Department of Agriculture hosts local conversations to promote procurement

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is hosting a Local Conversations, virtual event from 9 to 11 a.m., Friday, March 12, to help connect Arkansas farmers, producers and farmers market managers. The free event is sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas. 

“Our Local Conversations events are designed to bring producers together to learn from each other so consumers can ultimately have more access to locally produced food and products,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “These events have been well-received in the past, and we are looking forward to another successful event this year.”

Local Conversations 2021 will feature a panel of four farmers and market managers for discussion of alternative selling methods, innovations, and adaptations made to address issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Presentations on Selling Online, Social Media Marketing, and Pricing Your Products will follow the panel discussion.

Funding for the Alternative Selling Methods Campaign is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program that was developed to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. The USDA defines specialty crops as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops.

Partners that will be on hand for presentations and discussion include representatives from the Arkansas Department of Health, the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center, the Arkansas Economic Development Institute, Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas, and the Arkansas Farmers Market Association.Event registration is available at:  For more information, contact Karen Reynolds at [email protected].