Over 400 Attend First Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo

The Arkansas Grown program, administered through the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department), partnered with several Arkansas agricultural associations and organizations to host the first Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo in Little Rock.

The conference was open to all parties interested in Arkansas’s agriculture industry and focused on farmers and producers who grow for the local food system. The four-day event consisted of general sessions with keynote speakers, workshops, off-site farm tours, networking opportunities, and a vendor trade show with representatives from over 70 businesses and organizations. Evening events at the Sunset Lodge at Rusty Tractor Vineyard and the University of Arkansas Pulaski Tech Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute showcased Arkansas Grown food, wine, and beer. Over 400 individuals attended the conference. Photos from the event are available at flic.kr/s/aHBqjAqf9R.

“The Arkansas Department of Agriculture was fortunate to partner with Arkansas organizations and associations to host the first Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo,” said Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “This event served as an excellent opportunity for our farmers to connect with each other and with organizations that provide resources and opportunities that support our state’s largest industry.”

Partner organizations included the Arkansas State Horticulture Society, Arkansas Association of Grape Growers, Arkansas Farmers Market Association/Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention, Arkansas Blackberry Growers Association, and Arkansas Agritourism Association. The Department would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the first Arkansas Grown Conference and Expo:

Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas, Gold
University of Arkansas System of Agriculture, Gold
Walton Family Foundation, Gold
AgWorks, Silver
American Farmland Trust, Silver
Arkansas Farm Bureau, Silver
Arkansas SARE, Silver
Barn2Door, Silver
Haygrove Garden Tunnels, Silver
River Valley Tractor, Silver
The Nurserie, Silver
University of Arkansas Pulaski Tech, Silver

Arkansas Pork Producers, Bronze
Ben E. Keith Co., Bronze
Dogwood Hills Guest Farm, Bronze
Edwards Food Giant, Bronze
Harps Food Store Inc., Bronze
Ilex Organics, Bronze
Mark McLarty Ford, Bronze
Me & McGee Market, Bronze
Mountaire Corporation, Bronze
Ralston Family Farms, Bronze
Red River Auto Group, Bronze
Yaupon Brothers American Tea Co., Bronze
Additional Friends of Arkansas Grown sponsors can be viewed at arkansasgrown.org/arkansas-grown-conference-expo/.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture, forestry, and natural resources to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while conserving natural resources and ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation. Visit agriculture.arkansas.gov/. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.