Governor Sanders Appoints Kyle Cunningham as State Forester
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce that Governor Sanders has appointed Kyle Cunningham as the State Forester for Arkansas. The State Forester serves as the director of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division. Cunningham is replacing Joe Fox who retired at the end of June.
“Kyle’s decades of experience in the forestry industry make him the ideal steward of our state’s forest health and conservation. I know he’s the right candidate to take over this position and shepherd the Forestry Division’s important role in Arkansas’s economy and natural heritage,” said Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward said, “Kyle’s experience and leadership in working with a wide range of industry partners and stakeholders will serve the Forestry Division and our state well. We look forward to working with him at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.”
Cunningham has worked in several capacities at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture (UADA) over the last 19 years and most recently served as an associate professor of forestry at the UADA. His work at UADA consisted of conducting research on all facets of the forestry industry, providing outreach to the public, developing successful grant programs, and developing a hardwood management education program in Arkansas. Cunningham holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry from Mississippi State University (MSU), a master’s degree in forest management from MSU, and a doctorate degree in applied science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
“I am honored to be appointed to serve as the State Forester and have the opportunity to lead the Forestry Division within the Arkansas Department of Agriculture,” said Cunningham. “I have always appreciated and respected the role and services that the Department provides to the public. I look forward to working alongside Forestry Division staff, commissioners, and partners to protect the health and safety of Arkansas’s forests and promote Arkansas’s forestry industry."
Arkansas Department of Agriculture Announces Arkansas Farmers Market Promotion Program Recipients
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department) is pleased to announce the grant recipients of the eighth annual Arkansas Farmers Market Promotion Program. This program, which is administered by the Department and funded by the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas, provides funding assistance to build awareness for farmers markets and their vendors.
In 2023, over $9,000 in grants will be provided through the Arkansas Farmers Market Promotion Program to the following 25 Arkansas farmers markets:
  • Arkansas Local Food Network, Little Rock
  • Ashdown Farmers Market, Ashdown
  • Benton Downtown Farmers Market, Benton
  • Cabot Farmers Market, Cabot
  • Central Ozarks Farmers Market, Harrison
  • Dardanelle Farmers Market, Dardanelle
  • Elkins Farmers Market, Elkins
  • Ferndale Farmers Market, Little Rock
  • Fort Smith Farmers Market, Fort Smith
  • Gateway Farmers Market, Texarkana
  • Goshen Farmers Market, Goshen
  • Grand Prairie Farmers Market, Stuttgart
  • Hillcrest Farmers Market, Little Rock
  • Jasper Farmers Market Association, Jasper
  • Judd Hill Farmers Market, Jonesboro
  • Melbourne Farm to Table Market, Melbourne
  • Paragould Farmers Market, Paragould
  • Russellville Community Market, Russellville
  • Sevier County Farmers Market, DeQueen
  • Sheridan Arkansas Farmers Market, Sheridan
  • Springdale Farmers Market, Springdale
  • St. Joseph Farm Stand, North Little Rock
  • Stone County Farmers Market, Mountain View
  • Vilonia Farmers Market, Vilonia
  • Yellville Farmers Market, Yellville
Funding through the Arkansas Farmers Market Promotion Program may be used for signage, local advertising, and social media campaigns to build community and regional awareness for a specific farmers market. Additional information about the program can be found here.
Arkansas Volunteer Fire Departments Receive Wildland Fire Suppression Kits from Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division
The Rural Fire Protection Program (RFP), managed by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division (Forestry Division), is awarding 91 wildland fire suppression kits to rural fire departments across 46 counties in Arkansas. The RFP received $315,221.13 through the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant from the United States Forest Service to purchase the kits.

Volunteer fire departments are the primary partner to Forestry Division crews in wildfire response and suppression, but they are often in need of specialized equipment and gear necessary for safe wildfire suppression. Since 2014, more than 670 wildland fire suppression kits have been distributed to volunteer fire departments throughout the state. The necessary equipment and gear in the kits include lightweight wildfire-resistant coveralls, wildland gloves, rakes, backpack water pumps, and leaf blowers.

