Fundraising News

2016 Ag for Autism Grant Recipients Announced

December 28, 2016

The Ag for Autism Board of Directors is pleased to announce its 2016 grant recipients. This year, the organization was able to award 21 grants totaling a record-setting $91,000 to deserving individuals and groups exhibiting a need for assistance in autism related therapies and endeavors. In addition, last summer Ag for Autism sponsored the 2016 Autism Resource Conference hosting more than 200 participants for a day-long conference free of charge to parents, educators and therapists working with children on the autism spectrum. Ag for Autism volunteers have raised well over $300,000 since the organization’s inception in 2012.

Where Does the Funding Come From?

Ag for Autism accepts donations year-round and also holds the annual Ag for Autism Bracket Bonanza, a fundraiser centered around NCAA Basketball’s March Madness. This year’s event was held in March at the Arkansas State University (ASU) Convocation Center. The organization also partners with Make-a-Wish to hold a very successful annual event in Southeast Missouri.

Who Can Receive Ag for Autism Grants?

Ag for Autism grants are available to individuals and organizations, private or public, providing or in need of, autism therapy or services. Please visit the Ag for Autism web site at www.AgforAutism.org for eligibility requirements and to access an application. If you are part of an ag organization and would like to get involved, please call Nathan Waldrip at 870.336.2290.

We Are Pleased To Showcase Our 2016 Ag for Autism Grant Recipients

Brookland Elementary School

The grant will be used to fund a smart board and Chromebooks for the special education classroom.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation are (l to r): Farm Credit Midsouth and Ag for Autism Representative Bessie Richmond, Chrisy Young, Sandy McCall (Principal) and Jennifer Jaynes (Assistant Principal).


Brookland Preschool

The grant will be used to purchase a therapy swing.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation are: Farm Credit Midsouth and Ag for Autism Representative Bessie Richmond and Jennifer Easley (Brookland PreK).


The Center for Exceptional Families

The grant will be used to fund the Delta Initiative to help educate parents about autism in East Arkansas.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation are: Ag for Autism's Matthew Harvey and The Center's Shelby McKay Knight.


Concordia Christian Academy

The grant will be used to fund an aide to work with students with autism.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation are CCA Principal Kory O’Brien and Ag for Autism Board President Nathan Waldrip.


Equip Academy

For them, the grant will be used to fund scholarships enabling students to attend the Academy.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation include (l to r): Equip Academy Lead Teacher Angie Adkins, Equip Academy Executive Director Joanne Gurley and Ag for Autism Representative Miranda Russell.


Fox Meadow Elementary

The grant will fund sensory equipment to help furnish a new sensory learning classroom.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation are Ag for Autism Representative Bessie Richmond and Fox Meadow's Michelle Neira.


Fox Meadow Intermediate School

The grant will be used for equipment to furnish a sensory classroom.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation are: Ag for Autism's Bessie Richmond and Kimberly Young.


Greene County Tech

The grant will be used for hands-on task boxes.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation are: Ag for Autism's Danny Graham, Tucker Ashmore and Greene County Tech's Susan Boling.


Greene County Tech

The grant will fund an iPad for Raven Davidson, a six-year-old attending Greene County Tech.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation are: Greene Count Tech’s Susan Boling, Raven Davidson and Ag for Autism’s Danny Graham.


Greene County Tech

The grant will fund an iPad for Lexi Rudi.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation are (l-r): Ag for Autism’s Danny Graham, Ginnie Rudi, Lexi Rudi and Brittney Tucker, teacher at Greene County Tech.


Jumping Jelly Beans Pediatric Therapy

The grant will be used to purchase Ready Bodies, Learning Minds. These motor lab kits that will help students with cognitive as well as motor skills development.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation are (l-r): JJB's owner Jason Gardner and Ag for Autism's Miranda Russell


Manila Elementary School

Their grant will be used for an IPad, apps, and to create a quiet classroom corner with sensory seating for students with autism.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation are: Ag for Autism's Mike Williams and Manila teacher Tracy Bohannan.


Trumann Schools

The grant will be used to fund sensory equipment for self-contained classrooms.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation are (l to r): Jennifer Barbaree, Assistant Superintendent, Kimberly Cooper, LEA Supervisor, Ag for Autism Board President Nathan Waldrip, and Myra Graham, Superintendent.


