Today is National Agriculture Day, a day that recognizes the hard work and contributions of farmers across the United States.
Our Heifer USA program is built on the belief that small-scale farmers and locally produced food are the keys to feeding communities in the U.S. But farming, especially on a small scale, can be a hard way to make ends meet. Our program helps create good jobs and sustain higher incomes for farmers in Arkansas through the creation of farmer-owned cooperatives.
For Ashley and Steve Dettelbach in Wynne, Arkansas, Heifer USA opened new opportunities.
“Heifer helped create both of the cooperatives that we’re a part of—New South for the produce and Grass Roots for the livestock,” Ashley Dettelbach said. “They have both helped us turn farming into a full-time job. When we started farming, I was also running a daycare out of the house, and Steve worked at a factory in town. That was crazy. But we’re both farming full-time now.” Steve Dettelbach added, “Where we’re at right now, three years in, it would have taken us 8 or 10 years to get where we’re at.”
Farming is something the couple is passionate about, and it shows.
“I just love the work and what I do, and I appreciate the opportunity to do it,” Ashley Dettelbach said. “One of my very favorite things is putting a seed in the soil, watching it grow, then planting and harvesting it. And then I give it to someone, and they’re so excited about how beautiful it is or how great it tastes. That’s really rewarding.”
Help us assist hard-working, small-scale farmers in the U.S. by donating to Heifer USA. You can also support farmers by ordering pasture-raised meat from Grass Roots and, if you’re in Arkansas, sustainably grown produce from New South’s CSA.