Over $1 Million Provided for Arkansas Water and Wastewater Projects
On March 15, 2023, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Commission approved $1,078,415 for five water and wastewater projects serving more than 1,278 Arkansans. The projects are as follows:

  • Lisbon Public Water Authority, Union County, received a $107,263 loan from the Water Development Fund to extend a waterline to a new service area on Morning Star Road. The current customer base for this project is 487.

  • City of Menifee, Conway County, received a $368,822 loan from the Water Development Fund to replace a cement waterline with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe. The current customer base for this project is 200.

  • City of Ogden, Little River County, received a $80,340 loan from the Water Development Fund for tank improvements. The current customer base for this project is 206.

  • City of Ozan, Hempstead County, received a $149,221 loan from the Water Development Fund for a water treatment plant and tank improvements. The current customer base for this project is 127.

  • City of Taylor, Columbia County, received a $372,769 loan from the Water Development Fund to replace existing water meters and install a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. The current customer base for this project is 258.

More information about the Natural Resource Division’s water and wastewater programs can be found here or by contacting Debby Dickson at debra.dickson@agriculture.arkansas.gov or 501-682-0548.
Foresters for the Future Scholarship Application Period Open Through June 15, 2023
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division and the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) are pleased to announce that applications for the Foresters for the Future scholarship are now being accepted. The scholarship will provide $4,000 per semester, for four years, to an incoming freshman pursuing a forestry degree at UAM’s College of Forestry, Agriculture, and Natural Resources. 

Applications will be accepted through June 15. Students interested in the scholarship can find more information on the UAM website here.

“Arkansas has nearly 19 million acres of forests with over 12 billion trees,” said State Forester Joe Fox. “This scholarship is a wonderful opportunity for a future forester to obtain a quality education and move into a dynamic and rewarding career field.”
The scholarship program was established by Act 399 of the 2021 Regular Session of the Arkansas General Assembly. UAM and the Forestry Division hope the scholarship will entice students to pursue forestry as a career.

“The forestry industry is a pillar of Arkansas’s economy that impacts every area of our state,” said Dr. Peggy Doss, UAM Chancellor. “The Foresters for the Future Scholarship will support our efforts to attract and to retain a diverse group of future foresters and to prepare them for a career path that offers extensive job opportunities in the wood products industry.”

"This scholarship is a tremendous opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Michael Blazier, Dean of the UAM College of Forestry, Agriculture, and Natural Resources and Director of the Arkansas Forest Resources Center. “Not only does it provide substantial financial aid to help them study for a career in forestry, they get a wide range of internship options for on-the-job learning with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division."
REMINDER: Arkansas Century Farm Program Applications Due May 31
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the 2023 Arkansas Century Farm Program. This program recognizes Arkansas families who have owned and farmed the same land for at least 100 years. Online and printable applications are available here. There is no cost to apply.

To qualify, Arkansas farms must meet the following criteria:

  • The same family must have owned the farm for 100 years by Dec. 31, 2023. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews or nieces, including through marriage and adoption.

  • The farm must be at least ten acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income. 

Qualifying Arkansas farms will receive a personalized Arkansas Century Farm certificate and metal sign listing the farm name and year established.
Arkansas is home to more than 42,000 farms, of which 96 percent are family owned and operated.

Since the program began in 2012, 568 farms have been certified. Find lists of previously inducted Arkansas Century Farm families here.

Contact Beth Moore at 501-539-4027 or beth.moore@agriculture.arkansas.gov with questions. Applications must be received via email or postmarked on or before May 31, 2023, to be eligible for designation as a 2023 inductee. 
Farm Safety Month - Grain Bin Safety
March is Farm Safety Month! Last month, Arkansas Farm Bureau offered grain bin safety training to combat grain bin entrapments. Click here to watch Benton Moseley, safety specialist at Mississippi Farm Bureau, highlight the importance of this training and safety on agricultural operations.
Flood Insurance Awareness Week
March 13 through March 17 was Arkansas Flood Insurance Awareness Week! Flood Insurance Awareness Week creates an important reminder for every Arkansas homeowner to protect their investments through flood insurance.