Fire departments receiving kits in 2023 are listed below by fire department and county:
  • DeWitt (Arkansas)
  • Fountain Hill (Ashley)
  • Unity-Frost Prairie (Ashley)
  • Cave Springs (Benton)
  • Gallatin (Benton)
  • Alpena (Boone)
  • Bergman (Boone)
  • Zinc (Boone)
  • Sumpter (Bradley)
  • Warren (Bradley)
  • Chambersville (Calhoun)
  • Harrell (Calhoun)
  • Eureka Springs (Carroll)
  • Oak Grove (Carroll)
  • DeGray (Clark)
  • Highway 35 South (Cleveland)
  • 4 Communities (Columbia)
  • McNeil (Columbia)
  • District 3 (Crawford)
  • District 1 (Crawford)
  • Dumas (Desha)
  • Kelso-Rohwer (Desha)
  • Centerville (Faulkner)
  • Mayflower (Faulkner)
  • Enola (Faulkner)
  • Greenbrier (Faulkner)
  • Pine Village (Faulkner)
  • Branch (Franklin)
  • Charleston (Franklin)
  • Glencoe (Fulton)
  • Morriston (Fulton)
  • Lake Hamilton (Garland)
  • Calvert Township (Grant)
  • Poyen (Grant)
  • Sheridan (Grant)
  • Bingen (Hempstead)
  • DeAnn (Hempstead)
  • Guernsey (Hempstead)
  • New DeRoche (Hot Spring)
  • Tuckerman (Jackson)
  • Hardin (Jefferson)
  • Redfield (Jefferson)
  • Watson Chapel (Jefferson)
  • Department 2 (Johnson)
  • Alicia (Lawrence)
  • Black Rock (Lawrence)
  • Southeast (Lincoln)
  • Cerro Gordo (Little River)
  • Foreman (Little River)
  • Sugar Grove (Logan)
  • Coy (Lonoke)
  • South Bend 10 (Lonoke)
  • Ward (Lonoke)
  • Forum Alabam (Madison)
  • Huntsville (Madison)
  • Oakland-Promiseland (Marion)
  • Pyatt (Marion)
  • Ralph-Caney (Marion)
  • Boggy Creek (Miller)
  • Mandeville (Miller)
  • Caddo Gap (Montgomery)
  • Norman (Montgomery)
  • Southfork (Montgomery)
  • Fairhills (Nevada)
  • Elliott (Ouachita)
  • Central (Poinsett)
  • Marked Tree (Poinsett)
  • Cherry Hill (Polk)
  • Grannis (Polk)
  • Shady Grove (Polk)
  • Moreland (Pope)
  • North Pulaski (Pulaski)
  • Oak Grove (Pulaski)
  • Collegeville (Saline)
  • Paron (Saline)
  • Traskwood (Saline)
  • Waldron (Scott)
  • PG&S (Searcy)
  • EMP (Sebastian)
  • Wheatley (St. Francis)
  • Timbo (Stone)
  • Calion (Union)
  • Parkers Chapel (Union)
  • Three Creeks (Union)
  • Lincoln (Washington)
  • Albion (White)
  • El Paso (White)
  • Floyd-Romance (White)
  • Judsonia (White)
  • Kensett (White)
  • Velvet Ridge (White)
Volunteer fire departments interested in participating in the program must submit an application to the RFP. The applications are scored according to specific criteria including fire district population, the size of the response area, wildfire equipment response needs, and other factors. The next application period is expected to begin in August 2023.

Fire departments should receive an application by mail, or they can be found here when the application period opens. For more information, fire departments should contact Kathryn Mahan-Hooten, RFP administrator, at [email protected] or (501) 679-3183.
Over $700 Million Provided for Arkansas Water and Wastewater Projects
On June 22, 2023, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) approved $702,318,258 in funding for 122 water and wastewater projects serving more than 1,253,000 Arkansans. This is the largest allocation of funds awarded for water and wastewater in the state of Arkansas to date.
“Water and wastewater infrastructure systems are critically important to the everyday lives of every Arkansan. The Department of Agriculture and the Natural Resources Commission are pleased to have approved a record level of funding for 122 water and wastewater projects that will serve over one-third of our state’s population,” said Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture.
The ANRC approves and provides financial assistance to eligible Arkansas entities from five different programs through loans, loans with principal forgiveness, and grants. A total of $633,138,145 was provided in loans, $68,957,100 in loans with principal forgiveness, and $223,013 in grants.
A complete list of the projects funded can be found here.
In addition to project funding, the ANRC approved two grants to the Arkansas Rural Water Association, totaling $190,000, to provide technical assistance to communities for water and wastewater infrastructure across the state. The Commission also approved a $43 million General Obligation Bond Series Resolution, conservation district board appointments, and $1.2 million in funding to conservation districts.
More information about the Natural Resource Division’s water and wastewater programs can be found here or by contacting Debby Dickson at [email protected] or 501-682-0548.
Agriculture Update - Arkansas PBS
On June 23, Secretary Wes Ward joined Steve Barnes on Arkansas PBS "Arkansas Week" to discuss how crops are looking this year and legislative changes to the industry during the past session. Watch the full episode here.
Bayou Meto Watershed Management Plan
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Division Nonpoint Source Management Section has announced the completion of the Bayou Meto Watershed Management Plan. Learn more and find the plan here.
Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Law Enforcement Officers Help Recover Stolen Tractor in Northwest Arkansas
Special agents from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Law Enforcement Section recently helped recover a tractor that was stolen from Cobblestone Farms, a non-profit organization in Northwest Arkansas. Read the full story here.
2023 Arkansas Grown Magazine
Like most farmers, the average corn producer in Arkansas is unassuming, mild-mannered, and modest. But given the incredible strides growers have made in recent years to vastly expand the corn industry's footprint in the state, not even the humblest of producers can hide the well-deserved pride in their achievements.

