Sustainable Agriculture Education for Socially Disadvantaged Producers in Arkansas

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2023: $22,000.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2024
Grant Recipient: University of Arkansas- Pine Bluff
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
State Coordinator:
Dr. Henry English
University of Arkansas- Pine Bluff


  • Agronomic: soybeans
  • Vegetables: turnips, Cowpeas


  • Crop Production: beekeeping, conservation tillage, cover crops, crop rotation, fertilizers, high tunnels or hoop houses, irrigation, nutrient management
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, technical assistance, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, business planning, financial management, risk management
  • Pest Management: cultural control, integrated pest management, mulching - plastic, precision herbicide use, prevention, soil solarization
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: community services, partnerships, urban agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    This project is designed to provide soil health agricultural education to Socially Disadvantaged Producers (SDP) in eastern and southwest Arkansas. Soil health education or principles are not likely to be taught to SDPs or individuals in food desert areas of Arkansas. These producers generally use conventical practices obtained from local producers in the area.  

    This project is designed to teach UAPB Extension and Outreach Staff about the importance of soil health with principles and practices used to build soil health. Specialists with the Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide soil health education to the UAPB Staff.  NRCS will also educate the UAPB Staff and some farmers about conservation practices that help build soil health. However, most of the education to farmers and others will be provided by the UAPB Staff.

    This project will provide soil health education for  vegetable and row crops, season high tunnels,  gardens, and raised beds producers or growers. Urban farmers and individuals in isolated food desert’s locations will also be targeted. In addition, the staff will work with a community-based organization that is currently doing cover crop education to SDPs in northeast Arkansas.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Funding from the 2023 Program will be used to provide education and demonstrations on the use of soil health principles in vegetable and row crops, seasonal high tunnels, gardens, and raised beds. Soil health principles will be taught to both urban, vegetable, and row crop producers. Participants in food desert communities, small vegetable producers, and socially disadvantaged row crop producers will be targeted. The objectives from 2022 will be repeated because it will take several years before a significant number of SDPs adopt soil health practices and without continuous education, it will not happen.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.