Westside Schools

Their grant will be used to fund sensory room equipment and academic materials that will facilitate a learning environment conducive to engaging learners of varying abilities.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation include (l to r): Michael Graham, Principal; Scott Gauntt, Superintendent; Chelsea Watkins, Special Education Teacher; and Ag for Autism Representatives Bessie Richmond and Melissa Coles.


Wynne Public Schools

Their grant to fund sensory equipment that will assist students with calming and sensory diet needs.

Photo: Celebrating the grant presentation are (l to r): Ag for Autism Representative Matthew Harvey and Glenda Vance, Wynne public schools.


Grants Awarded For Which No Photo Is Available:

Autism Association of Northeast Arkansas

A grant to help supply consistent staffing for the Jonesboro, AR office.


ARC of NWMS

A grant to help cover the cost of camp for children from Northeast Arkansas to attend Camp BOLD.


Cooper Mason

A grant to help fund a trip for Cooper and his parents to receive training on the use of his new service dog.


Dean Doyle

A scholarship to attend UACC-Batesville (year two).


The Doni Martin Center

A grant for funding to help pay for wall paneling to meet fire code.


The Learning Center

A grant to help fund the salary of a behavior technician.


West Memphis School District

A grant to fund Shoebox tasks that aid students in overcoming organizational difficulties to complete their work successfully and with as much independence as possible.


Ag for Autism Accepts From Manila Elementary Students

April 25, 2016


Photo caption: Ag For Autism Board Member Danny Graham is shown with Manila Elementary student Jackson Adams, son of Scott and Misty Adams.

We at Ag for Autism were thrilled last week to accept a donation from Manila Elementary students who held an Autism Awareness Walk on April 1. The event raised $308.50 to help raise awareness for autism and to support their friends. Each student donated one dollar and wore blue in recognition. In addition, the teachers and staff all had t-shirts designed to express their support.


Ag for Autism: 2016 Bracket Bonanza Breaks Records Again

April 15, 2016

The fifth annual Ag for Autism Bracket Bonanza was held Tuesday, March 15 at Arkansas State University’s Centennial Hall in Jonesboro. The event once again broke Bracket Bonanza records for attendance and fundraising with a sold-out event that raised nearly $82,000 for local autism therapies.

A packed house enjoyed an exciting evening which featured a silent auction, a delicious dinner and a number of fun-filled activities. Highlights included:

  • $3000 Drawing Every ticket purchased served as an entry for the drawing, which culminated in the selection of the "Sweet Sixteen." The winner, Jennifer Misner, scored the ‘Bracket Bonanza’ then promptly turned around and donated her winnings—in their entirety—right back to Ag for Autism!
  • Lucky Key Sale Buyers purchased one of 30 keys to a gun case--inside which was a Benelli Super Black Eagle II 12-Gauge Shotgun. Terry Gray of Jonesboro was the lucky key holder
  • Silent Auction New this year! Buyers were able to shop and bid on items a week in advance of the event and continue mobile bidding right up through the evening of the event. We were blessed with the greatest number of items and bids to date!
  • Golden Puzzle Piece Winner Cache River Valley Seed topped this year’s Employee Giving Program which all together raised more than $12,000 among the respective employees of five companies—Armor Seed, Cache River Valley Seed, Centennial Bank, Farm Credit Midsouth and Regions Bank. If your employees would like to participate in the 2017 Golden Puzzle Piece Employee Giving Program, please contact Melissa Powell at 870.336.3866 for details.
  • Guest Speaker Attendees were treated to a few words by ASU Head Football Coach Blake Anderson.

Applications for Ag for Autism grants funded by the proceeds of this event are currently available at www.AgforAutism.org. Deadline for consideration this calendar year is May 27. Both individuals and organizations providing autism services are eligible to apply. A portion of the funds raised will also be directed to the first Ag for Autism Autism Resource Conference to be held August 4 in Jonesboro. Details can be found on the web site.

Watch for details about the 2017 Bracket Bonanza on the organization’s Facebook page and web site at www.AgforAutism.org. Ag for Autism is a 501 (c)(3) entity and all donations are tax deductible.


Ag for Autism: 2016 Bracket Bonanza Sponsorships, Tickets Now Available

January 11, 2016

The 2016 Ag for Autism Bracket Bonanza is set to be held Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at Arkansas State University’s Centennial Hall in Jonesboro.

Attendees will enjoy great food, fun and fellowship—which will include a silent auction, live music and more—while watching that night’s hoop action. All ticketholders will also be entered into a giveaway on-site for $3000. If history repeats itself, it will be a fun-packed evening in the name of a great cause. Tickets are $75 each or $500 for a table of 8.

