Arkansas Sustainability Programs
Sustainability in the production, handing, processing and marketing of agricultural commodities has been a long standing program focus for the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture. Sustainability programs have also been expanded to urban areas in recent years. Field, laboratory and economic research, consultation with city/state/federal government and commodity groups, workshops, short courses, meetings, publications, field days, and a strong presence in each of the 75 counties in the state are foundations of the program. Much of the sustainability work and many of the faculty are associated with the Division of Agriculture Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability. Sustainability has become embedded to varying degrees in nearly all research and extension efforts conducted by UA. Specific highlights are provided for some of that work below but are also addressed throughout the report in other sections.
Division of Agriculture personnel contribute to the development and analysis of practices and policies to management water quality in the state, nation and world.
Significant investment in sustainable energy has been made by the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture to enhance available information about biodiesel fuel production, biomass crop production and public issue education. Interdisciplinary work across the UA Division of Agriculture faculty work allows for field-based research about potential energy crops and fast growing tree species. For detailed resources in this area, visit the following
- Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability (CARS)
CARS has provided leadership to Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (F2M), in developing metrics for sustainable agriculture in the US. A Division/CARS faculty member serves on the Executive Leadership Committee for F2M, and has been guiding the development of water quality indices and biodiversity indices in collaboration with NRCS. F2M is the leading organization in the US for commodity crop sustainability, with more than 40 participating members from across the supply chain. Members of F2M include producer groups, agricultural technology and equipment companies, conservation organizations, USDA and Land Grant University research teams, food companies, grocery retailers, and restaurants. F2M focuses on improving agricultural sustainability for corn, soybeans, cotton, wheat, rice, potatoes, and dairy through continual improvement of production practices.
- Bioenergy Crops
- Renewable Energy Production
Urban Sustainability and Local Food Systems
Extension is leading sustainability efforts in urban areas including development of urban gardening enterprises, Urban Storm-water assistance. In local food systems, the UA has been assisting entrepreneurs in the area of capturing local markets and launching value added processing ventures through courses, workshops, and one-on-one technical assistance. Value added services include developing nutritional labels, assistance in filling out FDA forms for process approval, as well as workshops on food safety and food defense. Activities include direct consultation with individuals and trainings offered to existing and potential business owners as well as a pilot processing plant.