The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC), through its nonprofit foundation, announced Thursday (March 16) a new corporate partnership program designed for Arkansas companies to support long-term conservation efforts in the state.
The first two corporate partners to participate are Greenway Equipment, a John Deere equipment supplier with locations across Arkansas and southeast Missouri, and Fiocchi Ammunition, which has two ammo manufacturing plants in the Little Rock Port.
“Arkansas is blessed with not only fantastic natural resources, but we also are home to some of the most conservation-minded people and businesses in the country,” AGFC Director Austin Booth said. “Conservation is in the fabric of what makes us Arkansans, and this initiative will enable the many businesses who recognize that importance to contribute to the valuable work of conserving our natural resources for the next generation of Arkansans.”
Proceeds from each partnership will support the commission’s targeted initiatives around habitat restoration, wildlife management, and educational programs, enabling expanded efforts and engaging more Arkansans in outdoor recreational activities.
Greenway will sponsor a Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) in an effort to promote sustainable management practices of wildlife habitats, and Waterfowl Rice Incentive Conservation Enhancement (WRICE) programs, which keeps waste rice available for ducks, geese and other migrating birds when they pass through each winter.
Fiocchi will help sponsor the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission’s Mayflower Shooting Range and support the local law enforcement entities as well as the growing interest in adult and youth shooting sports.
“Greenway is proud to partner with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission as a Premier AGFC Conservation and Cultivation Sponsor. This partnership not only aligns with our company’s commitment to give back to the communities in which we operate, but also allows us to support the AGFC by providing the products and services necessary to promote and protect our state’s many valuable natural resources,” said Bill Midkiff, president of Greenway Equipment.
“Fiocchi is honored to invest in both conservation and sustainable economic growth throughout Arkansas. Our partnership with the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation will allow us to broaden our commitment to our employees and other Arkansans,” said Tim Caldwell, vice president and general manager for Fiocchi of America. “It also compliments our corporate values as we build the first lead-free primer facility in America, right here in Arkansas.”
AGF&C said corporate partnerships can take many forms, including sponsorships, cause-marketing campaigns, and employee engagement initiatives.
“This corporate partnership program is kind of outside-the-box way to help support conservation dollars across the state. We’re taking a look at assets within the agency and then going out to Arkansas companies, seeing if that aligns with their passion and their desire to help the agency,” said Deke Whitbeck, President of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the commission.
He added that an area that could have many sponsorship possibilities is in the agency’s fishing programs.
“There’s lots of opportunity in the fishing space. The Family and Community Fishing program would be a great example of that. A company would be very visible and be able to help that program and at the same time be able to introduce a new generation to the outdoors, which is what the Foundation is all about,” Whitbeck added.