The National Sustainable Strawberry Initiative is a new competitive grants program being launched by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability (CARS) with funding from the Walmart Foundation to support the expansion of sustainable strawberry production throughout the country. For more information, visit the National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative webpage.
The mission of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability (CARS) is to increase prosperity for rural Arkansas through sustainable practices. The Center provides leadership in Arkansas and the world in balancing the demands of community, agriculture and ecosystems in order to meet the needs of current generations while enhancing the opportunity for future generations to meet their needs.
CARS works to meet four broad objectives:
- Develop credible resources for analysis of potential economic development for agricultural communities in Arkansas.
- Assess the impact of economic, agricultural and environmental policy on rural prosperity.
- Provide linkages between communities, businesses, non-profit organizations, academics and policy leaders to facilitate the implementation of best sustainable practices.
- Create criteria for assessing and implementing best sustainable practices at farm and regional levels.
CARS is a state-wide center, largely self-funded, with the primary mission of enhancing and sustaining prosperity in rural Arkansas. The Center is a focal point for securing federal, state, industry and foundation funds for this mission. CARS will provide leadership in connecting these various efforts together for the objectives of the Center. The Center is administered through the Division of Agriculture, with a Steering Committee composed of senior faculty and department heads, and an Advisory Board. The Center is managed by Area Directors and supported by staff and technical experts as necessary to complete the Center’s objectives. The Center’s activities and priorities will be reviewed every three years by the Vice President for Agriculture, the Associate Vice President for Agriculture – Research, the Steering Committee and the Advisory Board.
Major Focus Areas
While CARS is involved in many projects, the Center has identified the following focus areas:
- Community Prosperity
- Ecosystem Services
- Economic Contribution of Agriculture
- Food Industry Program
- Life Cycle Assessment
- Risk Management
- Sustainability Metrics