The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will receive $130,000 from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation in support of the Arkansas Discovery Farms Program.
The program is an effort by the Division of Agriculture to improve soil and water health in agriculture through edge-of-field runoff monitoring. There are currently 12 farms throughout the state participating in the research program. The donation from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation is intended to help establish research at an additional farm within Arkansas.
The Division of Agriculture is one of four land grant university institutions throughout the country to receive funds through the Anheuser-Busch Foundation. The other institutions are the University of Idaho, North Dakota State University and Montana State University. The total funding being donated among the four institutions totals $530,000.
According to a press release from the foundation, the funds are intended to support “research that focuses on expanding innovative, sustainable agricultural practices.”
According to the foundation, supporting these programs advances Anheuser-Busch’s 2025 Sustainability Goals by promoting the testing and sharing of sustainable, regenerative practices in the brewer’s key growing regions. By focusing on water stewardship, rotations, cover cropping, tillage, soil health and other farming best-practices, Anheuser-Busch will be able to use this research to positively impact not only farmers within these regions but those around the country.
“The work of land grant universities is critical as we collectively look for ways to make farming more sustainable and profitable,” Bill Bradley, vice president of Community Affairs at Anheuser-Busch, said. “Our company’s commitment to farmers spans generations and it’s exciting to work with those that represent the next generation. The Anheuser-Busch Foundation is proud to work alongside these universities that are the backbone of agricultural extension support to our growers and we thank them for their longstanding efforts to help local agriculture communities thrive.”
Arkansas is the nation’s top rice producer, typically harvesting more than 5,000 tons of rice from more than 1.4 million acres of land. Idaho and Montana are the top two barley producing states in the United States. Both rice and barley are essential to the beer-brewing process. The company uses Arkansas rice in its products.
“We are grateful for the support Anheuser-Busch is providing for Discovery Farms, a program whose mission is sustainability,” said Mark Cochran, vice president-agriculture for the University of Arkansas System, said. “The grant will enable us to expand the work we’re already doing to improve water-use efficiency in rice and conserve a resource that is so critical to our state and our farmers.”