Explore This Section

Heifer United States

United States

Despite fertile lands and a large economy, many people in the U.S. are without work and don't have enough to eat. Two areas in particular suffer from persistent extreme poverty and higher rates of food insecurity: Arkansas and the Appalachia region. Due to high unemployment rates and low economic opportunities, children and families in those area suffer from a lack of access to healthy food.

Poverty is closer to home than you think

Heifer’s work in the United States is centered on building and reviving local food systems so that farmers and families in two of the poorest regions in the USA are making a difference in their own lives and the lives of their neighbors.

Poverty is widespread in both in Arkansas and the Appalachia region. One in four people in Arkansas and one in three children in Appalachia suffer from food insecurity. Unemployment rates are double than that of the nation. The power of Heifer USA lies in the belief that small-scale farmers can feed the world and revive their local economies using the impact of locally produced food. We are empowering food entrepreneurs and building food enterprises to address every link in the food value chain—from farm to table.

This program will transform local food systems

A food system is all the processes and infrastructure involved in feeding a population: growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consumption and disposal of food.

Program Life



$25.7 Million


Arkansas and Appalachia

Heifer USA focuses its programming in:

  • Production
  • Infrastructure
  • Markets
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial Capital
  • Social Capital

Same Heifer Model, New Heifer Approach

Historically, Heifer’s model promotes sustainable agriculture interventions through a values-based community approach. In the USA, we use a farmer-owned business model as our development approach while providing resources and technical support coordinated with local partners to:

  • Create and support Community Supported Agriculture Programs (CSAs)
  • Develop farmer-owned businesses (horticulture and livestock)
  • Boost market access for farmers
  • Train farmers in sustainable farming practices
  • Invest in local food-related enterprises
  • Provide strategic business planning tools to farmers
  • Create wholesale and local farmers’ markets and connect our farmers to them