Beef and Egg Month

Governor Hutchinson has proclaimed May as both Arkansas Beef Month and Arkansas Egg Month, joining nationwide efforts to recognize the hard work of producers in meeting rigorous standards of quality and safety, and to remind consumers of the health benefits of beef and eggs.

On May 5, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward presented proclamations on behalf of Governor Hutchinson at an outdoor luncheon following the Arkansas Agriculture Board Meeting. The Arkansas Cattlemen's AssociationArkansas Beef Council, and Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. provided lunch.

"We appreciate Governor Hutchinson proclaiming May as Arkansas Egg Month," said Tim Thompson, Vice President of Operations at Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. "He does a great job thanking our producers for what we provide to the state, both in products and in revenue. We are the largest producer of fresh shell eggs in the U.S. We have four operations in Arkansas producing about three million fresh eggs every day. We’ve been told time and again how good eggs are for us, and they are readily available, so just remember if it isn’t eggs, it isn’t breakfast." You can read the Arkansas Egg Month Proclamation here.

"May is also Arkansas Beef Month, and we’re thankful for the Governor's proclamation," said Marcus Creasy, Arkansas Agriculture Board Member and Commissioner for the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission. "As a reminder to everyone, think ZIP. Zinc, iron, and protein, those are the big things going for beef. It is a highly dense protein, whether it be a hamburger or a tenderloin, so be sure to get a three ounce serving of beef each day." Read the Governor's Beef Month Proclamation here.

Read more about the health benefits of beef on the Arkansas Beef Council website. For more information about the health benefits of eggs visit The Incredible Edible Egg website. You can also view more photos from the proclamation luncheon on the Department's Flikr account here.
New Rules for Dicamba Use Effective May 8

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s State Plant Board voted at a public hearing and special board meeting on May 3 to approve regulatory changes for application of dicamba herbicides on dicamba-tolerant crops in Arkansas.

The entire “ARKANSAS PESTICIDE USE AND APPLICATION ACT AND RULES” can be viewed here, and the approved changes regarding dicamba are available here.

The Board’s regulatory changes concerning the use of dicamba were subject to a 30-day public comment period. The Board received 580 public written comments. Thirty-one individuals registered to provide testimony at the public hearing.

The rule change was reviewed by the Arkansas Legislative Council’s Executive Subcommittee on May 6. The new rule was filed with the Secretary of State’s office and will become effective on May 8.
Reminder: Century Farm Applications Due May 31

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is currently accepting applications for the 2021 Arkansas Century Farm program through May 31. This program recognizes Arkansas families who have owned and farmed the same land for at least 100 years. Online and printable applications are available on the Department's website. There is no cost to apply. 

Arkansas is home to more than 42,300 farms, of which 96 percent are family owned and operated. Since the Arkansas Century Farm program began in 2012, 494 farms from 72 counties, have been certified. Find lists of previously inducted Arkansas Century Farm families here.
USDA NRCS, White River Irrigation District Hosted Groundbreaking for Grand Prairie Irrigation Project

On May 7, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the White River Irrigation District hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of canal construction for the Grand Prairie Irrigation Project.

The project aims to construct the first series of canals which will deliver water from the White River to irrigate roughly 37,800 acres of cropland upon completion. Funding for the project is being provided through the PL-566 Watershed Program.

The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program helps units of federal, state, local, and tribal government (project sponsors) protect and restore watersheds up to 250,000 acres. The program provides for cooperation between the Federal government, the states and their political subdivisions to work together to prevent erosion; floodwater and sediment damage; to further the conservation development, use and disposal of water; and to further the conservation and proper use of land in authorized watersheds. Landowners along the creek have provided both temporary and permanent easements to allow access for equipment to perform the necessary work. 
Pictured left to right: Colonel Zack Miller, District Engineer for Programs & Project Management, USACE-Memphis; Dennis Carman, White River Irrigation District; Dan Hooks, White River Irrigation District President; Mike Sullivan, USDA NRCS Arkansas State Conservationist; Donny Davidson, Jr., Deputy District Engineer for Programs & Project Management, USACE -Memphis; and Wes Ward, Arkansas Department of Agriculture Secretary of Agriculture.

