Arkansas Grown Arkansas Farm to School

Grants And Funding

Grants and Funding 

Grants and funding are crucial to the success of farm to school programs. Grants can fund the development of a school garden, cover the cost of new kitchen equipment, and even buy educational supplies to lead farm to school classes. 
For schools just starting on their farm to school journey, check out the School Garden Grants handout to learn about how you can apply for funding to start your program. The grants vary in amount and are arranged by the season in which the application is due. Grants listed in the handout range from $250 – $100,000, and Arkansas specific grants are listed with a ☆. 
Schools that have a more established farm to school program can begin to think about school fundraisers that can cover the cost of the general maintenance of a school garden or farm to school program. Support your program and build local awareness of your work with special dinners, plant sales, raffles, events in a garden space or other activities where you can highlight your program with people who can financially support your efforts. Look at these events as opportunities to create a personal connection and “buy-in” from community members. 

Arkansas Specific Grant Programs

The Arkansas School Garden Grant Program was established to help schools start or expand gardens on school grounds. 

The grant program was developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to increase production of specialty crops in school gardens. Specialty crops as defined by the USDA are fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops.

The Arkansas Farm Bureau Outdoor Classroom Garden Mini-Grant Program is designed to show that agriculture is an integral part of our everyday environment. Farms, wildlife, forestry ,people, and cities are all interrelated with agriculture. 

As most of Arkansas’s wildlife resides on and feeds off of private property, including farms and timberlands, the gardens can demonstrate the connection between agriculture, food, fiber, conservation, wildlife, and the urban environment. Schools, FFA Chapters, and 4-HClubs with a minimum of 100 students for average daily attendance are eligible to apply.

Through a partnership with Harps, DOLE Packaged Foods, and the Captain Planet Foundation, the Project Learning Garden Program provides schools and educators with materials and support to create an outdoor learning space using STEAM to engage students’ curiosity about the world around them through immersive learning experiences. 

The competition is open to any state-accredited elementary school (K-5) located in the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, or Oklahoma. Schools must be within 10 miles of a Harps store.

The Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest is sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture with funding provided by Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas. 

Applicants may be public and private K-12 schools, early care and education facilities, or alternative learning environments that had a school garden open during the previous school year, or any schools planning to start a garden in the following school year.

The Arkansas Environmental Education Association (AEEA) Mini-Grant Program is designed to support, enhance, and expand the implementation of environmental education throughout the state of Arkansas by classroom teachers and non-formal educators and organizers. 

AEEA funds projects that include, but are not limited to, direct hands-on education programs, educator professional development, and community engagement events.

The Innovative Solutions for Educational Partnerships (ISEP) Grant awards up to 25 grants each year to fund a number of projects, including school/community garden start-up and expansion. Because of the school districts that work with ISEP, over 200 grants have been awarded to over 120 Arkansas school districts since 2011.

The Blue & You Foundation Mini-Grant and Regular Grant is open to applicants whose projects match Blue & You Foundation’s mission to work together with others to create a state of better health for all Arkansans. They strategically focus grant funding on community-based solutions in the hopes it will nurture community health leadership, foster collaboration and innovation, and leverage financial, human, and community resources to produce measurable, positive impacts. 

Any program or project that positively affects the health of Arkansans can apply to receive funding.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Wildlife Conservation Education Grant Program is a partnership between the Division of Rural Services and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission that converts fine money assessed from infractions of state laws protecting Arkansas game and fish, into grant funds for school conservation education programs. 

Any school or conservation district in Arkansas, regardless of size or population, is eligible.