Arkansas Century Farm Program Honors 32 Farm Families from 29 Counties

Governor Asa Hutchinson was joined by Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward and the Arkansas Department of Agriculture in inducting 32 additional Arkansas farms into the Arkansas Century Farm Program.

The Arkansas Century Farm program recognizes Arkansas farms of 10 acres or more owned by the same family for at least 100 years. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture began the Century Farm program in 2012 to highlight the contributions of these families to the agriculture industry as well as their overall contributions to our state.

Agriculture is Arkansas’s largest industry, contributing more than $21 billion to the state’s economy annually and providing one of every six jobs in the state. Arkansas consistently ranks in the top 25 nationally in the production of more than 15 agricultural commodities.

“Year after year, decade after decade, in the face of many challenges, Century Farm families put everything on the line to earn a living and produce our food, our fabrics, our forests. Farm families are great for our economy, but they are much more than that. The work ethic, common sense, and family values that are the bedrock of a family farm are a model for all Arkansans,” said Governor Hutchinson. “For the good of Arkansas, I hope their children and grandchildren choose to continue on the family farm, and that someday, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture will create an Arkansas Two-Century Farm program.”

526 farms are currently recognized as Arkansas Century Farms throughout the state. The 32 newly inducted Century Farms are located in the following 29 counties: Arkansas, Benton, Boone, Bradley, Carroll, Clay, Cleburne, Craighead, Dallas, Desha, Faulkner, Fulton, Garland, Hot Spring, Howard, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lonoke, Monroe, Nevada, Ouachita, Perry, Prairie, Pulaski, Scott, St. Francis, White, and Yell.

A list of Arkansas Century Farms can be found here. Find the photo gallery of inductees with Governor Hutchinson here.

For more information about the Arkansas Century Farm program, contact Beth Moore at
Arkansas State Plant Board Convened November 5

The Arkansas State Plant Board convened November 5 at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. This was the first meeting of the Arkansas State Plant Board since Governor Hutchinson appointed new members to fill positions left vacant under an Arkansas Supreme Court ruling earlier this year.

At the orientation meeting, officers were elected which included Matthew Marsh as Chair, Mark Morgan as Vice-Chair, and Sam Stuckey as Secretary.
2021 Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest Winners Announced
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas are pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest:

Best Start-up School Garden Proposal:
Blevins High School, Blevins (Hempstead County), $500 Award
Quitman Elementary School, Quitman (Cleburne County), $500 Award

Best Education Based School Garden:
Ouachita Elementary School, Donaldson (Hot Spring County), $500 Award
Sheridan Elementary School, Sheridan (Grant County), $500 Award

Best Harvest Partnership School Garden:
The Delta School, Wilson (Mississippi County), $500 Award
First Friends Preschool, Rogers (Benton County), $500 Award

Best Community Collaboration School Garden:
Ozark Junior High School, Cedarville (Franklin County), $500 Award
Retta Brown ABC, El Dorado (Union County), $500 Award

Best Overall School Garden:
Cedarville Elementary School, Cedarville (Crawford County), $1,000 Award

Champion of School Garden Sustainability:
Forest Park Elementary School, Little Rock (Pulaski County), $1,000 Award

The Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest was initiated by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas in 2014. The program provides the opportunity to promote the importance of involving young people in the process of fresh food production and cultivation.
Farm Credit generously provides the funding for the program. This year funding for the contest was increased, which allowed the number of winning schools to increase from six to ten. 
“As a farmer-owned cooperative, we believe it’s important to support local food system initiatives such as the Arkansas Grown School Garden Program,” said Farm Credit Midsouth CEO James McJunkins on behalf of the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas. “Local food projects like this are a great way to educate the next generation and the public about food production and agriculture.”
The contest was available to public and private K-12 schools, early childhood education facilities, and alternative learning environments. Awardees were schools that had a school garden open during the 2020-2021 school year or planned to start a garden in the 2021-2022 school year.
“School gardens provide a hands-on opportunity for children to learn about Arkansas agriculture and where their food comes from. The lessons learned through school gardens have a lasting impact on children, their families, and entire communities,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward.
Arkansas Department of Agriculture Awards Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network Grants

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture awarded Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network grants to three Arkansas entities to expand or sustain stress assistance programs for individuals engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations.

