The Arkansas Department of Agriculture lauched a pilot program, created with support from the Walton Family Foundation, benefiting Northwest Arkansas farmers residing and farming in Benton, Washington, Madison, and Carroll counties. This pilot program offered 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 were awarded for eligible expenses to at least 30 farmers in the four counties listed above. Assistance in completing this application was offered for free through the Arkansas Small Business & Technology Development Center in Fayetteville (ASBTDC).
Funds were 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.
The application period for 2022 is now closed.