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.
USDA National Organic Certification Cost Share Program
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department) has a cooperative agreement with the USDA, Agriculture Marketing Service for the allocation of organic certification cost share funds. Reimbursement for 50% of certification costs up to $500 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.
The program currently recognizes four categories of certification: crops, wild crops, livestock, and processing/handling. Entities may receive one reimbursement per certification or category of certification per qualifying period. Application for multiple certification reimbursements must be made separately.
Organic certification fees paid between the dates of October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020 are eligible.
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
- Online Application: National Organic Certification Cost Share
- Printable Application: National Organic Certification Cost Share (182.55 KB)
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
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
Urban & Community Forestry Grants are available to fund community projects that develop, improve, and/or promote urban and community trees and forests. The 2020 Urban & Community Forestry (U&CF) Grant application period is now closed for this year; however, the 2020 application is linked to give an idea as to what potential applicants can be preparing in order to apply for the 2021 grant cycle.
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’s 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.
2020 Urban & Community Forestry Grant Projects
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division awarded Urban & Community Forestry Grants to five entities for the 2020 grant cycle:
- City of Conway Tree Board – Dave Ward Interstate Beautification Project
- City of Pine Bluff – Green Spaces, Green Streets (GS2) Program
- City of Trumann – Cedar Park/Highway 463 North Tree Planting Project
- Crooked Creek Conservation District – Streambed & Park Improvement Project
- UALR Public Radio – Urban & Community Forestry Awareness Radio Campaign
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 2020 must be completed by August 15, 2022. For more information about the grant program, contact Krissy Kimbro Thomason at firstname.lastname@example.org or 479-228-7929.