  • To purchase Bracket Bonanza ’16 tickets: Contact Mary Beth Hoke at 870-336-3863.
  • To become a sponsor: Contact Melissa Powell at 870-336-3866.
  • To donate or sponsor silent auction items: Contact Melissa Coles at 870-932-1037, ext. 5425.
  • For in-kind donations: Contact Amy Batson at 870-336-3871.

*All donations are tax deductible.

Who is Ag for Autism?

Ag for Autism was born after a number of agriculture-related organizations—Armor Seed, Cache River Valley Seed, and Farm Credit Midsouth—were compelled to band together with the support of other area agriculture companies and organizations in support of a very worthy cause. They are joined by a long and growing list of sponsors, a complete list of which may be found at www.agforautism.org.

In many cases, autism therapies are not covered by insurance and Medicaid, but are critical to help a child function at his or her highest ability. Research shows many families, especially those in more rural areas, struggle to find and afford the important therapies that can be life changing. It is the organization’s goal to ease this financial burden and help these families access autism services. To date, Ag for Autism has raised nearly $195,000 to meet these needs.

Applications for Ag for Autism grants may be submitted via the organization’s web site. Both individuals and organizations providing autism services are eligible to apply.

‘Like’ Ag for Autism on Facebook, follow on Twitter @AgForAutism, and visit on the web at www.agforautism.org to stay in the Ag for Autism loop. Those unable to attend the event may also quickly and easily make a donation year-round through PayPal on the Ag for Autism web site.


Ag for Autism: 2015 Bracket Bonanza Sponsorships, Tickets Now Available

February 03, 2015

The 2015 Ag for Autism Bracket Bonanza is set to be held Tuesday, March 17 at 6 p.m. at the Arkansas State University Convocation Center in Jonesboro.

Attendees will enjoy great food, fun and fellowship—which will include a silent auction, live music and more—while watching that night’s hoop action. All ticketholders will also be entered into a giveaway on-site for $3000. If history repeats itself, it will be a fun-packed evening in the name of a great cause. Last year’s event netted a record-setting $40,000 for local autism therapies and auction. Tickets are $75 each or $700 for a table of 10.

  • To purchase Bracket Bonanza ’15 tickets: Contact Amy Batson at 870-336-3871.
  • To become a sponsor: Contact Melissa Powell at 870-336-3866.
  • To donate or sponsor silent auction items: Contact Melissa Coles at 870-932-1037, ext. 5425. 
  • For in-kind donations: Contact Amy Batson at 870-336-3871.

*All donations are tax deductible.

Who is Ag for Autism?

Ag for Autism was born after a number of agriculture-related organizations—Armor Seed, Cache River Valley Seed, and Farm Credit Midsouth—were compelled to band together with the support of other area agriculture companies and organizations in support of a very worthy cause. They are joined by a long and growing list of sponsors, a complete list of which may be found at www.agforautism.org.

In many cases, autism therapies are not covered by insurance and Medicaid, but are critical to help a child function at his or her highest ability. Research shows many families, especially those in more rural areas, struggle to find and afford the important therapies that can be life changing. It is the organization’s goal to ease this financial burden and help these families access the services they need.

Applications for Ag for Autism grants may be submitted via the organization’s web. Deadline for consideration this calendar year is May 29, 2015. Both individuals and organizations providing autism services are eligible to apply.

‘Like’ Ag for Autism on Facebook, follow on Twitter @AgForAutism, and visit on the web at www.agforautism.org to stay in the Ag for Autism loop. Those unable to attend the event may also quickly and easily make a donation year-round through PayPal on the Ag for Autism web site.


2015 Bracket Bonanza Planned

December 18, 2014

Ag For Autism announces plans for their 4th Annual Bracket Bonanza event. The Bracket Bonanza will be held at the ASU Convo in Jonesboro on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 6 p.m. The evening’s events will include a $3,000 cash prize giveaway, 50/50 Bracket Contest, live auction, silent auction, and dinner all built around a March Madness® basketball theme. Tickets may be purchased by calling 870-336-3866. Tickets are $75 for individuals and tables of 10 for $700. Each ticket purchased is a chance to win the $3,000 cash prize giveaway. Ag for Autism is a 501 (c)(3) entity and all donations are tax deductible. To date, Ag For Autism has raise over $109,000 for local autism therapies and education.


