September 2019
Governor Hutchinson and U.S. Secretary Perdue
Sign Shared Stewardship Agreement
Governor Asa Hutchinson  and United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Shared Stewardship September 4 during a ceremony at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.

The MOU establishes a framework for the participating agencies to work more closely together to accomplish mutual goals, further common interests, and effectively respond to ecological challenges and natural resource concerns in Arkansas. A key component of the shared stewardship strategy is to prioritize investment decisions on forest practices to protect communities and create resilient forests and landscapes. Read more here .
Arkansas Voluntary Smoke Management Guidelines

With harvest underway, producers interested in burning crop residue are encouraged to review and follow the Arkansas Voluntary Smoke Management Guidelines that were developed to provide guidance for safe, efficient prescribed burning that causes as little inconvenience to the public as possible. Producers can report prescribed burns to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Dispatch Center at 1-800-830-8015. Learn more about the voluntary program here .
B & D Genetics

Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture, and Dr. Randy Chick, State Veterinarian, were given a tour of 
B & D Genetics August 9 by Brittany and David Carwell, owners of the company.

B & D Genetics, LLC is a full service ruminant reproduction center that offers complete on farm and in clinic services in Cherry Valley. Brittany and David both earned Master’s degrees in Reproductive Physiology from Louisiana State University. While at LSU they worked at the Reproductive Biology Center, where they were exposed to and assisted with advanced reproductive techniques in cattle, sheep, goats, white-tailed deer and horses.

B & D Genetics, LLC is the only USDA approved multi-country export center for sheep and goat semen and embryo collection. For more about B & D Genetics, check out their website here .
44 Counties Designated As Disaster Areas

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue designated 44 counties as primary natural disaster areas and 24 counties as contiguous disaster areas in Arkansas, which makes farm operators in those counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from Farm Service Agency (FSA). Farmers in eligible areas have eight months to apply for emergency loans.

Letters from Secretary Perdue and Governor Hutchinson regarding the disaster declaration, the list of designated counties, and the map of the affected area can be found here .
USDA Resources Available for 2018, 2019 Disasters

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) program on Monday at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture's annual meeting. Producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019 can start signing up for assistance on September 11, 2019. Prevented planting supplemental disaster payments will provide support to producers who were prevented from planting eligible crops for the 2019 year.

More information about the WHIP+ program can be found here
First Peanut Sheller in Arkansas

Delta Peanut broke ground on the first peanut shelling facility in Arkansas on August 27, 2019. The $70 million facility will be on a 71 acre site in the Craighead County Technology Park.

Arkansas farmers began reintroducing peanuts into sandy, row crop fields in several parts of Northeast Arkansas in 2010. Since 2013, peanut acreage has increased from 11,000 to 44,000 acres in 2019. Acreage is expected to increase substantially with the addition of a peanut shelling facility in the state.  
Read the full story from Talk Business & Politics here .
Grant Opportunity for Rural Volunteer Fire Departments

The Forestry Division opened the application period for the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant for Wildfire Suppression Kits on September 2. The application period closes October 4, 2019.

More than 80 Wildfire Suppression Kits will be awarded across the state to Rural Volunteer Fire Departments. The kit will include up to 10 wildland coveralls, 10 wildland pairs of gloves, 2 backpack leaf blowers, 2 collapsible backpack water pumps, and 6 leaf rakes. The application is available on line here .

Please help us spread the word about this program to rural volunteer fire departments in your area.
Blue & You Fitness Challenge

A team from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture won 3rd Place in the 24-29 participants division for the Blue and You Fitness Challenge, August 9. Congratulations for helping to promote a healthier Arkansas!
10 Years Of Service

Guillermina Aguilar (right) was presented her certificate for ten years of service to the State of Arkansas by her supervisor Jarred Rodgers. Guillermina, a Poultry Grader II, started with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Livestock & Poultry Division (LPD) as a resident grader at a poultry plant. She then became a part-time field inspector and traveled to various locations in the state and graded product. During that time she also became a licensed turkey grader, which allowed her to work more locations.

With the addition of a new location she went back to full-time at the LPD and she is now stationed at a location in Northwest Arkansas.
2019 Rural Fireshow

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture will be hosting the 2019 Rural Fireshow to show our appreciation to Arkansas firefighters. The event will be at the Conway Expo Center at 2505 Oak St., Conway AR, October 5, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. For those that wish to attend, please send your RSVP to carisa.aycock@agriculture.arkansas.gov .
ACA Annual Convention

The Livestock and Poultry Division represented the Arkansas Department of Agriculture during the Arkansas Cattlemen's Association's Annual Convention & Tradeshow in Hot Springs. Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward provided an update from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
Arkansas Grown Magazine

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture 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 Fac t: September is Arkansas Rice Month

  • Arkansas is the #1 producer of rice in the United States.
  • In 2015, Arkansas farmers produced 207,550,200 bushels of rice on 1.286 million acres. That accounted for 49 percent of all the rice produced in the United States. Farmers in Texas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri account for most of the rest.
  • In 1904, William Fuller became one of the first farmers to grow rice successfully on his farm in Arkansas. By 1910, rice production, research, and milling were established in the state.
  • Each year Arkansas farmers plant an average of 1.2 million acres of rice and harvest over 200 million bushels on 2,752 farms.
  • Arkansas farmers produce more than 9 billion pounds of rice each year.
  • Rice is the state’s second-highest-value commodity and its top agricultural export.
  • The annual Arkansas rice crop contributes over $6 billion to the state’s economy and accounts for approximately 25,000 jobs, crucial to rural communities.