The three selected entities are:
  • Arkansas PBS Foundation - $126,140
  • Agri Health Network - $100,000
  • University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture - $99,840 

“Agriculture is an inherently stressful occupation that often requires individuals to work long hours and navigate through numerous factors that are beyond their control. Recipients of this grant funding are providing critically important services to the individuals that provide the food, fiber, fuel, and shelter that we all depend on every single day and that will help keep our state’s largest industry successful into the future,” said Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward.

Arkansas PBS will use the funding to develop programs on mental health challenges faced by agricultural producers for on-air broadcast and on-demand, website, social media, and app viewing. A monthly podcast will be made available at no cost to more than 120 radio stations across the state. More information about the programs can be found at

The grant funding provided to the Agri Health Network will expand the reach of its That Farm Life podcast launched in March 2021 to provide a platform for those in the agricultural industry to share stories, resources, and create a safe zone where mental health issues specific to agriculture are addressed. Funding will also be used to host informational and educational events for agricultural industry participants. More information can be found at and info@agrihealth.netThat Farm Life podcast is available on all podcast apps or through their website.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will use the grant funding to train 16 Mental Health First Aid trainers and create a website and virtual offerings for producers to engage with mental health experts and other producers remotely to learn and support healthy stress management.  Contact Dr. Brittney Schrick, for more information.

The grants are administered by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network – State Departments of Agriculture Program (FRSAN-SDA). Funding may be used to initiate, expand, or sustain programs that provide professional agricultural behavioral health counseling and referral for other forms of assistance. More information about the FRSAN program can be found here.
Mobile Lab

A scheduled exercise of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s mobile veterinary lab was recently conducted. The mobile veterinary lab makes use of off-grid power, cloud-hosted information systems, and mobile computing to evaluate the continuity of operations planning. By mobilizing case accessioning and reporting, a significant bottleneck in throughput can be alleviated. The veterinary lab is part of the USDA’s National Animal Health Laboratory Network, a partnership to foster resiliency in the face of foreign animal disease outbreaks.
Keeping it in the Family

Earlier this month, Keeping it in the Family (KIITF) landowners from Illinois and North Carolina visited their land in Ouachita County for the first time in more than 20 years. Partnering with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, KIITF is a program administered by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff that addresses the issue of African American land loss by educating and connecting landowners to available resources that will enable productive land management.

For more information on the KIITF Program, contact Evette Browning at (501) 516-5684 or
Arkansas Department of Agriculture Accepting Applications for Farm to School Program Grants

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the second-annual Arkansas School Garden Grant Program and the new Taste Test Grant Program to help schools start or expand farm to school activities. Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2021.
The Arkansas School Garden Grant Program is available to help schools start or expand gardens on school grounds. The Department will award $500 grants to 60 schools to purchase soil, specialty crop seeds and plants, and gardening equipment.

Additionally, the Department is launching the new Arkansas Taste Test Grant Program to help schools lead cafeteria taste tests of locally grown specialty crops. The Department will award $250 grants to 30 schools to purchase kitchen equipment and utensils, serving materials, and specialty crop seeds and plants.
“School gardens and taste tests have proven to be valuable tools in teaching children about agriculture, nutrition, and a variety of skills. The Department is pleased to add the new taste test grant program this year as another way to help schools start or expand farm to school activities. The lessons learned through these programs can have a lasting impact on children, their families, and entire communities,” said Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward.
The grant programs are available to public and private K-12 schools, early childhood education facilities, and alternative learning environments. All eligible schools are encouraged to apply, whether they already have existing farm to school activities or they are just getting started with school gardens and local procurement. Technical assistance is available to all grantees.

The application for both programs can be found at Applicants are welcome to apply for one or both grant opportunities.   

The grant programs were developed using funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to increase the production and consumption of specialty crops in schools. Specialty crops as defined by the USDA are fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, floriculture, and nursery crops. 

More information about the Arkansas School Garden Grant Program and Arkansas Taste Test Grant Program can be found at or by contacting Erica Benoit at and Shannon Newerth-Henson at

Photo Features
Kendall Rawls was sworn in on November 1 as a new investigator for the Arkansas Department of Agriculture by Billy Black, Arkansas Department of Agriculture Law Enforcement Chief. Rawls will serve as the primary officer in the southeast quarter of the State.
Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division staff have been conducting and assisting with prescribed burns across the state.

