipment traffic.

All collaborators for the Trumann cleanup are listed below:

  • Forestry Division
  • Arkansas Department of Transportation
  • Arkansas Department of Public Safety's Division of Emergency Management (ADEM)
  • Arkansas Department of Energy & Environment's Division of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)
  • Arkansas Department of Corrections
  • City of Trumann

Before and after pictures of the cleanup location can be found below.
Photo taken May 3, 2022.
Photo taken June 29, 2022.
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!
2022 Arkansas Grown
The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board has been supporting the state's soybean industry for 50 years, cultivating generations of high-quality leaders. One of those leaders is Jim Carroll III. During his term as the United Soybean Board Chair, Carroll prioritized bringing the national board to the Natural State to witness the innovative work being done in Arkansas.

Read more about Arkansas soybeans 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 Wes Ward and Deputy Secretary Cynthia Edwards recently welcomed Tajikistan Parliamentary Staffers to the Department of Agriculture as a part of the Open World Program. Participants gifted Secretary Ward a set of semi-precious stones from Tajikistan.
The 2022 Groundwater Summit was held June 21-22 at the Arkansas Rural Water Association Headquarters in Lonoke. During the summit, attendees heard updates on groundwater conservation efforts in Arkansas.
The Natural Resources Division recently had an informational booth at the County Judges Association Conference in Hot Springs.
County Ranger Kenneth Coley advised a 4-H member on forestry topics, helping him win first place in his forestry competition.
The Natural Resources Division hosted the 2022 Nonpoint Source Pollution Stakeholder meeting at the William F. Laman Library in North Little Rock. This one-day meeting provides stakeholders and Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant Program recipients an opportunity to connect and share information about their projects, lessons learned, and future funding opportunities.
New Resources, Trainings, & Opportunities
Forage Production Workshop Hosted by Perry County Extension
The Perry County Extension Office is hosting a forage production workshop at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19 at the Perryville High School cafeteria. Forage Extension Specialists John Jennings and Forage Program Associate Kenny Simon will discuss methods to maximize grazing resources and how growers can extend their grazing period.

Registration for this event is required. Those interested should call the Perry County Extension Office at 501-889-2661. Learn more about the Extension Service's forage resources here.
Food Safety Tips for Fourth of July
The Fourth of July is here, and many families will be grilling this weekend to celebrate. However, it's important to keep food safety in mind as you fire up the grill.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), sanitation is one of the most important aspects of food safety. If you're cooking, be sure to wash your hands and sanitize cooking areas before preparing food.

Additionally, avoid cross contamination by thoroughly washing your hands after handling raw meat, along with any utensils that come into contact with raw meat. Use separate plates for taking raw meat to the grill and pulling cooked meat off the grill.

Summertime in Arkansas is hot, and it's important to remember that food is in the "danger zone" when it reaches a temperature range of 40 F and 140 F. If left at these temperatures for too long, bacteria can multiply. Perishable foods (such as hamburgers, hotdogs, and chicken wings) should be discarded if left out longer than two hours, or one hour if outdoor or indoor temperatures in the area are above 90 F.

Find more food safety tips for this weekend here.
USDA Updates
$200 Million Available for Specialty Crop Farmers from USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this week that up to $200 million dollars is now available to help pay for food safety and food certification programs. Specialty crop growers who incurred on-farm food safety expenses related to obtaining or renewing a food safety certification in calendar years 2022 or 2023 may be eligible.

The Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops program (FSCSC) helps growers offset costs to comply with regulatory requirements and market-driven food safety certifications. For each year, FSCSC will cover a percentage of the specialty crops operation's cost of obtaining or renewing their certification, as well as a percentage of related expenses.

Eligible growers must be a specialty crop operation and meet the definition of a small business or a very small business. Expenses that are not eligible for this program include infrastructure improvements, equipment, supplies, salaries and benefits, and fees or penalties for late payment. Applications can be submitted through January 31, 2023.

Read more about the program and its requirements here.
Reminder: Crop Acreage Report
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is reminding producers who have not yet completed their crop acreage report after planting to make an appointment with their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office before the applicable deadline. Most crops will have a deadline of July 15, but acreage reporting deadlines vary by county and by crop. To find deadlines for your crops and county, contact your local county FSA office. Find your county office here. Learn more about the acreage reporting process here.

Producers with an eAuth account linked to their USDA customer record can now access their FSA farm records, maps and common land units by logging into A new feature will allow producers to export field boundaries as shapefiles and import and view other shapefiles, such as precision agriculture boundaries. This will allow producers to view, print and label their own maps for acreage reporting purposes. Learn more about the new options here.
USDA Farm Service Agency 2022 Virtual Outreach Meetings
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA) has finalized their virtual outreach meetings for 2022. These virtual trainings serve as a way for USDA-FSA to get vital program information, such as deadlines, eligibility requirements, and more into the hands of producers.

Thursday, August 25, 10:00 - 11:00 A.M. – Conservation Reserve Program
Special Speaker: Shane Booth, District Forester, Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division. Find out how these programs work to address a large number of farming and ranching related conservation issues. Virtual meeting here.  For audio only call 202-650-0123 and enter code 980 012 680#.

Thursday, September 29, 10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. – Beginning Farmer and Heir Property Education
Special Speaker: Rusty Rumley, Senior Staff Attorney, U of A Division of Agriculture. Learn how to obtain a farm number and Heir Property documentation needed. Virtual meeting here. For audio only call 202-650-0123 and enter code 740 167 816#.

Arkansas Department of Agriculture's
Annual Report

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report provides information about the Department and how it served Arkansas agriculture, our state's largest industry, from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. Click here to view the 2021 Annual Report.
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: Honeybees
  • Arkansas honey from producers with five or more hives yielded 980,000 pounds of honey in 2020.
  • Arkansas has 20,000 registered honey producing bee colonies.
  • Bees are essential partners of farmers and ranchers in producing our food supply.
  • On average, every third bite of food can be attributed to a bee.
  • Bees provided significant environmental benefits that are necessary for maintaining a healthy and biodiverse ecosystem.
  • Honeybees are the state insect of Arkansas.
  • Arkansas provides producers with conservation assistance to promote wise conservation stewardship, including the protection and maintenance of bees and their habitats on working lands and wildlands.
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