The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Division is dedicated to conserving Arkansas’s land and water resources.

Is the Title X Cost Share Program Right for your

Conservation District?

Submitted by Savannah Howell, Title X Cost Share Program Coordinator at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Division


Do landowners in your district need technical and financial assistance implementing conservation practices? Are landowners on waiting lists for other funding? Does the district need special equipment to assist landowners in implementing conservation practices?

If the answer is yes, applying for funding through the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division Title X Cost Share Program may be the solution. This program is designed to provide financial assistance to landowners interested in implementing conservation practices on their property.

This grant allows landowners to implement conservation practices with 60 percent federal and 40 percent state match requirements and a $15,000 cap of federal dollars over a three-year period. This program is excellent for landowners interested in smaller projects that typically would not qualify for the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Some common conservation practices include cross-fencing, cover crops, irrigation, livestock pipelines, heavy-use areas, alternative watering facilities, and many more.

Landowners will receive reimbursement immediately following completed implementation. The Title X Cost Share Program is looking to help landowners implement these practices to help reduce nonpoint source pollution and provide them with financial assistance. Here are how some landowners and districts feel about the Title X Cost Share Program: 

“I started farming on my own in 2014 but grew up helping my dad farm since I can remember. The [Title X] cost share program allowed me to implement many practices I’d simply not be able to do otherwise. I’ve been able to turn a 225-acre farm into several pastures due to the [alternative] water [sources] and cross-fencing which has allowed vastly improved grass management during a variety of conditions.”

– Landowner

“Benefits include funds for administrative support salary, extra funds for equipment repairs, newsletters being distributed bringing awareness of the district and what we do and/or can do for landowners. We definitely would do this program again. We are trying to improve our watersheds in this county, so we apply for funding when it is available. We feel that this program is beneficial to the water quality not only here in our county but the path that our waters flow into.”

– Fulton County Conservation District

“I’ve been farming for approximately 45 years. The Title X program allowed me to rotate cattle better, run more cattle on each pasture, utilize the grass better, and increase the herd size on the same amount of land. I recommend everyone sign up for this type of funding.”

– Landowner

For more information on Title X Cost Share Program or the proposal process, please contact Savannah Howell at [email protected]. More information on the program and how to apply can also be found here.

Implementation of alternative water facility and heavy-use area conservation practices.

Conservation Education Grant Funds 4-H Club Success

Submitted by Louise Morris, Mine Creek Conservation District Manager

The Mine Creek Conservation District received a Conservation Education Grant in the amount of $1,184.07 from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission Division of Rural Services. The grant helped the Howard County 4-H Club shooting sports teams purchase shells to practice and compete in the State 4-H Shooting Sports Championship held in Ferndale on July 13-14.

The Howard County 4-H Club has two shooting sports teams consisting of 27 members and four adult volunteers. At the state championship, the Howard County Senior Sharpshooters placed first in the senior division and the Howard County Junior Sharp Shooters placed first in the junior division. In addition to the team's success, several 4-H members received individual awards.

Howard County 4-H Club members at the State Shooting Sports Championship in Ferndale.

Pollinator Garden At Entergy Park

The Garland County Conservation District created a pollinator garden and was featured in the May edition of the City of Hot Springs Snapshot. Read the full excerpt below:

The Garland County Conservation District (GCCD) received a grant through the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Division to create pollinator gardens and wildlife habitats. Through this grant, GCCD added native plants to a flowerbed at Entergy Park to create a pollinator garden, where pollinators like monarch butterflies can lay their eggs and nurture the monarch caterpillars on the native milkweed to start the next generations. GCCD also donated native plants to the pollinator garden at the Hot Springs Farmers and Artisans Market. The bench overlooking the garden is dedicated in honor of Mr. Kelly A. Bufkin, a wildlife biologist who served Garland and several other counties in Arkansas through Quail Forever. Bufkin passed away on February 9, 2021. Lee Fields, of Tri-Lakes Ornamental Iron Works, and local artist Laura Bluewaters donated a custom metal monarch butterfly for the garden, similar to the one they donated at the Monarch Butterfly Garden along the Hot Springs Creek Greenway Trail near the corner of Valley and Runyon streets. This 7-foot-wide wrought iron butterfly weighs approximately 100 pounds and rests upon a 12 to 15-foot stand.

Arkansas Department of Agriculture News

Governor Sanders Issues Executive Order to Conduct a Comprehensive Analysis and Report of Arkansas's Water Needs and Update the Arkansas Water Plan

On August 21, Governor Sanders issued an executive order to review and update the Arkansas Water Plan. The current plan was developed in 2014. The purpose of the Arkansas Water Plan is to conserve and protect the state’s water resources, with a long-term goal of sustainable use to maximize the environmental and economic benefit of the State of Arkansas, and the health and well-being of its citizens. The update shall be completed in two separate phases, both including significant stakeholder engagement. Read the full executive order here.

Governor Sanders Declares August as Catfish Month

On August 3, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined agriculture leaders and industry partners in declaring August as Arkansas Catfish Month. The proclamation highlights the state’s catfish industry and the value it contributes to Arkansas’s economy.

“As the third-biggest catfish producer in the nation, our catfish farmers power the economy in communities across Arkansas,” said Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “My administration will continue to support our great farmers – keeping our farming here and healthy for the next generation.”

“Catfish production in Arkansas is a great example of why agriculture is our state’s largest industry, with catfish consistently ranking in Arkansas’s top agricultural commodities,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “Catfish month is a great time to recognize this industry and the dedicated producers who work hard to maintain Arkansas as a national leader in agriculture.”