Read more about corn's comeback to Arkansas agriculture 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
On June 30, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department) honored and celebrated the career of State Forester Joe Fox. He served Arkansas as State Forester since 2012 and retired with over 50 years of experience in the forestry industry. The Department congratulates Joe on his retirement, legacy, and dedication to protecting Arkansas's forests and those who enjoy them!

On June 28, Secretary Wes Ward met with Livia Link-Raviv, Consul General of Israel. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is looking forward to additional important discussions about agricultural technology and water as we continue to strengthen the relationship between Arkansas and Israel.
The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) met on June 22 at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. During the meeting, the ANRC recognized Alan Johnson as he retired after 35 years of service to the state.

Keith Stock, county forester for the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division, examines pine needles to determine the cause of their premature browning.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division used a drone to inspect an eight-acre Conservation Reserve Program tract in Bono, Arkansas.
New Resources, Trainings, & Opportunities
Mark Your Calendars for 2023 Field Days
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is hosting multiple field days throughout the summer. Mark your calendars and visit here for registration details and more information as it becomes available!

  • Turfgrass Field Day, August 1 (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
  • Rice Field Day, August 3 (Stuttgart, Arkansas)
  • Pine Tree Field Day, August 10 (Colt, Arkansas)
2023 Arkansas Cattlemen's Association Convention and Trade Show

The 65th Annual Arkansas Cattlemen's Association Convention and Trade Show will take place at the Hot Springs Convention Center on July 28-29, 2023. Find the exhibitor packet here. The deadline for exhibitor registration is July 11, 2023. For more information, visit here or call 501-224-2114.
Complete the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program Stakeholder Survey by July 12
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program to address needs in the local food system. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture has created a survey to collect input from interested stakeholders. Entries will be accepted until July 12, 2023, and results will be important in determining the state plan for these funds. Find the survey here. Learn more about the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program here.
Arkansas Water Resources Conference
The 2023 Arkansas Water Resources Conference will be held from July 18-20, 2023, at the Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Water quality professionals, water utilities staff, conservation professionals, government and state agency staff, municipal staff, college students, and the public are encouraged to attend. Online registration is available here until July 14. Learn more about the conference here.
National Black Growers Council Model Field Day

The National Black Growers Council will host a farm field day at Haynie Farms in Altheimer, Arkansas on July 20. Registration for the event will begin at 7 a.m. and the event will focus on topics related to rice, corn, and soybean production, crop protection, and irrigation practices. Learn more about the field day here. Learn more about the National Black Growers Council here.
Farmer Health and Our Changing Climate Survey
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is conducting research for a voluntary project on small farmer health, farming practices, and how the changing climate impacts farmer health. Researchers are looking to hear from willing participants in a survey who are 18 years or older and own a small farm in Arkansas with a gross farm cash income under $250,000. The survey is anonymous, takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and is available in English and Spanish. Upon completion, participants will receive a $20 gift card. Find the survey in English here and Spanish here. For more information contact Rachel Hale at [email protected].

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
June 2023 Acreage and Grain/Rice Stocks Report
The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)'s Acreage and Grain/Rice Stock Report for June 2023 is out and available here.

USDA NASS along with the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) announced that major report briefings will now be live-streamed on the NASS YouTube channel five minutes after release time with information on both the NASS report and the WAOB Supply/Demand (WASDE) report.

Each briefing, including the recent June report, is recorded and can be found here.
USDA Offers Assistance to Help Organic Dairy Producers Cover Increased Costs with the New Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program (ODMAP)
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced assistance for dairy producers with the new Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program (ODMAP). ODMAP is established to help mitigate market volatility, higher input and transportation costs, and unstable feed supply and prices that have created unique hardships in the organic dairy industry. Specifically, under the ODMAP, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is making $104 million available to organic dairy operations to assist with projected marketing costs in 2023, calculated using their marketing costs in 2022.

FSA will accept applications until July 27, 2023. Eligible producers include certified organic dairy operations that produce milk from cows, goats, and sheep. To apply, producers should contact FSA at their local USDA Service Center. 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.
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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 Peach Month
  • Governor Sanders has proclaimed July as Arkansas Peach Month!
  • The economic value of the Arkansas peach industry generates an estimated $2 million annually.
  • Arkansas has 175 farms that grow 550 acres of peaches.
  • The University of Arkansas-Peach Breeding Program has developed and released six peach cultivars which are planted across the United States.
  • The peach industry is part of the diversification practices by many of Arkansas's full-time farmers and provides employment for many of our state's citizens and supplemental income for many rural families on a part-time basis.
  • Peaches are grown in the Northeast, Northwest, and Central regions of the state, and they supply local markets such as farmers markets, local grocery stores, and U-Pick farms and are shipped to regional and national retail markets.
Upcoming Agriculture Events
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