Governor Sanders Declares May as Arkansas Beef Month and Arkansas Egg Month
On May 18, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined agriculture leaders and industry partners in declaring May as Arkansas Beef Month and Arkansas Egg Month. The proclamations highlight the state’s beef and egg industries and the value that both contribute to Arkansas’s economy.
“Agriculture is our number one industry, and we want to make sure it stays there. We want to continue to be a great partner from the state,” said Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “I’m very happy about the fact that it is Beef and Egg Month and that we get to make that proclamation here today, but most importantly, I can’t tell you how grateful all of us are – every Arkansan – for the men and women who work in our ag community.”

“Beef and egg production in Arkansas are great examples of why agriculture is our state’s largest industry, with beef and egg products consistently ranking in Arkansas’s top eight agricultural commodities,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “This month is the perfect time to recognize these industries and the dedicated producers who work hard to maintain Arkansas as a national leader in agriculture.”
Representatives from the Natural State Beef Company, Arkansas Beef Council, Cal-Maine Foods, Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association, Arkansas Farm Bureau, The Poultry Federation, and other agriculture industry stakeholders attended the event.

Photographs from this event can be found here.
Arkansas Department of Agriculture Announces Recipients for the Arkansas Grown Grant for Northwest Arkansas Farmers Pilot Program, Round Two
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce recipients of the second round of funding for the Arkansas Grown Grant for Northwest Arkansas Farmers Pilot Program. This program, created with support from the Walton Family Foundation’s Northwest Arkansas Food Systems Initiative, offers grant funding to eligible farmers in Benton, Washington, Madison, and Carroll counties who are committed to increasing capacity for wholesale fruit and vegetable production. The overall goal of the pilot program is to increase the amount of locally produced food in the four-county area.
“This pilot program provides funding directly to farmers to improve their operations and increase availability of fresh, locally grown food for consumers,” said Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture. “The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is honored to assist in the administration of this grant program and looks forward to seeing its positive impacts.” 
Grants were awarded for eligible expenses to eight farming operations in the four-county pilot program area, in addition to the 25 farms awarded in the first round of funding last year. Recipients for the Arkansas Grown Grant for Northwest Arkansas Farmers Pilot Program, Round Two are:
  • Kings River Produce
  • Honest Dirt Market Garden
  • Hanna Family Ranch
  • Gaia’s Garden Farmstead
  • Bear Valley Farm
  • Reagan Family Farm
  • PrairieWoods Farms
  • Dripping Springs Garden
For more information about the pilot program, contact Karen Reynolds by email at or by phone at (501) 529-1630.
Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest Entries Accepted Through June 11
Entries are being accepted for the tenth 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 2022-2023 school year or is planning to start a garden in the 2023-2024 school year.

“School gardens are valuable educational tools that help students develop healthy eating habits, learn about Arkansas agriculture, and participate in hands-on learning,” said Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture. “We are grateful for the generosity of Farm Credit and their continued support of this program.”

Entries for the contest will be accepted through June 11, 2023, and the application can be found here. Winners will be announced in the fall of 2023.

“As a farmer-owned cooperative, we are excited to continue our support of teachers and projects that engage Arkansas students in food production and agricultural sustainability. Through these partnerships, we can ensure that the valuable role of Arkansas agriculture remains top-of-mind for the next generation,” said Farm Credit of Western Arkansas President and CEO, Brandon Haberer, on behalf of the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas.

Applicants are eligible to apply for the following categories:

  • Best Start-up School Garden Proposal - $500 Award
  • Best Education Based School Garden - $500 Award
  • Best Harvest Partnership School Garden - $500 Award
  • Best Community Collaboration School Garden - $500 Award
  • Best Overall School Garden - $1000 Award
  • Champion of School Garden Sustainability - $1000 Award

More information about the Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest can be found here or by contacting Jessica Chapman, Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator, at
Feral Hog Eradication Task Force Update
The Feral Hog Eradication Task Force continued its efforts in April 2023 and removed over 1,239 feral hogs across Arkansas. Additionally, Arkansas residents reported the removal of nine feral hogs last month.

Learn more about the Task Force and its efforts here.
Arkansas Century Farm Program Accepting Applications Until 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 December 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.

Contact Beth Moore at 501-539-4027 or 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.
2023 Arkansas Grown Magazine
For centuries, the practice of family farming has been the foundation of the agricultural industry in the United States. Still today, these operations prove to be a cornerstone of American agriculture, making up 98 percent of all farms. Family farming began out of necessity, but today, many farmers combine farm and off-farm jobs to make a living while maintaining the agricultural way of life.

Read more about the program that honors the dedication of Arkansas's farm families 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 May 9, the University of Arkansas (UA) System Division of Agriculture broke ground on the Northeast Rice Research and Extension Center (NERREC) in Poinsett County, Arkansas. Pictured above (from left): Jeanette Spencer, benefactor; Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward; State Representative Dwight Tosh; David Sargent, WER Architects; NERREC Center Director Tim Burcham; UA System Division President Donald Bobbitt; and John Conner, Jr., Holden Conner Enterprises and Greenway Equipment.

Pictured right: Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward with Tim and Joan Burcham before the groundbreaking of the center.

