December 2023

The Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program is committed to providing equitable and just programming, resources, funding, and technical assistance to schools, farmers, and partners in the local food system. 

Arkansas Farm to School Institute Enrollment Begins January 2

Enrollment for the 2025 Arkansas Farm to School Institute Program will begin on January 2, 2024!

The Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program is looking for 15 schools ready to embark on a year-long journey embracing farm to school excellence. If you're passionate about elevating your school's nutrition by integrating locally sourced, fresh produce into your cafeteria, enhancing agriculture in the classroom, and fostering engagement with the local community, seize this opportunity!

More information about the application will be available in the coming weeks. Follow Arkansas Farm to School on social media to stay up-to-date!

Interested in participating? Fill out this form!

The Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program is also looking for 15 school coaches experienced in group participation for the 2025 Arkansas Farm to School Institute Program. This compensated opportunity entails leading engaging meetings, providing advice, creating training sessions, and supporting teams across a year-long journey focused on farm to school excellence.

Interested in becoming a coach? Fill out this form!
Learn more about the coaching role in the Farm to School Institute

Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo Scheduled for January 2024

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture will partner with several Arkansas agricultural associations and organizations to host the second Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo on January 25-27, 2024, at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

The Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo is open to all parties interested in the Arkansas agriculture industry and will focus on farmers and producers who produce for the local food system. In January 2023, the Department hosted the first Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo with over 450 attendees and 70 vendors.

The three-day event will consist of workshops, speakers, an off-site farm tour, networking opportunities, and a vendor trade show.

Partner organizations include the Arkansas State Horticulture Society, Arkansas Farmers Market Association, Arkansas Blackberry Growers Association, Arkansas Agritourism Association, Arkansas Association of Grape Growers, Arkansas Pecan Growers Association, Mid America Strawberry Growers Association, and the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts.

Registration includes access to general sessions, workshops, and entrance to the expo. Opportunities for sponsorship and vendor booths are available. For more information, contact Beth Moore at

Learn More and Register


Farm to School Kitchen Equipment Grant

Deadline: December 8, 2023

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the new Farm to School Kitchen Equipment Grant Program. The goal of the new program is to increase schools’ capacity to process and serve more specialty crops to students through cafeterias and other school feeding programs.


Applications will be accepted through December 8, 2023. This year, selected schools will receive grants of up to $5,000 to purchase equipment, improve school meal quality, and increase student consumption of specialty crops.

Learn More and Apply

2024 Youth Garden Grant

Deadline: December 15, 2023

Since 1982, the Youth Garden Grant has supported school and youth educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life for students and their communities. In 2024, 50 programs will receive award packages consisting of a cash prize and a variety of gardening tools and supplies.

Application Period: November 6, 2023 - December 15, 2023

Award Announcement: January 19, 2024

Learn More and Apply

SeedMoney Garden Grants

Deadline: December 15, 2023

SeedMoney is offering challenge grants to diverse food garden projects through a 30-day crowdfunding challenge running from November 15 to December 15. Grants are open to all types of public food garden projects (youth gardens, community gardens, food bank gardens, etc.) regardless of their location.

The size of a grant a project can receive depends on how much it is able to raise over the 30-day period compared to other projects participating in the challenge. This year, SeedMoney will be offering a total of 408 grants ranging from $100 to $1000. 

Learn More and Apply

Patrick Leahy Farm to School Grant Program

Deadline: January 12, 2024

The United Sates Department of Agriculture Patrick Leahy Farm to School Grant Program is designed to increase the availability of local foods in schools and help connect students to the sources of their food through education, taste tests, school gardens, field trips, and local food sourcing for school meals. Grants can launch new farm to school programs or expand existing efforts. The 2024 Farm to School Grant awards projects of 24 months in length for funding up to $100,000. Applicants are required to provide matching support of at least 25 percent of the total project budget in the form of cash or in-kind contributions. Applications are due January 12th. 

Learn More and Apply

Partnerships for Local Agriculture & Nutrition Transformation in Schools Grant Program

Deadline: January 22, 2024

The Chef Ann Foundation’s newest grant program, Partnerships for Local Agriculture & Nutrition Transformation in Schools (PLANTS), is seeking proposals for projects led by groups of local partners with systemic and equity-driven approaches to transforming school food supply chains.

Projects should seek to build and strengthen relationships among community-based food system stakeholders and school food authorities (SFAs).

Grant awards will be between $500,000 and $600,000 and will not require grantees to match funding. Entities eligible to apply include SFAs, food producers, food distributors and aggregators, nonprofits, and local government agencies.

Learn More and Apply

Outdoor Classroom Garden Mini-Grant Program

Deadline: February 1, 2024

The Outdoor Classroom Garden Mini-Grant from Arkansas Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom is designed to show that agriculture is an integral part of our everyday environment. Farms, wildlife, forestry, people, and cities are all interrelated with agriculture. Garden projects can demonstrate the connection between agriculture, food, fiber, conservation wildlife, and the urban environment.

Any questions regarding the program should be directed to Arkansas Farm Bureau at (501) 228-1306.

Learn More and Apply

Farm to School Opportunities

Farm Credit Mid-America Scholarship Opportunities

Each year, Farm Credit Mid-America offers scholarships to individuals based on academics, leadership qualities, community involvement, and their passion for promoting agriculture. Applications will be accepted until December 31, 2023, for the following programs:

Farm Credit Mid-America Scholars

This program awards rising college sophomores and juniors with $5,000 in financial support over a two-year period.

Farm Credit Mid-America Customer Scholarship

This program awards $1,500 in financial support to children or grandchildren of Farm Credit Mid-America customers.

Learn More and Apply

Arkansas Future Ag Leaders Tour

May 13-17, 2024

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is seeking participants for the Arkansas Future Ag Leaders Tour. The tour will be held May 13-17, 2024. This five-day professional development opportunity is for undergraduate juniors and seniors enrolled in colleges of agriculture, or are pursuing agriculture related majors across the state of Arkansas. Agriculture and agriculture related professions are the number one employer in the state. This one-week experience will enhance students’ leadership and employability skills, provide firsthand networking opportunities with potential employers, and highlight the vast resources, services, and careers available through Arkansas’s agriculture industry.

Learn More

Respond to the 2023 Farm to School Census

The United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service is conducting the fourth Farm to School Census and your participation counts! The census is the only national survey that examines local food purchasing, gardens, and agricultural education in schools.

USDA encourages all public, private, and charter schools operating the National School Lunch Program in all 50 states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Washington D.C., to participate.

Learn More
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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.