Arkansas GrownArkansas Farm to SchoolAgritourism

Resources for Farmers

Urban Agriculture at a Glance

What is Urban Agriculture? USDA can provide resources to start, expand, and operate your farm or garden, market what you grow, and help you recover in case of disaster. 

Ask USDA

Do you have general questions about USDA and the programs offered? Go to ask.usda.gov by clicking the button below.

Farmers.gov Dashboard for Arkansas

A one-stop resource for USDA news and services, weather forecasts, historical climate data, commodity pricing, and more.

Specialty Crops Resource Directory

USDA recently launched the Specialty Crops Resource Directory, a convenient, comprehensive, one-stop source that contains USDA’s resources and services for specialty crops producers and businesses.

Starting Out

How to Get a Farm Number

Click below for Four Easy Steps to Get a Farm Number.

Arkansas Farm Service Agency

The USDA Farm Service Agency is here to help. Click below for information on the Arkansas Farm Service Agency office.

Beginning Farmer Program

Have you farmed less than 10 years? The USDA offers Beginning Farmer programs for those who have farmed less than 10 years. The USDA can help you start or grow your operation through a variety of programs and services.

Business Assistance

Need help with a business plan? How to apply for grants? Understanding the tax code? The best way to market your products? The Arkansas Small Business & Technology & Development Center offers free consulting services to farmers.

County Extension Agents

Don’t know where to start? Get to know your county Extension agent! They offer free classes, training, and research-based advice on topics including gardening, farming, business development, health and fitness, 4-H, and more. The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture has an office in all 75 counties. Find your county office by clicking the button below.

Food Safety Training

Need help understanding the rules and regulations for produce safety? The Local, Regional & Safe Foods Team at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension can help! They offer training information and courses for farmers. 

Ag and Food Law Research 

Have questions? The National Agriculture Law Center is the leading source for ag and food law research and information. The website is a hub of resources, including the Checklist for Obtaining Tax Exempt Status in Arkansas, link in button below.

Funding Opportunities

Financing

Need financing? The Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas support rural Arkansas communities with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. Farm Credit finances farms, country homes, land, livestock, equipment, agribusinesses, and more. Click here to learn more.

EQIP Funding

Want to extend your growing season? The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provides financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). 

Grants

Funding needed for starting your farm? The USDA National Institute for Food & Agriculture (NIFA) offers competitive grants for mentoring, education, and assistance. The NIFA grants focus on education, training, and mentorship.

Financing

The Arkansas Rural Endowment Fund (AREF), is passionate about supporting the citizens of our state. Established in 1959, AREF offers loans to Arkansans to seek the educational and professional opportunities that will make a difference in their lives.

Brighter Future Fund Grants

Brighter Future Fund provides up to $10,000 per project to help farmers nationwide improve farm viability, access, transfer, or permanently protect farmland or adopt regenerative agricultural practices. 

Applications are accepted during a specific time period announced by AFT.

Local Food Promotion Program

The Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) funds projects that develop, coordinate, and expand local and regional food business enterprises that engage as intermediaries in indirect producer to consumer marketing to help increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products.

Farmers Market Promotion Program

The Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) funds projects that develop, coordinate and expand direct producer-to-consumer markets to help increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products.

Regional Food System Partnerships Program

The Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) program supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems. The program focuses on building and strengthening the viability and resilience of local or regional food economies through collaboration and coordination. 

Farmers Market Promotion Program

The Arkansas Farmers Market Promotion Program is funded by Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas and administered by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. Community markets are eligible for reimbursement of 75% of promotional expenses up to $575 until funds are no longer available.

Value-Added Producer Grant

The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter value-added activities to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income.

Selling Your Products

Access to Certified Kitchens

Interested in creating products from your crops such as salsas, jams, jellies, and sauces to sell, but you need a certified kitchen? The Share Grounds project offers certified kitchen space and technical support to start or grow your business. 

Arkansas Food Freedom Act

Need to know more about selling your products to consumers? The Arkansas Homemade Food Protection Guidelines book tells you what you need to know about the Arkansas Freedom Act. Click the button below for the Guidelines.

Networking and Support

Want to sell your products at your local farmers market? The Arkansas Farmers Market Association partners with the Arkansas Center for Obesity Prevention and can help. 

Farmers Market Guide

Want to know what you can sell at farmers markets? The Farmers Market Vendor Guide can help! Click the button below for the Guide.

Expense Management Tool

Need help keeping up with sales and expenses? Track Your Ag is a free, online expenses management tool developed by the Arkansas  Economic Development Institute. 

Beginning Farmers

Farm School and Apprenticeships

The Center for Arkansas Farms and Food offers Apprenticeships and training through the Farm School. CAFF is teaching the next generation of farmers by providing farm education, training, networking, and resources. 

Beginning Farmer Training

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) offers resources for beginning farmers including Self-Instruction Courses, publications, podcasts, videos, and blogs. 

Farmer Training

Heifer USA provides  training for farmers year-round, providing assistance for small farms to earn a living income by partnering with Grass Roots Farmers Cooperative network. 

Beginning Farmer Training

The Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Cooperative Extension Program assists socially disadvantaged, limited-resource, and small producers. 

State Coordinators

Questions on your farming operation or would like to get started? The USDA is here to support you with state coordinators. Click the button below for contact information on your state coordinator.

Beginning Farmer and Ranchers

The USDA offers programs for new and beginning farmers and ranchers. Click the button below for more information at a glance.

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program provides farmers with the technical production and business skills they need to start successful farm operations through hands-on training projects. 

Beginning Loans

The USDA Farm Service Agency supports beginning farmers through the Farm Ownership loans, Operating loans, and the Microloan programs. Click on the button to learn more.

Veterans

Are you a military veteran or currently serving our country? Are you interested in starting a career in agriculture? The Arkansas chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition offers a network that can mentor you through the process.

A multi-agency guide is now available for USDA assistance for underserved farmers and ranchers who are a minority, woman, veteran, beginning, or limited resource producer. The guide is also available in Spanish, Hmong, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese on farmers.gov/translations

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service offers a list of resources designed for veterans and will leverage the Veterans affinity group to find a solution or the right resource for you.

The National Center for Appropriate Technology offers the Armed to Farm program, supporting veterans with experience and education for sustainable agriculture with a supportive network of farmer veterans.

Are you a veteran looking to work on a farm? Or are you looking for help on your farm and would like to hire a veteran? FarmCorps is a job board connecting veterans with jobs in the farming industry.

Selling Wholesale and to the  Government

Procurement Assistance

The Procurement Technical Assistance Center at the University of Arkansas provides free training and resources for Arkansas businesses– including farmers– to sell to the government.

Distributor

For information on how to sell to Ben E. Keith, contact Brad May by clicking the button below.

Grocery Store

For information on how to sell to Harps Food Stores, click on the button below.

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