Photo credit: Mary Hightower, UA System Division of Agriculture

Damascus Fire Department in Van Buren County received a 2003 International Fire Truck from the Federal Excess Personal Property Program, which is administered by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division's Rural Fire Protection (RFP). Pictured (from left): Daniel Mahan, Damascus Fire Chief, and Greyson Cooper, RFP Buyer.
National Police Week was recognized from May 14 to 20. We commend the Arkansas Department of Agriculture Law Enforcement officers for all the work they do to protect Arkansas's food, fiber, and forest products. Pictured (from left): Russ Lancaster, Keith Dedmon, Chief Billy Black, Justin Smith, and Kendall Rawls.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division partnered with multiple national and state agencies to host the 2023 Arkansas River Valley Wildland Fire Academy from May 8 to 19. The Academy provides necessary training for wildland firefighters. The Forestry Division partnered with the United States Forest Service; the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission; the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism; the Bureau of Indian Affairs; the National Parks Service; and Oklahoma Forestry Services. Learn more about the collaborative effort here.
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:
"Plan. Produce. Profit." Workshops in Arkansas
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the National Agricultural Law Center are facilitating a series of workshops called "Plan. Produce. Profit." Workshop participants will learn how to operate under the Arkansas Food Freedom Act for selling homemade food items to the public. Attendees will be eligible to receive a free pH meter for producing food products. Funding for these workshops is provided by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture through the United States Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Learn more and register here. For more information, contact Rusty Rumley at
Applications Open for Veggie to Value: A Food Entrepreneuer Bootcamp Program
Do you have a vegetable-based value-added food business idea or need help getting started in a commercial kitchen? The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service Local, Regional, and Safe Foods will host a bootcamp program for food entrepreneurs this summer. Applications will be accepted through May 30 and there is no cost to apply. Individuals, or existing businesses, located in Central Arkansas who are interested in creating a vegetable-based value-added product in a commercial kitchen are eligible to apply. Applicants must also be able to:

  • Dedicate 1-2 hours a week for technical assistance calls/videos to develop a recipe.
  • Dedicate 2-3 days at the Share Grounds kitchen in Rison, Arkansas to develop a product.
  • Provide reliable transportation for self and products.

Interested individuals can apply for the program here. For more information, please contact Dr. Amanda Philyaw Perez at
2023 Pollinator Palooza
Quail Forever is hosting the 2023 Pollinator Palooza in celebration of pollinators and their habitat! The event will include guided habitat hikes, native plant vendors, and kid-friendly activities. Join Quail Forever for the event on June 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Camp Robinson Special Use Area in Mayflower, Arkansas. The event is free to attend, but registration is encouraged. Learn more and register here.
Dam Safety Workshop
The Arkansas Natural Resources Division is hosting a dam safety workshop for owners and operators on June 13 at the Arkansas 4-H Center in Little Rock. The workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Workshop registration is free. The workshop is designed to provide practical, straightforward information on topics of importance regarding operation of private dams. This year’s workshop specifically focuses on topics of interest to homeowner and property owner associations. Please contact Whit Montague at with questions.

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
USDA Announces Signup for New Rice Production Program
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide a one-time payment under the Rice Production Program (RPP) to rice producers based on 2022 planted and prevented planted acres. To be eligible for RPP, a producer must have reported a share interest in an eligible type of rice planted or prevented from being planted for the 2022 crop year, by the acreage reporting deadline.

Rice producers will be mailed prefilled applications using information on file with USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) or FSA, as reported by rice producers through their crop insurance agents or FSA county offices. To apply for RPP, producers must return the completed FSA-174, Rice Production Program Application, to their recording FSA county office by close of business on July 10, 2023. Applications may be submitted in person or by mail, email, or facsimile.
USDA to Host Mental Health Awareness Month Workshop Series
USDA is hosting a Mental Health Awareness Month Workshop Series. The workshop series convenes farmers and ranchers, faith leaders, rural health providers, USDA employees, and partners to dialogue and discuss mental health challenges; stressors; and the resources and services available to address them. Register and find a breakdown of the series and the topics that will be covered here.
USDA-NRCS Accepting Applications for Conjunctive Water Use Protects Mid-South Aquifers Regional Conservation Partnership Program
Farmers or landowners in the Conjunctive Water Use Protects Mid-South Aquifers Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project area in Arkansas can apply to receive financial assistance in fiscal year 2023. Farmers and landowners in Arkansas who submit applications to their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office by May 26 will be considered for this assistance. Eligible Arkansas counties include Ashley, Chicot, Desha, and Drew. This project is supported by the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Stewardship Partnership. For more information, visit here or contact your local USDA-NRCS Field Service Center.
Farm Service Agency Southeast Arkansas Outreach Meetings
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Southeast Arkansas office is hosting free, virtual informational sessions to educate producers and agriculture businesses on available programs and loans and share vital information such as program deadlines and eligibility. The first session was held on Thursday, March 30. The following sessions will take place in the coming months, and are free to attend virtually.

  • FSA Program Updates and Beginning Farmer Information, May 25 from 10 to 11 a.m.
  • Speaker: Dr. Henry English, Head of Small Farm Programs at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff School of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Human Science
  • County Committee Election Overview, July 27 from 10 to 11 a.m.
  • Speaker: Doris Washington, State Executive Director for the FSA

Interested individuals should call their local FSA office to receive the meeting link. Contact information for your local FSA office can be found 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.
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 Beef Month
  • May was proclaimed by Governor Sanders as Arkansas Beef Month!
  • Arkansas has cattle production in each of Arkansas's 75 counties.
  • Arkansas has 866,000 head of beef cows and 1,630,000 head of cattle and calves.
  • Arkansas has 23,036 farms with beef cows and 25,372 farms with cattle and calves.
  • Arkansas ranks 11th in the nation in beef cow inventory and 17th in the nation in cattle and calves inventory.
  • Cattle and calves consistently rank among Arkansas’s top eight agricultural commodities in cash receipts, valued at more than $524 million.
  • Arkansas exports beef and beef products totaling more than $76 million dollars to trading partners around the world.
Upcoming Agriculture Events
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