Top left: Bradley and Cleveland County Forestry Division Crews conducted a 150 acre control burn. Top right: A Forestry Division crew assisted with Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission’s controlled burn near the Stuttgart airport. Left: Nevada County Ranger William Weisenhunt assisted Union County with a prescribed burn.
Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division staff attended the 2021 Arkansas Water and Wastewater Managers Association Fall Workshop in North Little Rock. Director Chris Colclasure and Program Fiscal Manager Debra Dickson provided a presentation on how the Natural Resources Division can help water companies and other entities with project funding.
Representatives of the Invasive Species program and Arkansas Grown, Arkansas Made, and Homegrown by Heroes programs of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture shared a booth during the Arkansas State Fair.
Webinars and Trainings
Crush It Arkansas! Wine Trends Virtual Workshop

Tuesday, November 30, 2021
2‐4 pm (CST) 

The workshop will overview trends to producing wines for commercial winemakers. The workshop will be held as a Zoom meeting and led by Dr. Renee Threlfall, Research Scientist, and Amanda Fleming, graduate student, from the Food Science Department, UA System. The workshop will include two speakers from Scott Laboratories, Michael Jones, Fermentation Specialist, and Alicen Rouse, Field Sales Representative – Southwest Territory.

Registration for the workshop is complimentary, but registration is required. The recording for the workshop will be available after the event.  
USDA Updates
Apply Now for the Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program

USDA is currently accepting applications for the Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program. Applications must be submitted electronically through the grant portal at by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, November 22, 2021. Approximately $650 million in funding is available for the PRS grants.

Don’t wait until the last minute. The first step in applying is getting a DUNS number which can take up to 5 days.

Once you have your DUNS number, the application takes less than 10 minutes. The application, FAQs, tip sheets, and information on how to apply is on the PRS Grant Portal. Resources are also available in Spanish on the PRS webpage.

Small businesses and nonprofits in the following industries can apply for a grant to cover COVID-related expenses such as workplace safety measures (e.g., personal protective equipment (PPE), retrofitting facilities for worker and consumer safety, shifting to online sales platforms, transportation, worker housing, and medical costs:

  • Specialty crop producers
  • Shellfish farming, finfish farming, aquaculture, apiculture
  • Specialty crop, meat, and other processors
  • Distributors
  • Farmers markets

Contact information for providers offering technical assistance on this grant application is available on the AMS PRS grant webpage under ‘Additional Resources’:
November is Arkansas Soybean Month

In addition to November being Arkansas Soybean Month, the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board (ASPB) is celebrating its 50th anniversary, 1971-2021. Many activities have been planned to celebrate Arkansas Soybean Month. Find planned events on ASPB’s FacebookInstagram and Twitter.  
Governor Asa Hutchinson helped ASPB promote Arkansas Soybean Month and the Board’s 50th anniversary recently in a segment on KATV Channel 7
2021 Arkansas Grown

Read reflections on 50 years of success as the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board celebrates its golden anniversary in the 2021 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.
Find a career in Arkansas's largest industry!

Are you passionate about Arkansas agriculture? With many new and exciting career opportunities, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture is looking for highly motivated individuals to bring their passion for the Arkansas agriculture industry to the workplace. Check out our available positions today on the AR Careers website by searching for "agriculture" or "natural resources."
Arkansas AG Facts: Arkansas Turkey Week
  • The Arkansas poultry industry, including turkeys, broilers, and eggs, leads Arkansas’s agricultural sector with total cash receipts of $3.7 billion or 46% of state agricultural cash receipts.
  • Arkansas in 2020 ranked second in the nation in the number of turkeys raised, accounting for 14% of all turkeys raised in the United States.
  • In 2020, Arkansas raised 31 million turkeys, with a total production of 595 million pounds, and a production value of $422 million.
  • The industry is responsible for approximately $4.3 billion in total economic activity throughout the state.
  • The Arkansas turkey industry creates and supports over 17,500 jobs in Arkansas.
  • Cargill and Butterball, two of the largest turkey companies in the United States, have facilities in four Arkansas cities: Jonesboro, Springdale, Huntsville, and Ozark.
  • The Arkansas turkey industry and its employees pay approximately $176 million in federal taxes and $134 million in state and local taxes.
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