Despite fertile lands and a large economy, many people in the U.S. are without work and don't have enough to eat. One in six children in the U.S. don't know where or when they will find their next meal.
Two areas in particular suffer from extreme poverty: the Appalachia region, which stretches from rural Pennsylvania to northern Alabama, and the Arkansas Delta, which follows the Mississippi River along the eastern half of the state. Unemployment rates in those areas are double that of the nation, and approximately one in four people in the Delta and one in three children in Appalachia suffer from a lack of access to healthy food.
Supporting local growers and innovators is key to strengthening local economies in the U.S. By encouraging community development on the local level, Heifer is creating opportunities, improving access to markets for small farmers and providing environmental sustainability.
Heifer USA is driven by local motivation, local farmers, local innovation and local leadership. This focus on community-based development is the key to successfully ending hunger here at home.
Learn more about Foodshed Farms, the farmer enterprise cultivating jobs and our community through the extraordinary power of locally produced food. Check out our farmers, their produce, local chefs and the whole movement here. Signed up for the 2014 Fall CSA? See the schedule or login to farmigo.com.
Areas of Focus
- Production — To meet regional demand for locally grown food, Heifer USA is working to recruit and support a broad base of small-scale farmers to help increase their production.
- Markets — Market demand is the foundation for rebuilding local food systems in both regions. Heifer USA will connect small, low-income farmers to larger regional economies and profitable markets.
- Infrastructure — Heifer USA producers will gain access to community-owned, affordable services and infrastructure. They also receive support in marketing, processing, aggregation and distribution.
- Entrepreneurship — Our strategy encourages a farmer-to-farmer collaboration and mentorship program that will nurture new producers and move products from farms to markets more efficiently. These food entrepreneurs will, in turn, provide innovative solutions and open opportunities in local food systems.
- Capital — In both Appalachia and Arkansas, many farmers lack access to resources and capital. Heifer USA provides technical support, grants, loans, and direct investments for farmers and food entrepreneurs.
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
The First Congregational Church of Marion, long time Heifer International supporters, created a unique fundraiser.
At 26 years old, Stratton the water buffalo continues his role of being both motivation and muscle for the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, AR.
As a sophomore in college, I was looking for something to do between school years, when I remembered that Heifer Ranch offered volunteering opportunities. I had been a participant at the Ranch on four different occasions, and I decided that it would be great to see the other side of things here. Little did I know, my decision to be a Heifer Ranch volunteer would shape the rest of my life.
Heifer International's Read to Feed program has undoubtedly been an important and invaluable experience for the Maimonides 4th grade class this past year (2012-2013). It did not take long for my students to understand that their philanthropy could significantly improve a family’s quality of life, and that together, they can make a lasting difference for people around the world.
Big, sweet Dwight “Bubba” Smith is the Associate Pastor (Alan Rice is the Senior Pastor) of Crossfire, an admittedly unorthodox United Methodist Church.
American poverty is the great silent shame of our time.
Ronnie Seruyange, 26, used to be an orphaned street kid in Uganda.
Meet Ryan Neal, Heifer International's Garden Educator.
What really touches me is reading the letters of participants in our education programs which show we are truly doing work that will make the world a better place.