Representatives from The Catfish Institute, Catfish Farmers of Arkansas, Catfish Promotion Board, Arkansas Farm Bureau, and other agriculture industry stakeholders attended the event.

King Kat of Carlisle, Arkansas catered a catfish luncheon that also featured watermelons from Cave City and Hope.

Photographs from this event can be found here.

Arkansas Department of Agriculture Announces New Website Calendar Feature for Agriculture Events

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department) is pleased to introduce a new interactive calendar feature on the Department website. This feature allows producers, industry stakeholders, and members of the public to submit events to be included in the calendar.

“The new calendar feature will provide a reliable resource for industry stakeholders as well as interested individuals on upcoming events that promote all aspects of Arkansas’s agriculture industry,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward.

The new feature allows a user to submit an event to be considered for placement on the Department website calendar. In addition to filling out the date(s) and time(s), users can also provide location information, location maps, a link to the event website, and provide additional information such as organizer contact information and registration costs.

All submitted calendar entries are published on the Department webpage upon approval. Interested individuals can submit an event here and view the Department's calendar of events here. For additional questions, contact Amy Lyman at [email protected].

Arkansas Department of Agriculture Hosts First Arkansas Farm to School Institute

On July 24, the Arkansas Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program kicked off the first Arkansas Farm to School Institute (Institute) with a 3-day retreat. The Institute is a year-long professional development program where Arkansas farm to school teams develop action plans for the 2023-2024 school year. With the support of a coach, teams will spend the school year putting their plans into action and strengthening their capacity to impact classrooms, cafeterias, and communities, with change that lasts.


The Institute model was developed by Vermont Food Education Every Day (FEED), a collaborative farm to school project of two organizations: the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont and Shelburne Farms Institute for Sustainable Schools. Since 2010, the Institute has been bringing teams together to build relationships, skills, and a collaborative action plan for their school. Learn more about Vermont FEED here.


The retreat was held at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute in Morrilton, Arkansas, where five teams from across the state met with their coaches and built plans for the upcoming school year. The teams for this year’s pilot Institute are:

  • Chicot Elementary, Little Rock
  • Hope Academy of Public Service, Hope
  • Manila Elementary, Manila
  • Rena Elementary, Van Buren
  • West Elementary, Batesville


Find photos from the retreat here.

Feral Hog Eradication Task Force: July 2023 Update

The Feral Hog Eradication Task Force continued its efforts in July 2023 and removed 1,029 feral hogs across Arkansas. Additionally, Arkansas residents reported the removal of 112 feral hogs. Learn more about the Task Force and its efforts here.

Photo Features

On July 13, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture attended the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts Annual Meeting.

Photo credit: Sebastian County Conservation District

At the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts Annual Meeting, Chris Wyatt of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department)'s Forestry Division received the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) Arkansas State Conservationist Partnership Award.

Chris Colclasure, Director of the Department's Natural Resources Division, presented an Arkansas Traveler certificate to Kenneth Walker, Assistant Chief for the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.






Commissioner Roy Reeves, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, also received the USDA-NRCS Arkansas State Conservationist Partnership Award.

On July 12, the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) met at the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts (AACD) annual meeting. The ANRC approved funding for two water and wastewater projects and heard updates from staff on legislative changes. The ANRC also heard updates from the AACD, United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, United States Geological Survey, and United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Water-Use Registration Reminder

For districts that participate in the Arkansas Water-Use Registration Program, registration data needs to be entered and/or registration fees need to be submitted to the Natural Resources Division (NRD) as soon as possible. For districts still registering delinquent users, please don’t forget to submit your district invoice and registration fees to NRD at the end of each month that you have delinquent registration activity.

What is the Technical Service Provider Program?

The Technical Service Provider Program (TSP) was started as a way for conservation district employees to get paid for some of the work they were doing for the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Services (USDA-NRCS). Across most of the state, the conservation district and NRCS offices are housed together. Due to overwhelming workloads in NRCS offices and few staff, district employees started assisting with day-to-day operations, such as getting signatures from producers, handling phone calls, filing, and so on.

Want to know if your district could qualify for TSP? Please contact Mary Elizabeth Lea at [email protected].

Technical Service Provider Facts:

  • 45 districts participate in the TSP.
  • The average reimbursement is around $1,600 per billing quarter.
  • Administrative and technical work can be claimed.

Technical Service Provider Deadline Reminders:

  • 5th Billing (July, August, September) – Due October 11
  • 6th Billing (October, November, December) – Due January 10
  • 7th Billing (January, February, March) – Due April 10

2023 Arkansas Grown Magazine

With more than 25 features about Arkansas agriculture, there's something in Arkansas Grown for everyone!

The drought of 2022 left its impact on Arkansas and served as a reminder of just how precious water is in preserving life and sustaining agricultural production across the globe. We often forget that water is viewed as a regional resource provided by local bodies of water, many of which are shared between neighboring states.

Read more about how interstate stream compacts ensure the protection of water sources across state lines in the 2023 edition. You can view the magazine online here, or find a physical copy at various locations around the state.

Upcoming Events
  • County Judges Fall Meeting, September 6-8 (Benton)
  • Arkansas Rural Water Association, September 10-12
  • Arkansas Recycling Coalition, September 12-13
  • Arkansas Natural Resources Commission Meeting, September 20
  • Buffalo River Conservation Committee Meeting, September 21
  • Arkansas/Oklahoma River Compact Meeting, September 27-28
  • 2024 Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo, January 25-27
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The Arkansas Department of Agriculture offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.