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

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.

USDA National Organic Certification Cost Share Program

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department) is now accepting applications from producers for reimbursement under the USDA National Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Organic certification fees paid between the dates of October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019 are eligible. Applications are due November 1, 2019. A link to the application form is below.

Reimbursement for 75% of certification costs up to $750 is available for 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 Department administers the USDA National Organic Program Organic Certification Cost Share through funding provided by USDA. 

Please submit one application per certification type.

Don't forget to include the following with your application: Copy of Certification, W-9 Form, Invoice from Certifier, and Proof of Payment.

Please mail to Organic Certification Cost Share Program
Arkansas Department of Agriculture
#1 Natural Resources Drive
Little Rock, AR 72205

Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest

School entries are being accepted for the seventh annual Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture and the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas. Applicants may be any Arkansas school, grades pre-K through 12, that had a school garden open during the 2019-2020 school year, or any school planning to start a garden in the 2020-2021 school year.

The contest runs through Sunday, September 13, 2020. The online application can be found HERE. Winners will be announced at the Farm to School Celebration in October.

The 2020 contest has a new category, “Champion of Sustaining School Garden,” where schools who have previously won in a category can be awarded for their continued development and sustainability.

Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas is generously providing funding for winners in the following award categories:

  • Best School Garden Start-up Proposal - $500
  • Best Harvest Partnership Garden - $500
  • Best Education Based Garden - $500
  • Best Community Collaboration Garden - $500
  • Overall School Garden Winner - $1000
  • Champion of Sustaining School Garden - $1000

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department) is now accepting applications for the 2020 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). These grants are 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. Proposals must be submitted by April 8 through this link: https://www.cognitoforms.com/ArkansasAgriculture1/SpecialtyCropBlockGrantProgramProjectConcept

Applicants are encouraged to develop projects pertaining to the following issues affecting the specialty crop industry:

• Enhancing food safety;

• Improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (21 U.S.C. Chapter 27);

• Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes;

• Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops;• Pest and disease control;

• Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;

• Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems; and

• Sustainability.

The Department uses a two-phase application process for administering the grant funds. Project concept proposals must be submitted by April 8 and outline the project’s goals,tasks, and budget requirements. After all concept proposals are reviewed by an advisory committee,selected projects will be invited to submit detailed project proposals. Only electronic applications will be accepted.

The full Request for Applications (RFA) is available: https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/2020_SCBGP_RFA.pdf

For additional information, contact Juan Hurtado, Juan.Hurtado@agriculture.arkansas.gov.

Arkansas Urban and Community Forestry Grants

We are currently preparing applications for our 2020 Urban & Community Forestry Grant Program. They will be available on this site in June of 2020. Please see the 2019 grant application link above for an example application.

Urban and Community Forestry Grants are made available through federal grant funds from the United States Department of Agriculture. Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Community tree inventories and management plans
  • Parking lot improvements for storm water runoff
  • Tree-friendly streets (allowing for root space and canopy growth)
  • Improving tree health (including tree maintenance plans, improved soil amendments, additional mulching, professional pruning and restoration, etc.)
  • Greenway development planning and urban stream restoration (including demonstration areas, feasibility studies, maps, etc.)
  • Communications materials (including any materials that increase public awareness of the benefits of urban forests)
  • Education and training for tree care workers

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 about the grant, contact Krissy Thomason at kristine.thomason@agriculture.arkansas.gov or 479-228-7929.