Photo courtesy of Reginald Jackson, NRCS, and USDA NRCS Arkansas.
Farm Bureau Launches Farm State of Mind Resource Directory

In recognition of May as Mental Health Month, the American Farm Bureau Federation has launched a comprehensive, easy-to-use online directory of resources for farmers, ranchers, and their families who are experiencing stress and mental health challenges.

The directory, which is on the Farm State of Mind website at, features listings for crisis hotlines and support lines, counseling services, training opportunities, podcasts, videos, published articles, and other resources in every U.S. state and Puerto Rico.

Listings for crisis support, counseling, and behavioral health resources that are available nationwide can be found at their resources directory here.
USDA Invests $92.2 Million in Grants for Local, Regional Food Producers Affected by the Pandemic

On May 5, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of $92.2 million in competitive grant funding under the 2018 Farm Bill’s Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP).

The LAMP grants announced today are funded through the Farmers Market program as part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative. USDA launched this initiative in March to address shortfalls and disparities in how assistance was distributed in previous COVID-19 assistance packages, with a specific focus on strengthening outreach to underserved producers and communities and small and medium agricultural operations.

These grants support the development, coordination, and expansion of direct producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets and enterprises and value-added agricultural products. For more information about these programs, visit the USDA website.
Successful “Free Tree Fridays” Campaign

In honor of National Arbor Day, celebrated annually on the last Friday of April, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division hosted drive-through bare-root seedling giveaways at various locations across the state on Fridays throughout the month of April.

Approximately 4,000 seedlings were handed out at 18 events during the Free Tree Friday campaign.

“We were thrilled to see the enthusiasm shown by Arkansans receiving seedlings to plant in their yards and their communities,” said Kristine Kimbro, Urban & Community Forestry Coordinator for the Forestry Division. “The entire state benefits from increased tree canopy cover, so each person’s effort serves all of us.”

For more information about community development opportunities regarding trees, visit our website or contact Kristine Kimbro at
Tyson Foods Reveals 48 Million Dollar Arkansas Poultry Operation Expansion Project

Tyson Foods is accelerating the long-term growth of its poultry business with a $48 million investment in its Pine Bluff, Arkansas, poultry plant. This project is expected to be completed in late 2021, bringing nearly 70 new jobs to the site.

“Since John H. Tyson spotted an opportunity in the 1930s and expanded his local deliveries from Northwest Arkansas to St. Louis, Kansas City, and Chicago, Tyson Foods has built its name on the company’s ability to see a need early and fill it with a quality product,” said Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Nearly 100 years later, the family and the company continue the tradition, which has made life better for the thousands of people who have worked for [the] company and the millions of people who enjoy their products.”

Opened in 1991, the Pine Bluff plant and related operations were built by Tyson Foods. It makes fully cooked chicken products for foodservice and retail customers, such as grocery stores and quick-serve restaurants. Visit Tyson Foods, Inc. website for more information.
2021 County Farm Families of the Year Named

County families for the 74th annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program have been selected. The families will be visited by a set of judges to determine eight district winners, who will be announced June 15. The state Farm Family of the Year will be announced in December at the Farm Family of the Year luncheon in North Little Rock.

Since 1947, the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program has served as a vehicle to recognize outstanding farm families throughout the state.

The objectives of the Farm Family of the Year program are:

  • To give recognition and encouragement to farm families who are doing an outstanding job on their farm and in their community;
  • To recognize the importance of agriculture in the community and state; and
  • To disseminate information on improved farm practices and management.

