Governor Hutchinson Presents Arkansas Catfish Month Proclamation

In recognition of the catfish industry's contribution to Arkansas agriculture, Governor Hutchinson proclaimed August as Arkansas Catfish Month. The proclamation was presented by Governor Hutchinson to agriculture leaders, industry partners, and Arkansas catfish industry representatives.

The proclamation highlights the state’s catfish industry and its value to Arkansas’s economy and agriculture industry. The full proclamation can be found here. Photos can be found on the Department's Flickr account.

Each year, the National Aquaculture Association (NAA) recognizes an individual who has attained a standard of excellence and accomplishment with the Joseph P. McCraren Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contributions to the Aquaculture Industry Award. The 2021 recipient, Drew Mitchell, was unable to attend the NAA annual meeting to accept the award. Governor Hutchinson and Mike Freeze presented the award to Drew on behalf of the National Aquaculture Association in recognition of his efforts and service to the industry. Mitchell has served for more than four decades supporting the U.S. aquaculture industry. He is a recognized leader in the fish health community and is recognized internationally for his work. In addition to helping design the The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's aquaculture labs, Drew reviews lab reports for completeness and accuracy, and also helps to keep the program up to date with regulatory issues.

Learn about Arkansas catfish farmers, find recipes, aquaculture information, and more on the Catfish Farmers of Arkansas website.
Notice of Confirmed Cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is notifying the public that positive cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been confirmed in Arkansas in horses at two separate locations in Pulaski County.

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is an extremely rare but serious and fatal infection that causes encephalitis, an acute inflammation of the brain. The disease is spread by biting insects, primarily mosquitoes and flies that have bitten birds infected with the EEE virus (EEEV). Insect control and vaccination are the recommended preventative measures.

EEE can infect a wide range of animals other than horses, including other mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. While humans can also contract the disease through biting insects, they cannot get the disease through direct contact with an infected animal. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department) is urging owners to closely monitor their equine for early clinical signs, which include loss of appetite, decreased activity, and depression. Clinical signs can be subtle and progress to tremors, paralysis, altered mental state, and stumbling (ataxia). Some affected horses die within a few days. Surviving animals may have residual nerve deficits.

Owners should contact their regular veterinarian for more advice and to report any nervous system signs. Those without a regular veterinarian should call the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Division (ALPD) at 501-297-2250 if any horses show clinical signs.

A quarantine order has been issued for affected premises in Pulaski County. The ALPD is communicating with the primary parties and notifying other officials of active equine venues within the state.
Natural Resources Division Director Appointed

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce that Governor Hutchinson has appointed Chris Colclasure as director of its Natural Resources Division.

Colclasure began his more than 21 years of experience in Arkansas state government in the floodplain management section of the Natural Resources Division.

Read more about his appointment here.
New Interactive Champion Tree Map

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division has released an interactive map identifying Champion Trees in Arkansas!

The interactive Story Map shows the locations of most Champion Trees in the state. There is a map for trees on public land and another for private land ownership. Since many of the Champion Trees are on private land, anyone wishing to visit those trees should first contact the Forestry Division to request the landowner’s permission to view the trees on their property. The map does not show the locations of trees if the landowner requests privacy, these trees are listed at the end of the Story Map with current species vacancies. 

The Arkansas Champion Tree Program is a recognition program for the largest trees of each tree species in Arkansas. Arkansans from anywhere in the state may nominate a tree for measurement as a possible new Champion using a form found on the Department website or by contacting the nearest Forestry Division work center.
Feral Hog Workshop

The Arkansas Feral Hog Eradication Task Force will host a seminar in Mountain Home at the Baxter County Fairgrounds on Thursday, September 23. Along with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, landowners will hear from representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Arkansas Game and Fish.

Attendees must register online. For more information contact Ryan Farney at or 501-912-9541.
New Website Launch for Arkansas Grown, Arkansas Made, and Farm to School

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce the launch of a new multi-platform website that partners Arkansas Farm to School,, with Arkansas Grown,, the first website of its kind that connects farm to school to a state’s local food branding programs.
The connected website was developed by MHP/Team SI and offers many features, including interactive maps of school gardens, local procurement activities, farms, and producers across the state.

Learn more about the new website launch on our website, or visit or
USDA Updates
USDA Offers $1 Billion in Pandemic Aid to Contract Growers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is updating the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) for contract producers of eligible livestock and poultry and producers of specialty crops and other sales-based commodities.

Growers are eligible for assistance under CFAP 2, with up to $1 billion being allocated to contract growers of poultry such as broilers, pullets, layers, eggs, turkeys, ducks, geese, as well as pheasants and quail. It also includes contract growers of hogs and pigs.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency has set an October 12 deadline for all eligible producers to apply for or modify applications for CFAP 2. Read more about the CFAP 2 update here:
USDA to Measure Small Grain Production

During the first two weeks of September, a sample of small grains growers around the country will receive Agricultural Survey questionnaires from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The agency is taking a comprehensive look into the 2021 production and supply of small grains, including wheat, oats, barley, and rye.

NASS will contact Arkansas farmers and ranchers to gather information on their 2021 small grain production as well as the quantities of corn, soybeans, all wheat, and oats stored on the farm. Producers are encouraged to respond conveniently online at The online questionnaire is fast and secure. They may also return their completed surveys by mail. Farmers who have not responded by August 29 may receive a phone call from a NASS representative who will help them fill out the survey or schedule a time to do so.

NASS will analyze the survey information and publish the state and national results in the annual Small Grains Summary and quarterly Grain Stocks report on September 30. These survey data also contribute to the USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). All NASS reports are available at For more information, call the NASS Delta Regional Field Office at 800-327-2970.
Arkansas Native Appointed as National Outreach Specialist for USDA Farm Service Agency

Kanika Davis, a graduate of Pine Bluff High School and 2007 alumna of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), was recently appointed as one of the national outreach specialists for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.

To Davis, the appointment is the fruit of a years-long personal odyssey that oftentimes required patience and faith. Read more of her story on the UAPB News website.
2021 Arkansas Grown

It's Arkansas Rice Month! Read about how rice checkoff dollars are put to work 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.
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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 is the number one rice producing state in the country.
  • The United States produces approximately 20 billion pounds of rice annually.
  • The state of Arkansas is a key supplier of U.S. grown rice, producing nearly 10 billion pounds annually.
  • Rice is a primary staple for more than half the world's population and has been one of the most important foods throughout history.
  • Rice production, processing, merchandising, and related industries are vital to economic activity in Arkansas.
  • In 2020, Arkansas produced more than $722 million dollars in rice exports.
  • The U.S. is the fifth largest exporter of rice, supplying rice for world trade and feeding millions around the world.
  • Rice is an important source of nutritional value, as it provides an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and is cholesterol-free, sodium-free, and trans-fat-free.
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