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

Fiscal Year 2023 Arkansas Announcement for Program Funding - Competitive Cooperative Agreements

The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Arkansas State Office will soon be seeking opportunities to partner with likeminded natural resource conservation partners through the annual announcement for program funding for competitive cooperative agreements. The announcement will likely come in March 2023 via In anticipation for the announcement, interested conservation districts can begin to prepare project proposal documents and ensure they have appropriate permissions. Applications will only be accepted through It is important to note that this opportunity is designed for conservation partners in the state and not individual landowners/operators as with other NRCS funding opportunities. 


The overall intent is to solicit partnerships to provide technical services that address key conservation objectives and focus areas. All applicants must demonstrate an established history of working cooperatively with Arkansas producers on agricultural land to address local conservation priorities (to be determined by NRCS). All applicants must be capable of providing support in the State of Arkansas and within the geographic area of Arkansas state lines.


Conservation districts have historically been the largest contributor to application submissions for the program funding for the competitive cooperative agreements opportunity. Arkansas NRCS values the strong partnership with conservation districts across the state.


Conservation partners are invited to apply for NRCS assistance that align with key conservation objectives. This includes projects that will provide technical services related to any of the following Arkansas state resource priorities: water quantity, water quality, plant health, soil health, and wildlife. In addition, as in previous years, emphasis will be placed on proposals that provide direct technical assistance to producers in Arkansas by conducting on-site inventory; formulation of conservation alternatives; preparation of conservation plans; assistance with conservation practice survey, design, layout, checkout; and/or implementation or support for farm bill program management and other special emphasis areas that will be detailed in the notice of funding.

For more information, contact Roger Cousins at

Arkansas Natural Resources Commission Makes Conservation District Director Appointments

At its meeting on January 18, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Commission approved two new conservation district director appointments, 13 reappointments, and three directors moving from elected to appointed positions.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division provides leadership and support for Arkansas’s 75 conservation districts. Conservation districts are political subdivisions of the State of Arkansas created by the Arkansas General Assembly in 1937 for the purpose of providing locally led conservation of the state’s land and water resources. Each district is governed by a board of five directors, including three elected by resident landowners and two appointed by the Natural Resources Commission. 

“Many state and federal conservation programs are made available through conservation districts,” said Chris Colclasure, Director of the Natural Resources Division. “They provide technical assistance and resources to landowners in their counties, and the local board members play an especially important role in managing district business and staff.”

New director appointments are:

  • Wayne Carlton, Craighead County
  • Collin Powell, Fulton County

Reappointed directors are:

  • Billy Williams, Calhoun County
  • Mark Williams, Clay County
  • Mike Callaway, Clark County
  • Patrick McGary, Cleburne County
  • Mike Hook, Craighead County
  • Kenny Pickering, Cossatot
  • Wayne Williamson, Cossatot
  • Sam Cunningham, Jackson County
  • David Foley, Lawrence County
  • Wayne Beadles, Monroe County
  • Debbie Moreland, Pulaski County
  • Elizabeth Dougan, Pulaski County
  • Brian Neal, Sharp County

Position changes are:

  • Jerry Don Clark, Craighead County
  • Nathan Criss, Fulton County
  • Gary Hutson, Izard County
  • Bryan Phillips, Izard County

For more information about conservation district appointments, reappointments, and change of positions, please contact Mary Elizabeth Lea by email at or by phone at (501) 682-3953.

Feral Hog Eradication Task Force: 2022 Update

The Feral Hog Eradication Task Force continued its efforts in 2022 and removed 13,135 feral hogs across Arkansas. Additionally, Arkansas residents reported the removal of 1,089 feral hogs last year. Learn more about the Task Force and its efforts here.

Water Use Registration Program


The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division (NRD) would like to remind all water users of qualifying groundwater (well) and/or surface water (relift) that you have until March 1, 2023, to get your withdrawals registered for the current registration period.


In accordance with state laws, any non-domestic user of a well that has the potential to withdraw at least 50,000 gallons/day (35 gallons/min flow rate) or any user of a relift that withdraws one acre-foot (325,851 gallons) or more in a year’s time, must report their annual water usage between October 1 and March 1 each year. There is a $10 registration fee per well/relift which must be paid during this time as well. (This is also required for idle non-exempt wells or relifts that have not been abandoned.)


Any water users that fail to register a qualifying well or relift by March 1 may be subject to one of the following penalties: 

  • Failure to register by March 1: Written notice sent
  • Failure to register by April 1: $25.00 penalty
  • Failure to register by June 30: $50.00 penalty
  • Failure to register by September 30: $100.00 penalty

The NRD may assess the maximum $500 late reporting penalty if it is determined that a registrant continues to fail to register.


Users that normally register withdrawals at your local conservation district office should contact that office and make arrangements to get your registration completed. If you receive a registration packet in the mail directly from the NRD, just follow the instructions within the packet and return to the NRD as directed.

If you have withdrawals that have never been registered, or would like more information about this program, click here or contact Mike Guess by email at or by phone at (501) 682-2966.

Poultry Feeding Operations Registration Program (Title 19)

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division’s Conservation Section, in coordination with conservation districts across the state, administers the Poultry Feeding Operations Registration Program. The program is designed to preserve Arkansas’s economy and water quality through registration, training, and research. The program accomplishes this by collecting information on the number of poultry, type of poultry, and practices of poultry feeding operations in the state on an annual basis, with a goal to reduce the overabundance of phosphorus and nitrogen in our water resources while minimizing the impact for our fertilizer users. With over 50 Arkansas counties in participation, 2023 marks the 18th year that the program will be administered.

The program registration period begins January 1 and concludes March 31 each year. Each producer is required by law to register their poultry operation with their local conservation district, if at any time during the previous calendar year, there were 2,500 or more poultry housed or confined on any given day. There is a $10 fee associated with the registration program to be paid to the conservation district. Failure to register by March 31 each year can result in additional fees and penalties.

For more information about the Poultry Feeding Operations Registration Program, please contact

Conservation District Election News

Submitted by: Mary Elizabeth Lea, Agriculture Program Specialist

Each year the districts will hold an election to designate three new board members to serve for three years on their conservation board. Each district is responsible for handling and running their election.

The following districts will hold an election on March 7, 2023:

  • Arkansas
  • Ashley
  • Benton
  • Chicot
  • Crittenden
  • Crooked Creek
  • Desha
  • Drew
  • Franklin
  • Grant
  • Hot Spring
  • Independence
  • Izard
  • Jackson
  • Johnson
  • L'Aigle Creek
  • Lafayette

  • Lawrence
  • Lee
  • Lincoln
  • Madison
  • Miller
  • Mine Creek
  • Mississippi
  • Montgomery

Election packets were mailed on October 31, 2022. Appointed district directors were notified of the election by letter on November 4, 2022. An electronic version of the packet was emailed to districts on November 8, 2022.
Conservation District Election Dates
  • Early Voting, February 20-March 3
  • Election Day, March 7
  • Election Forms E5-E8, Due immediately after the election
Technical Service Providers (TSP) Deadline Reminders
  • 3rd Billing (January, February, March) for TSP- Due April 12
  • 4th Billing (April, May, June) for TSP- Due July 12


The latest edition of the Arkansas Grown magazine is here! With more than 25 features about Arkansas agriculture, there's something for everyone. You can view the magazine online here, or find a physical copy at various locations around the state very soon.

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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.