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
The Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Act
Creating, Strengthening, and Expanding Arkansas’s Food and Farm Economies.
The Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Act (Act) was enacted in 2017 and amended in 2019 to create, strengthen, and expand local farm and food economies throughout the state. The Act requires institutions to set a goal of at least 20% of their purchase of food products to be spent on local food. It also requires institutions to complete a reporting form, created by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, on their local food procurement budget on a yearly basis.
Institution: Institute of higher education, school district, early childhood education facility, state agency or other entity of the state, Medicaid provider (e.g. senior care center), libraries, and others.
Local Food: Food products that are grown in Arkansas and/or packaged and processed in Arkansas. Food packaging is the enclosing of food for transport, storage, and retail sale. Ex: enclosing, bagging, etc. Food processing is the alteration of food from its natural raw state. Ex: washing, cutting, etc.
Each institution that received at least $25,000 from the state of Arkansas and offered a food service program in fiscal year 2023 (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023) is required to report on its local food procurement budget to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. The reporting form can be found at https://www.cognitoforms.com/ArkansasAgriculture1/_2023LocalFoodFarmsAndJobsActReport.
All reports must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Friday, September 15, 2023. A copy of the 2023 reporting form is below to assist you in gathering the required information before completing the online version of the form.
All institutions that do not submit the reporting form will be listed as “Did Not Respond” in the annual report that will be submitted to the Arkansas General Assembly and the Governor by the end of the year. Even if you are unsure whether your institution meets the requirements of the Act, please complete the first two sections of the report, titled “Institution Information” and “Screening Questions.” Completing these two sections will determine whether your institution is required to complete the entire survey and will ensure that your institution is not included on the “Did Not Respond” list. For more information about the Act and the report, please review the reporting form, frequently asked questions document, and infographic below.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture will host a Local Food Q&A Webinar at 11 a.m. on August 31, 2023. Visit here to register.
If you have any questions, please reach out to LFFJAHelp@arkansas.gov.
Previous Annual Reports