February 2022

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. 
Grant Recipients Announced
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce the recipients of the Arkansas School Garden Grant Program and the Arkansas Taste Test Grant Program. Congratulations to the schools, early childhood education facilities, and alternative learning environments that will receive funding to support school gardens and taste tests this year!
View the official press release for a complete list of the grant recipients.
We're Hiring - State School Garden Manager
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is hiring! The State School Garden Manager will provide technical assistance to schools, develop farm to school resources, host webinars and trainings, lead the school garden contest and grant program, and lead efforts on the first Arkansas Farm to School Institute.

If you align with the preferred qualifications provided in the position posting, you are highly encouraged to apply. Position will remain open until filled.
Farm to School Opportunities
Produce Safety Grower In-Person Training
March 1, 2022, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
State Extension Office, 2301 S. University Ave., Little Rock 
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule is the first federally regulated standard for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding fresh produce. If you grow produce, join the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service's Produce Safety Team for a training with information on best practices, risk management, and regulatory requirements. Growers who attend the training will receive a certificate of completion. Registration costs $35 per person, which includes the training, manual, materials, lunch, and snacks.
Serve with Arkansas FoodCorps
FoodCorps is a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders who collaborate with community partners to make schools healthier places for kids to eat, learn, and grow.

FoodCorps service members deliver programs in high-need schools, focusing on hands-on lessons, healthy school meals, and a school-wide culture of health. They help kids learn about, grow, cook, and eat nourishing foods in school. They cultivate health, joy, and belonging through food in school, and nurture habits that can last a lifetime.

Applications for the 2022-2023 service year are due March 31, 2022. Apply to serve in Arkansas today! Questions? Email cassidy.hobler@foodcorps.org or destiny.schlinker@foodcorps.org.
Virtual Farm Field Trip Lessons
Apple Seeds Teaching Farm in Northwest Arkansas is offering a virtual education farm field trip program. The short video lessons are supported with easy-to-use teacher guides and student workbooks. Each lesson incorporates grade standards to effectively reinforce student learning whether it is happening remotely or in the classroom. Learn more and download these free resources today!
Grants and Funding
Blue & You Foundation Mini-Grant
Amount: $1,000
Deadline: February 15, 2022
Blue & You Foundation is offering $1,000 mini-grants to support health improvement projects in Arkansas. Any health related activity is eligible. Applications for mini-grants will be accepted January 1 – February 15, with funding decisions made by March 15.
Arkansas Farm Bureau Outdoor Classroom Garden Mini-Grant Program
Amount: up to $500
Deadline: February 28, 2022
The Outdoor Classroom Garden Mini-Grant Program 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. As most of Arkansas’s wildlife resides on and feeds off of private property, including farms and timberlands, the gardens can demonstrate the connection between agriculture, food, fiber, conservation, wildlife, and the urban environment. Schools, FFA Chapters, and 4-H Clubs with a minimum of 100 students for average daily attendance are eligible to apply.
Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant Program
Amount: $3,000
Deadline: March 11, 2022
The Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant Program supports new or existing edible educational garden spaces. K-12 schools and non-profit organizations that serve at least 10 children on a regular basis and grow edible plants in a garden are eligible to apply. Applications are open from February 14 through March 11, 2022. Two webinars will be offered to learn more about the grant program and how to apply.