Working with small-scale farmers to spark economic growth in rural America
Heifer USA works with small-scale farmers, as they transform their communities and build sustainable livelihoods.
- United States
- Meat, Organic Vegetables, Organic Fruits
- Active Since
Farming in the United States is dominated by industrial agriculture, with smallholder farmers making up a small fraction of food producers. Farming is difficult, sometimes unpredictable work, and many farmers must supplement their income with additional jobs.
Heifer USA works with small-scale farmers to rebuild local food systems and transform communities. These farms become strong, community-focused businesses that support families and spark economic growth in rural America.
In 2015, we refined Heifer USA’s approach and geographic scope, combining the traditional Heifer model that we apply around the world - livestock, training, and community development - with a market-driven model focused on farmer-owned businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states.
This model will achieve sustainability through job creation and ownership and control of the local food value chain. With hands-on learning and access to livestock and horticulture experts, we work with farmers to build sustainable, environmentally-friendly farms.
More than 700 families supported by our work
Heifer USA provides farmers workshops and trainings to develop cultivation techniques, and helps organize farmers into cooperatives that share marketing, packaging, distribution, and credit and loan services.
Cooperatives increase family farmers’ access to profitable markets, which improves livelihoods and strengthens local economies. Farmers are mentored by colleagues and tap into a professional network for technical assistance.
We work with farming cooperatives across the southeast that raise meat, vegetables, fruits, and cheeses, offering access to quality, organically grown food. Heifer USA also runs Heifer Ranch, a 1,200-acre sustainable agriculture learning lab and working farm in the foothills of Arkansas’ Ouachita Mountains.