Arkansas Food Systems Fellowship

Arkansas Food Systems Fellowship

Applications open for the Inaugural Arkansas Food Systems Fellowship!

Application period June 4-July 8

Apply Here!

Are you passionate about building a better food system in Arkansas that ensures that all communities and farmers thrive? Are you serving your community in any way that touches food and seeking to connect your work with what others are doing? Would your work blossom with the support of the right partners? Do you have ideas for shaping more equitable food and agriculture policy but feel like you’re the only one thinking about these things?

If you relate to any of those questions, the Arkansas Food Systems Fellowship is for you! This first of its kind fellowship program will bring together a diverse group of Arkansans for a robust exchange of ideas and fostering of new partnerships going forward. All are welcome to apply.

The Fellowship
The fellowship will support a diverse cohort of 24 Arkansan leaders with training and technical assistance to understand the context and systems they are working in, and provide the resources needed to shift those systems. Over the course of 5 months, through a two-day in-person retreat and three follow-up virtual sessions, fellows will examine the historical forces that shaped agriculture in Arkansas, explore what it means to take a systems-wide approach to change, and deepen their expertise on topics related to food systems change and organizational leadership. In all of these you’ll get to know a group of peers who could become collaborators! The fellowship is convened by the Wallace Center’s Food Systems Leadership Network and facilitated in partnership with Tina Gilbert of Next Level Training Solutions Group.
We believe that those closest to the problems are closest to the solutions, and our recruitment and application process reflects this understanding. The fellowship cohort will include 24 participants who represent the geographic, racial, and vocational diversity of the Arkansas agriculture and food systems change community. We will prioritize BIPOC applicants s who are delivering hands-on work to serve their communities.


The time is ripe for Arkansas’ farmers, families, and communities to unite in the creation of a more sustainable food system that centers equity, justice, and community wisdom. Across the state, leaders from frontline communities, food-focused organizations, and state-level agencies are demonstrating their expertise and commitment to transforming the food system through collaboration, resource sharing, and knowledge exchange.

The Arkansas Food Systems Fellowship will build upon the potential within the Arkansan local food movement and equip its leaders with the resources, relationships, and coordinating support needed to effectively realize state-wide transformational food systems change.

“This fellowship would be invaluable to Arkansas as we continue to diversify the leaders of our food systems work and the opportunities available for those leaders. I am confident at the end of this fellowship folks will have a better understanding of the resources available and how we can better work together cross-organizationally to build resilient food systems in our state.”
Destiny Schlinker
FoodCorps Arkansas, Associate Director

Goals of the fellowship:

  • Strengthen relationships among diverse food systems leaders in Arkansas.
  • Increase individual capacity through training and guidance.
  • Increase collaboration among fellows with tangible, measurable outcomes.
  • Highlight the ways fellows provide leadership and bring new perspectives and voices to the table.

What you’ll receive :

  • All costs covered for two-day retreat at Winthrop Rockefeller Institute at Petit Jean Mountain (will include training in systems leadership, fundraising and policy
  • A $500 stipend to honor your time and participation
  • Connections with peers and collaborators working on food systems in Arkansas
  • Three virtual sessions to continue relationship-building with fellow leaders

How to Apply:

You can apply online at this link, or schedule a 30-minute call to share your application over the phone here. Preview the application questions here.

“This fellowship provides an opportunity to strengthen our food systems and food access in Arkansas while building a statewide network of leaders who are ready to take action. Arkansas agriculture has so much to offer and this can be the first step toward truly gaining so momentum and improving the quality of life throughout our state.”– Arkansas Fellowship Co-Design Group Member

Arkansas Food Systems Fellowship Timeline

  • June 4-July 8 Application period

  • Monday July 8 at 5 PM Application due date

  • Late July/Early August-Selection and notification of fellows

  • August 29th, 10-11:30am- Fellowship kickoff call

  • September 16-18- In person retreat at Winthrop Rockefeller Institute at Petit Jean

  • October-December: 3 virtual calls/sessions for fellowship cohort to build on retreat goals. October 3rd, November 7th, December 5th, all from 10am-noon central time.

Many thanks to the partners that have made this possible, including the fellowship steering committee of Gracie Gonner with Food Bank of the Delta, Amanda Philyaw Perez with UADA Cooperative Extension Service, and Brenda Williams with Communities Unlimited. This fellowship is made possible by the generous support of the Arkansas Community Foundation and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

The Arkansas Food Systems Fellowship arose from listening to partners in Arkansas and hearing the need for a space to build relationships and foster collaboration. See more about that work here.

Questions? Email [email protected] with ‘Arkansas Fellowship’ in the subject line.