June 2019
Historic Arkansas Flood 2019

The Arkansas Agriculture Department has been fulfilling its Emergency Support Function responsibilities throughout the historic flooding of the Arkansas River over the past several weeks. Personnel from across the Department have been working in the State Emergency Operations Center daily, patrolling levees, providing aerial reconnaissance of flooded areas, providing kennels and staffing shelters for animals of people displaced by the flood, assisting with the relocation of bee hives and assisting with coordination of feed for livestock isolated by the flood.
Beef Month & Egg Month

Governor Asa Hutchinson  presented the Arkansas Egg Month and the Arkansas Beef Month proclamations at an an event, May 16, at the Capitol.

Thank you to all of our partners:  Arkansas Cattlemen's Association Arkansas Beef Council The Poultry Federation Cal-Maine Foods Searcy FM Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation,  Senator Bruce Malcoh, and Senator Ricky Hill for celebrating with us.

Check out the videos of Tim Thompson , Vice-President of Cal-Maine Foods and Cody Burkham , Executive Vice President of Arkansas Cattlemen's Association.
Homegrown By Heroes
Farm to Fork Celebration

The Arkansas Agriculture Department and Farm Credit hosted the Homegrown By Heroes Farm to Fork Celebration, Tuesday, May 21, at St. Joseph Center of Arkansas in North Little Rock. The event offered an opportunity for Homegrown By Heroes members, other farmer-veterans, and program partners to network and share information. Read more

During the celebration, recipients of the Homegrown by Hero scholarships were recognized. Find more information about the scholarship and the list of recipients here .
2019 River Valley Wildland Fire Academy

More than 400 firefighter trainees from 13 states participated in the 2019 Arkansas River Valley Fire Academy at Arkansas Tech University to gain valuable wildland fire training from experienced professionals. The annual two-week event was hosted by the Arkansas Agriculture Department’s Forestry Commission, U. S. Forest Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and the National Park Service.  Read more
Congratulations to Don McBride, Assistant State Forester - Fire Protection, with the Arkansas Agriculture Department's Forestry Commission, who is retiring following 36 years of service.
Congratulations to John Blackburn who is retiring following 13 years of service with the Arkansas Agriculture Department.
School Garden of the Year Contest
Open Through August 30

School entries are being accepted for the sixth annual Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest sponsored by the Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD) and Farm Credit. Applicants may be any Arkansas school, grades pre-K through 12, that had a school garden open during the 2018-2019 school year, or any schools planning to start a garden in the 2019-2020 school year. Read more
International Marketing Summit

We had a great turn-out, May 2, for the Arkansas Export Marketing Summit where representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture  Foreign Agriculture Service and the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) presented information on how producers can take advantage of programs available to them for the sale of their products in the international market.

Find more information here .
Global Ties Arkansas

Wes Ward, Secretary of Agriculture, and the Arkansas Agriculture Department hosted a visit, May 6, from Global Ties Arkansas  and the International Visitor Leadership Program of the U.S. Department of State. Visitors from Afghanistan, Chile, Egypt, France, Guyana, and Timor-Leste were able to learn about the importance of Arkansas agriculture to the world.
Keeping It In The Family

Evette Browning of the Arkansas Agriculture Department presented information at the Minority Landowner Farmers and Landowners Conference about the Sustainable Forestry Land Retention program and Arkansas's Keeping It in the Family program. The conference included a panel discussion about how these programs are benefiting landowners from Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina. Find more information on these programs here .
Secretary of Agriculture, Wes Ward, and Director of Livestock & Poultry Commission, Patrick Fisk, recognize Rick Benson for his time on the Livestock & Poultry Commission.
Congratulations to Andrew Long (holding award) for receiving his 10-year service award from (l-r) Patrick Fisk, Director of the Livestock & Poultry Commission;Blake Walters, Deputy Director of the Livestock & Poultry Commission; and Randy Chick, State Veterinarian.
Happy 75th Birthday Smokey Bear!

In celebration of  Smokey Bear 's 75th birthday, state forestry agencies are creating videos and challenging other states to do the same. Check out the Arkansas Agriculture Department's Forestry Commission's video, in response to  Virginia Department of Forestry 's challenge.
Arkansas Grown Magazine

The Arkansas Agriculture Department exists to serve and promote Arkansas agriculture, our state’s largest industry. Our goal with each edition of Arkansas Grown is to provide you an overview of the breadth and diversity of Arkansas agriculture and the families that make the industry possible.
Arkansas Ag Fact: Pollinators

  • Many people think only of allergies when they hear the word pollen, but pollen plays a vital role in the health of our environment. Pollen, the plant’s male sex cells, must be transferred from the anther to the stigma of the same or another flower for the plant to produce fruit and seed. While some plants are self- or wind-pollinated, the great majority of flowering plants cannot move pollen without help from an animal pollinator.
  • A majority of plants, more than 70 percent of species, depend on insects, birds, bats, and other animals to transport the pollen.
  • Worldwide, at least thirty percent of 1500 crop plant species depend on pollination by bees and other insects.
  • Pollinators play a significant role in the production of over 150 food crops in the U.S.—among them apples, almonds, blueberries, cranberries, kiwis, melons, pears, plums, and squash.
  • Pollinators are important in the production of an estimated 30 percent of the human diet, fibers, edible oils, medicines created from plants, and others important products around the world
  • In the U.S., the annual benefit of managed honey bees to agriculture was estimated as $14.6 billion in 2000.
  • Native, unmanaged pollinators—primarily bees— are estimated to contribute $3 billion to the value of crops pollination in the U.S.

Source: Ecological Society of America
Photo: Pollinator Garden at Arkansas Agriculture Department