2014 Ag for Autism Grant Recipients Announced

October 17, 2014

The Ag for Autism Board of Directors is pleased to announce its 2014 grant recipients. The organization was able to award ten grants with a record-setting total of nearly $42,000 to deserving individuals and groups exhibiting a need for assistance in autism related therapies and endeavors.

2014 Ag for Autism Grant Recipients:

1. Life Skills Center, Inc.
The Life Skills Center serves students from K-12 with autism spectrum and other related disorders. The grant will be used to provide testing materials and tuition scholarships that will lessen the financial burden for participating families.

A 2014 Ag for Autism grant is presented to the Life Skills Center, Inc. Pictured (l to r): Marie Ray, Ag for Autism Board President Nathan Waldrip, Joanne Steed and Sharon Smith.

2. Treble Music Club
The Treble Music Club provides opportunities to special needs musicians throughout Arkansas and the surrounding states to showcase their musical talents. The grant will be used to assist one of the club’s gifted members, Parker McCarthy, with the purchase of instruments.

A 2014 Ag for Autism grant is presented to recipient Parker McCarthy by Ag for Autism Board President Nathan Waldrip.

3. The Center for Exceptional Families – Delta Initiative
With its 2014 Ag for Autism grant, The Center for Exceptional Families will work in areas throughout the Delta region to provide special education and other related workshops throughout the under-served area. The goal is to provide parents an opportunity to access materials and gain skills to become more effective advocates for their children.

A 2014 Ag for Autism grant is presented to Shelby Knight with The Center for Exceptional Families by Ag for Autism Board President Nathan Waldrip.

4. Focus, Inc. – Community Life Program
Focus, Inc. is an early intervention program for preschoolers with disabilities founded in Blytheville, Arkansas. With its grant, Focus, Inc. will implement the Community Life Program to provide one activity a month inviting individuals with disabilities to enhance their social skills, improve communication skills and social behaviors, and develop talents in the expressive arts.

A 2014 Ag for Autism grant is presented to Sabrina Woodson with Focus, Inc. by Melissa Powell, Armor Seed Marketing and IT Director.

5. Autism Association of Northeast Arkansas (AANEA)
The Autism Association of Northeast Arkansas (AANEA) was formed in 2006 by a group of parents, educators and professionals to address the needs faced by families receiving a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum disorder. A 2014 Ag for Autism grant will enable the organization to create a Parent Mentor program to assist parents with special education services and family support.

A 2014 Ag for Autism grant is presented to the Autism Association of Northeast Arkansas (AANEA)’s Mark Huffman and Aimee McDonald by Ag for Autism Board President Nathan Waldrip.

6. BOLD Initiative – Camp Bold
The BOLD Initiative is a family-centered non-profit organization dedicated to providing distinctive educational, therapeutic and socialization programs for children and young adults diagnosed on the autism spectrum. A 2014 Ag for Autism grant will help BOLD Initiative fund its summer camp providing an accepting and sensory-sensitive environment for autistic campers and neuro-typical peers.

7. City of Jonesboro, Arkansas, Miracle League – Quiet Room
The city of Jonesboro is nearing completion on a $2.9 million Miracle League Field slated to open in late October. A 2014 Ag for Autism grant will be used to create and furnish a Quiet Room within the complex where autistic and other special needs children can find a quiet, calming space to decompress when necessary.

8. The Doni Martin Center for Developmental Services
The Doni Martin Center provides services in a community-based setting to individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities in Clay, Randolph and Lawrence counties. A 2014 Ag for Autism grant will be used for necessary upgrades to bring up to fire code a classroom and activities area where school-age children are served.

9. The Learning Center
The Learning Center provides community/home-based services, clinical services and pre-school for children with developmental disorders and delays from birth through age five; and services to adults with disabilities as well. A 2014 Ag for Autism grant will be used by the Center toward the employ of two line therapists for one-on-one daily intervention with autistic students using research-based therapies.

10. Oak Grove Middle School
A 2014 Ag for Autism grant will be used to purchase an iPad to assist with and enhance interactive educational opportunities specifically for autistic students.


Where Does the Funding Come From? Ag for Autism accepts donations year-round and also holds the annual Ag for Autism Bracket Bonanza, a fundraiser centered around NCAA Basketball’s March Madness. This year’s event was held in March at the Arkansas State University (ASU) Convocation Center. It achieved record numbers counting over 300 attendees and raising more than $45,000.

