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
Arkansas Department of Agriculture Grant Applications
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 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 Karen Reynolds, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest
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 50% of eligible certification costs up to $500 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. For questions about the application or the reimbursement process, contact Karen Reynolds at email@example.com.
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)
The 2023 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is now closed.
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.
For additional information on the SCBGP, contact Amy Lyman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division awarded Urban & Community Forestry Grants to five entities for the 2021 grant cycle:
- City of Casa – Healthy Shade Food Forest Project
- City of Goshen – Goshen Trees and Parks Project
- City of Walnut Ridge – Stewart Park Improvement Project
- Eureka Springs Parks & Recreation – Open Space Assessment and Glade Restoration Project
- University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service – Green Parking Lot Demonstration Projects in Mountain Home and Searcy
The Forestry Division ranked proposals based on criteria that included: improvements to a community’s tree management program; implementation plan for the project; level of community involvement; educational components; and tree care with long-term maintenance planning. Communities that participate in the Tree City USA, Tree Campus, and Tree Line programs received additional ranking points. Projects funded in 2021 must be completed by August 31, 2023. For more information about the grant program, contact Kristine (Krissy) Kimbro at email@example.com or 479-228-7929
The Forestry Division will begin accepting 2022 Urban & Community Forestry (U&CF) Grant applications in August 2022. Grants are available to fund community projects that develop, improve, and/or promote urban and community trees and forests.
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. Projects that will be funded in the 2022 grant cycle must be completed by August 31, 2024. For more information click here.