UACES Facebook Anti-obesity effort brings enhancements to Forrest City farmers market
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Anti-obesity effort brings enhancements to Forrest City farmers market

By Caitlin Palenske
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Jan. 31, 2020 


  • Forrest City awarded funding to enhance its farmers market.
  • Items funded include pop-up tents, tables, chairs, and wayfinding signage
  • Funding was secured through the Arkansas Delta Region Obesity Project

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FORREST CITY, Ark. – A project to help area residents gain access to healthy, fresh food is giving the farmers market here a boost.

The Arkansas Delta Region Obesity Project, or ArDROP, is working with Forrest City to bring enhancements to the farmers market, a local source of fresh, affordable produce. The farmers market at 1335 N. Washington Street has had nearly two dozen vendors over the last three years. It’s also convenient, being open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

“ArDROP is looking for ways to give residents in these counties access to healthier foods. One way to do that is by making sure that local farmers’ markets and community gardens have what they need to thrive,” Tyler Brown, an extension regional program associate-obesity reduction, for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said.

As part of that effort, ArDROP has awarded Forrest City grant funds to provide pop-up tents, tables, chairs and directional signage for the farmers market. Those were among the needed improvement identified by a coalition of Forrest City citizens, along with  Mayor Cedric Williams. Williams and the coalition worked with ArDROP to secure funding through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The addition of logoed pop-up tents, tables, chairs, and wayfinding signage will provide the Forrest City Farmers’ Market with a cohesive identity, as well as providing much-needed shade for our farmers who sell at the market,” Williams said.

The ArDROP initiative has grown out of a cooperative agreement with the federal CDC to address obesity rates in Mississippi, St. Francis, Lee, Phillips, and Chicot counties.

With this latest grant of $7,692, Forrest City will have received more than $15,600 in funds through ArDROP. The city also received funding to create and assess safe-walking zones near schools and playgrounds in an effort to encourage more physical activity. (See:

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About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses. 

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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Media Contact: Tracy Courage
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126