Ag for Autism grants are available to individuals and organizations, private or public, providing or in need of, autism therapy or services. Please visit the Ag for Autism Web Site for eligibility requirements and to access an application. If you are part of an ag organization and would like to get involved, please call Nathan Waldrip at 870.336.2290.

Ag for Autism is a 501 (c)(3) entity and all donations are tax deductible.


History: Ag for Autism was born after a number of agriculture-related organizations—Armor Seed, Cache River Valley Seed, LLC, and Farm Credit Midsouth—were compelled to band together with the support of other area agriculture companies and organizations in support of a very worthy cause. They are joined by a long and growing list of sponsors, a complete list of which may be found at Ag for Autism.

In many cases, autism therapies are not covered by insurance and Medicaid, but are critical to help a child function at his or her highest ability. Research shows many families, especially those in more rural areas, struggle to find and afford the important therapies that can be life changing. It is the organization’s goal to ease this financial burden and help these families access the services they need.

‘Like’ Ag for Autism on Facebook, follow on Twitter @AgForAutism, and visit Ag for Autism on the web to stay in the Ag for Autism loop. Donations are accepted year-round by credit card or PayPal on the Ag for Autism web site.


Ag for Autism: 2014 Bracket Bonanza Tickets Available Now

February 17, 2014

The 2014 Ag for Autism Bracket Bonanza is set to be held Tuesday, March 18 at 6 p.m. at the Arkansas State University Convocation Center in Jonesboro.

Tickets are $60 each or $500 for a table of 10 and may be purchased by calling 870.336.3867 or, new this year, on the organization’s web site at www.agforautism.org. Ag for Autism is a 501 (c)(3) entity and all donations are tax deductible.

Attendees will enjoy great food, fun and fellowship—which will include a silent auction, live music and more—while watching that night’s hoop action. A ticket purchase even enters one into a drawing for $5000. If history repeats itself, it will be a fun-packed evening in the name of a great cause. Last year’s event netted more than $30,000 for local autism therapies and education.

Ag for Autism was born after a number of agriculture-related organizations—Armor Seed, Cache River Valley Seed, LLC, and Farm Credit Midsouth—were compelled to band together with the support of other area agriculture companies and organizations in support of a very worthy cause. They are joined by a long and growing list of sponsors, a complete list of which may be found at www.agforautism.org.

In many cases, autism therapies are not covered by insurance and Medicaid, but are critical to help a child function at his or her highest ability. Research shows many families, especially those in more rural areas, struggle to find and afford the important therapies that can be life changing. It is the organization’s goal to ease this financial burden and help these families access the services they need.

Applications for Ag for Autism grants may be submitted via the organization’s web site at www.agforautism.org. Deadline for consideration this calendar year is May 30, 2014. Both individuals and organizations providing autism services are eligible to apply.

‘Like’ Ag for Autism on Facebook, follow on Twitter @AgForAutism, and visit on the web at www.agforautism.org to stay in the Ag for Autism loop. Those unable to attend the event may also quickly and easily make a donation year-round through PayPal on the Ag for Autism web site.


Ag for Autism Receives 501 (c)(3) Status

January 14, 2014

Ag for Autism, an allegiance of agricultural companies dedicated to helping local children and families affected by autism, has been afforded 501(c)(3) status through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

One of the most important benefits of this designation is the tax deductibility of donations. Donors who make charitable contributions to the organization can take this deduction because Ag for Autism is organized and operated exclusively for “… charitable, scientific, or educational purposes,” a requirement for application.

The organization, established last year, is a partnering of local agriculture-related businesses led by Armor Seed, Cache River Valley Seed, LLC and Farm Credit Midsouth. The trio, with support from other local companies, will collect donations and hold fundraisers on an ongoing basis, the proceeds of which will be channeled to area autism research and therapy programs.

Ag for Autism’s next major fundraising event will be the 2014 Bracket Bonanza, which will be held at the Arkansas State University Convocation Center, Tuesday, March 18 at 6 p.m. Ticket prices are $60 and $500 for tables of 10. Contact Nathan Waldrip at 870-336-3867 for tickets. All proceeds will go toward local autism therapies for children. Organization is underway and sponsors and silent auction items are being welcomed at this time.

Last year’s event netted $30,000 for autism therapies and education. More than 160 guests enjoyed live and silent auctions, dinner, great prizes, and a good bit of college basketball and bracket-centered entertainment.


Donations may also be mailed to:
Ag For Autism
2532 B Alexander Dr
Jonesboro, AR 72401