Flooding can be financially and emotionally devastating, and most homeowners are not protected against the financial costs of flood damage. Just one inch of water in a home can cause $25,000 or more in damages. Visit here for more information on flood insurance.

As part of Flood Insurance Awareness Week, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Division staff hosted a Managing Floodplain Development event in West Little Rock on March 13.
Poultry Feeding Operations Registration Deadline: March 31
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Division's Conservation Section, in coordination with conservation districts across the state, administers the Poultry Feeding Operations Registration Program.

The program registration period begins January 1 and concludes March 31 each year. Each producer is required by state law to register their poultry operation with their local conservation district if there were 2,500 or more poultry housed or confined at any time during the previous calendar year.

Visit here to learn more about the Poultry Feeding Operations Registration Program.
2023 Arkansas Grown Magazine
A comprehensive, hands-on approach to agricultural education is crucial to the future of the industry. The United States Department of Agriculture AgDiscovery Program offers that benefit to high school students across the country.

Read more about the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff's involvement in the AgDiscovery Program 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 March 15, the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) met at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. During the meeting, Department staff presented the 2022 Arkansas Groundwater Protection and Management Report, an update on American Rescue Plan Act funding, and discussed the financial assistance decision making process.
The Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs is hosting the "Tree Cycle" exhibit that explores art and science inspired by Arkansas trees. Every Saturday in March, Forestry Division employees will be handing out seedlings to museum visitors. On Saturday, March 11th roughly 700 seedlings were distributed!

Keith Stock, county forester for the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division, attended the Bearden School STEM Night to talk to students about a career in forestry. Stock explained wildfire equipment and demonstrated a fire shelter.

Billy Clayborne, Forestry Division county ranger, participated in chainsaw training.
Forestry Division staff observed leaf identification at the FFA forestry competition on the Arkansas State University campus in Jonesboro.
Smokey Bear and Forestry Division staff in Miller County visited students in Blevins to discuss fire safety.
New Resources, Trainings, & Opportunities
New Resources from the National Agricultural Law Center

Introducing The Feed:
The body of laws, policies, and regulations affecting agriculture is vast and fast-changing, but the National Agricultural Law Center has introduced The Feed, a biweekly newsletter aimed at keeping industry professionals up to date.

Content is written by research attorneys but is designed for non-attorneys as well. Find recent issues of The Feed here.

Upcoming Webinars:
Recent Blog Posts:

Upcoming Events:
Arkansas Bee Day 2023
Arkansas Bee Day will be held on April 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bemis Honey Bee Farm in Little Rock. If you have an interest in beekeeping, make plans to attend. Admission is free, but don't forget to bring safety gear! Follow Arkansas Bee Day on Facebook or visit here to learn more.
AgDiscovery Applications Open
Applications are now open for the AgDiscovery program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). This two-week summer outreach program aims to help students learn about careers in animal science, veterinary medicine, agribusiness, regulatory science, and plant pathology.

Participants, ages 14-17, live on UAPB’s campus and learn about agricultural science from university professors, practicing veterinarians, and professionals working for the U.S. government. Students chosen for AgDiscovery participate in hands-on labs, workshops, field trips, and other activities. The program is sponsored by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The application deadline is March 31, 2023. Find more information and application instructions here. Read about the 2022 AgDiscovery program in this year's edition of Arkansas Grown here.
March 2023 Garden Guide

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service's March Garden Guide is available here. This guide provides information on vegetables and flowers that can be planted this month. This information is for the state of Arkansas as a whole, but for specific questions about planting in your area, reach out to your local county agent. Find your agent here.
Wildlife of Arkansas Student Art Contest Accepting Artwork
Once again, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation (AWF) and Creative Ideas have come together to promote wildlife education through the arts in the annual Wildlife of Arkansas Student Art Contest. For the 2023 contest, students from kindergarten through 12th grade will submit artwork online through a portal on the AWF website, found here. Applications will be accepted through March 31.
MyARInternship Opportunity
The Arkansas Department of Transformation and Shared Services is now accepting applications for the Summer 2023 MyARInternship. This internship offers a wide variety of career fields to experience such as finance, social work, technology, public health, engineering, business, public safety, communications, education, research, cybersecurity, compliance, legal, marketing, environment, administration, real estate services, tourism, and emergency management. Find eligibility requirements and more information here.
Basics of High Tunnel Production Workshop
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Southwest Research and Extension Center will host a workshop on high tunnel production in Hope on March 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Topics will include the EQIP High Tunnel Incentive Program, crop selection and sustaining productivity, a Q&A with horticulture specialists, and much more. There is no cost, but pre-register to reserve a spot. Pre-register online here or by calling the Hempstead County Extension Office at (870) 777-5771.
Outstanding Teacher of the Year Applications Open

