Department of Agriculture

Supporting Arkansas farmers and ranchers while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of Arkansas, the nation, and across the globe

Grants

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture works to administer grants for various agricultural industries and audiences. Grant applications and details will be provided for you at this page. We look forward to working with you to strengthen and grow the agriculture industry in Arkansas.

Arkansas Grown Grant for Northwest Arkansas Farmers Pilot Program

The Arkansas Grown Grant for Northwest Arkansas Farmers Pilot Program is now closed.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture announced a second round of funding for the Arkansas Grown Grant for Northwest Arkansas Farmers pilot program directly benefiting Northwest Arkansas farmers residing and farming in Benton, Washington, Madison, and Carroll counties. This pilot program is created with support from the Walton Family Foundation and offers grant funding to eligible farmers who are committed to increasing capacity for wholesale fruit and vegetable production, resulting in more local food.

Grants up to a maximum of $15,000 will be awarded for eligible expenses to farmers in the four counties listed above. Assistance in completing this application is offered for free through the Arkansas Small Business & Technology Development Center in Fayetteville (ASBTDC).

Funds will be awarded to approved applicants on an equitable basis. Funds will be awarded until funds are no longer available. Applications are reviewed by a committee based on dedication to growing local food for sale to wholesale and commercial buyers, demonstrated interest in increasing capacity to sell to wholesale buyers and distributors, the ability to provide performance metrics on reports, demonstrated need, and sustainability. Grant is subject to state and federal taxes.

Questions? Contact Amy Lyman, amy.lyman@agriculture.arkansas.gov.

Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest

The Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest is now closed.

The Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest was initiated by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture and the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas in 2014. The program provides the opportunity to promote the importance of involving young people in the process of fresh food production and cultivation. Farm Credit generously provides funding for program award recipients.

If you are an early childhood education facility, a school, or an alternative learning space, you can learn more about applying for the contest and find more resources for school gardens here.

National Organic Certification Cost Share Program

National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is now closed.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Certification Cost Share Program provides reimbursement for 75% of eligible certification costs up to $750 is available for organic certification fees paid between the dates of October 1 and September 30 to operators who have been certified by a USDA-accredited certifying agent. Certification costs that have already been reimbursed through the USDA-Farm Service Agency or other agencies are not eligible.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture administers the USDA National Organic Program Organic Certification Cost Share Program through funding provided by USDA.  Click here for more information on the USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Program. For questions about the application or the reimbursement process, contact Amy Lyman at amy.lyman@agriculture.arkansas.gov.

Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program

Applications for the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program are being accepted until February 16, 2024.

The Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) Program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to improve food supply chain operations and strengthen local food systems throughout the state. The Department offers two grant types under the RFSI program: infrastructure grants and simplified equipment-only grants. Applicants may apply for one grant type only.

Infrastructure Grant funding will support projects focused on the processing, aggregation, and distribution of locally and regionally produced food products as part of the RFSI program. Eligible entities include agricultural producers, processors, nonprofit organizations, local governments, tribal governments, and institutions. The Department will use a two-phase application process for administering the infrastructure grant funds. Project concept proposals outlining the project’s goals, tasks, and budget requirements must be submitted first. After all concept proposals are reviewed by an advisory committee, selected projects will be invited to submit detailed project proposals.

Simplified Equipment-Only Grants are dedicated to benefitting producers directly for on-farm middle-of-the-supply-chain equipment. The Equipment-Only Grant will provide a walk-in cooler to awarded producers for on-farm use as part of the RFSI program. Applications will be reviewed by an advisory committee.

Find additional information for both grant types and the applications here. Additional information from USDA can be found here.

Contact Amy Lyman at amy.lyman@agriculture.arkansas.gov with questions.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is accepting proposals until March 1, 2024.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to enhance the competitiveness of the Arkansas specialty crop industry. Specialty crops are defined by USDA as fruits, vegetables, horticulture, floriculture, and tree nuts.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture uses a two-phase application process for administering the grant funds. Project concept proposals outlining the project’s goals, tasks, and budget requirements must be submitted with the application.

Find the 2024 SCBG Request for Applications here.
Find the 2024 SCBG application here.

For additional information on the SCBGP, contact Amy Lyman at amy.lyman@agriculture.arkansas.gov.

More information on the SCBGP can be found on the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) website here.

Arkansas Urban and Community Forestry Grants

The Arkansas Urban and Community Forestry Grant cycle is now closed.

The Urban and Community Forestry Grant exists to fund community projects that develop, improve, and/or promote urban and community trees and forests.

The Forestry Division and the Grant Review Committee of the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council will rank grant proposals and award funds based on criteria that include the following: improvement to a community’s tree management program; proposed implementation plan for the project; proposed level of community involvement; educational components; and proposed tree care and long-term maintenance. Communities that participate in the Tree City USA, Tree Campus Higher Education, Tree Campus K-12, and Tree Line USA programs will receive additional ranking points. For more information about the grant program, contact Kristine (Krissy) Kimbro at kristine.kimbro@agriculture.arkansas.gov  or 479-228-7929

Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Community tree inventories and management plans
  • Parking lot improvements for stormwater runoff
  • Tree-friendly streets (allowing for root space and canopy growth, adding tree grates, etc.)
  • Park improvements to help reduce sun exposure and cool the air
  • Improving tree health with tree maintenance and protection plans, soil amendments, mulching, professional pruning and restoration, watering bags and/or irrigation, etc.
  • Greenway development planning and urban stream restoration (including demonstration areas, feasibility studies, maps, etc.)
  • Communications materials that increase public awareness of the benefits of urban forests
  • Education and training for tree care workers, volunteers, and the public

Urban & Community Forestry grants, administered by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture Forestry Division, are made available through federal grant funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service. The maximum federal cost share of any project is 50% of the total expenditures for the project. The non-federal match may be cash, services, or in-kind contributions. For more information click here.