"Each year the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program recognizes the outstanding farmers and ranchers who make up our state,” said Rich Hillman of Carlisle, president of Arkansas Farm Bureau. “These families are involved in essential work, not only providing food for my family and yours, but also serving as the ultimate stewards of the land and water resources. Congratulations to these farm families. We are proud to honor their work and dedication to Arkansas agriculture, our state’s largest economic sector.” 

The Farm Family of the Year program begins each year with the selection of top farm families in each county and culminates in December with the selection of the state Farm Family of the Year, who then go on to represent Arkansas at the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year. Arkansas has had two Southeast Farmer of the Year winners; Brian and Nan Kirksey of Clark County in 2008 and Wildy Family Farms of Mississippi County in 2016. All winners are judged on their farm production, efficiency, management, family life, and rural/community leadership.

Visit the Arkansas Farm Bureau website for the full list of the 2021 county Farm Families of the Year.
Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest
Entries Accepted Through June 6

Entries are now being accepted for the eighth annual Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest, sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture and the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas.

Applicants may be any school, early childhood education facility, or alternative learning environment that had a school garden during the 2020-2021 school year or is planning to start a garden in the 2021-2022 school year.

You can find more information about the Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest and the Arkansas Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program here.
Diversity in Agriculture Conference

The Diversity in Agriculture conference will be held July 22 and is returning virtually for 2021.

The conference supports efforts to expand the awareness of the career and business opportunities that exist in agriculture.

The conference will allow participants to explore opportunities through success stories and networking. It also is intended to foster an expansion of public and private partnerships within agriculture, Arkansas’s largest industry sector, accounting for more than $21 billion annually. Registration will open at a later date and will be located at Contact Arkansas Farm Bureau for more information.
2021 Arkansas Grown

It's Arkansas Beef Month! Learn more about how Arkansas's beef checkoff dollars fund important industry initiatives in the latest edition of the Arkansas Grown magazine.

With over 20 features about Arkansas agriculture, there’s something for everyone. You can view the magazine online here, find a physical copy at various locations around the state, or request a copy!
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 ranks first in the nation for egg exports.
  • Eggs are a good source of quality protein and other nutrients including vitamin D, phosphorus, riboflavin, and selenium.
  • Egg production consistently ranks among Arkansas's top ten agricultural commodities in cash receipts, valued at $504 million annually.
  • Arkansas produces more than 3.8 billion shell eggs annually.
  • The Arkansas egg industry is responsible for as much as $335 million in total economic activity throughout the state, creating or supporting as many as 1,137 jobs.
  • Arkansas ranks 5th in the nation for egg production value.
  • There are seven egg processing facilities in Central and Northwest Arkansas, committed to providing premium eggs and egg products.
  • The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Livestock and Poultry Commission has 15 shell egg inspectors that provide more than 14,000 man hours each year to ensure the highest egg quality standards are met throughout the state and country.
  • The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Livestock and Poultry Commission annually issues more than 300 egg handling permits for the sale and distribution of eggs within the state.
COVID-19 Resources

Though the development of a COVID-19 vaccine has followed an accelerated timeline, safety has been the top priority.

Who is eligible to get the vaccine in Arkansas?
All Arkansans age 16 or older are now eligible to receive the vaccine.

How can I get the vaccine?
Eligible Arkansans can make an appointment at a community pharmacy. Vaccine clinics and events may also be available in your area through hospitals, health care providers, or your worksite. Click here for a list of clinics. For those who work in education, the district, facility, or college/university should determine how many doses are needed, and then reach out to an ADH Local Health Unit or a community pharmacy to schedule a vaccination clinic. Call 1-800-985-6030 for assistance finding a vaccine in your area or to sign up for an ADH clinic. Visit the Arkansas Department of Health for more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and where to receive them.

Need more resources? The Arkansas Department of Agriculture has produced numerous shareable and printable COVID-19 resources. We invite and encourage the use of all resources which can be found on our COVID-19 Resource page, including our print and shareable resources.

Department COVID-19 resources can also be found on our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
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