Do you know of a teacher doing a great job with Ag in the Classroom? You can nominate them for Arkansas Ag in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher of the Year! Nominations are open until April 1. For more information or to download an application click here.

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
Census of Agriculture Responses Accepted Through the Spring
There's still time to respond to the Census of Agriculture, 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.

Although the deadline has passed, the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will continue to accept completed census questionnaires through the spring. For more information, click here.

Find the latest ag census information here.
Nationwide Farmer, Rancher, and Forest Manager Prospective Customer Survey
The Nationwide Farmer, Rancher, and Forest Manager Prospective Customer Survey is now open. This survey reviews your general views and interactions with the following U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies: Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Risk Management Agency (RMA). The survey is voluntary, anonymous, and takes around ten minutes to complete. Find the survey and more information here.
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service Accepting 2023 Conservation Stewardship Program Applications through March 31
Farmers and landowners have until March 31 to apply for funding consideration during the 2023 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) classic enrollment period. Producers in portions of Greene, Craighead, Lawrence, and Jackson counties will also have the opportunity to apply for CSP in the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI)-West Craighead project area. CSP offers additional opportunities to expand on existing conservation efforts by offering conservation practices, enhancements, bundles, and other conservation activities.

For additional information about CSP, contact your local USDA Service Center here.
USDA Offers Expanded Conservation Program Opportunities to Support Climate-Smart Agriculture in 2023
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is announcing several new and expanded opportunities for climate-smart agriculture in 2023. Updates include nationwide availability of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Conservation Incentive Contracts (CIC) option and EQIP Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry (CSAF). The deadline to apply for these opportunities is March 31.

To apply, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center, which can be found here. Additional information can be found here.
SUSTA Updates
The Southern U.S. Trade Association (SUSTA) is a non-profit organization that facilitates trade between small to medium-sized southern U.S. companies and overseas importers. Since 1973, SUSTA has worked with Departments of Agriculture to increase the export of southern U.S. food and agricultural products and enhance the economic well-being of the region.
Webinar: Tools for Exporting Success
SUSTA will host a webinar titled Tools for Exporting Success on March 29 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. CST. This webinar provides new-to-export companies a high-level overview of the steps required to successfully export products abroad. Participating companies will learn practical export fundamentals and have a better understanding of the general export process. This webinar is free of charge for SUSTA participants. Register for the webinar here.
Export Readiness Training
SUSTA's Export Readiness Training provides agribusinesses the tools to create a successful international marketing strategy. During training, participants will assess their capacity for exporting, identify key foreign markets and learn practical export fundamentals so they can confidently export their products. Originally scheduled for March, this training was pushed back to May.

There is a $150 participation fee which includes the following modules to be conducted via Zoom (8:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. CST):

  • May 10: Developing Export Readiness Skills
  • May 17: Expert Tools of the Trade
  • May 24: Getting Products to Global Customers
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: Arkansas Ag Week
  • Agriculture is Arkansas's largest industry, contributing more than $19 billion annually to our state's economy and providing the state with 243,165 jobs or one of every seven jobs.
  • Arkansas consistently ranks in the top 25 nationally in the production of 16 different agricultural commodities and ranks 15th in the national with $11.4 billion in gross receipts for all agricultural commodities.
  • Arkansas is home to 12 billion trees on nearly 19 million acres of forestland.
  • Arkansas Ag Week is a time to recognize the abundance provided by agriculture and celebrate our agricultural producers who are the backbone of our state's economy.
  • Governor Sanders declared March as Arkansas Agriculture Week.
  • Celebrate with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture on social media by participating in our photography contest!
Upcoming Agriculture Events
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