AAD Grant Applications

The AAD 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.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD) is now accepting applications for the 2018 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, made available through funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These grants help to enhance the specialty crop industry of Arkansas, which includes the growing and selling of fruits, vegetables, floriculture and nuts. 

The AAD uses a two-phase application process for administering funds. Project concept proposals must be submitted using the online form (see Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Project Concept form link above) by April 13. The project concept proposal will provide an outline of the project’s goals, tasks and budget requirements. After being reviewed by an advisory committee, the AAD will select projects and invite applicants to submit full applications with further details.

Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit Event

With more than 20,000 attendees and more than 1,000 exhibitors, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit is the largest produce show in the U.S., drawing attendees from around the world. Producers featured in booths at the Fresh Summit gain access to new sales leads, innovative ideas, and packaging and shipping solutions, which increases their competitiveness. 

Arkansas specialty crop producers reached an international audience as exhibitors in the AAD booth at the PMA's 2017 Fresh Summit specialty crop event in New Orleans. This year marked the seventh year for the AAD to sponsor Arkansas specialty crop producers at the annual trade show that brings together producers, retailers, wholesalers, processors, and other industry partners from across the globe. Arkansas specialty crops featured at the 2017 Fresh Summit included sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, watermelons, peppers, zucchini, and Muscadine wines and juices.

Overall, the AAD covers 90% of the participation costs through Specialty Crop Block Grant funds with attending producers responsible for covering the cost of travel, meals and lodging. Specialty crop producers interested in participating in the 2018 Fresh Summit to be held October 18-20 in Orlando, Florida should contact Christian Olson at Christian.Olson@aad.ar.gov, or complete the form below.

Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Grant Contest

The School Garden of the Year Contest is a partnership effort between the Arkansas Agriculture Department and Farm Credit to support school gardens across Arkansas. “School gardens are important hands-on educational tools that incorporate math and science skills while teaching students about food production, good nutrition, and the importance of agriculture, our state’s largest industry ,” says Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward.

2017 is the fourth year of this contest that provides funds for award winning gardens in the following categories: 1) Best Nutrition Education Based Garden; 2) Best Community Collaboration Garden; 3) Best Environmental Education Focused Garden; 4) Overall Winning Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year; and new this year 5) Best School Garden Start-Up Proposal. 

2018 applications will be available in May, 2018.