Wallace Arkansas Farmer Support Ecosystem Report, May 2021

Wallace Arkansas Farmer Support Ecosystem Report, May 2021

The Wallace Center has published a new report with the findings of a rapid landscape assessment of the Arkansas farmer support ecosystem. The Wallace Center designed and facilitated highly participatory sessions where food systems leaders contributed their knowledge, ideas, and priorities which were then distilled for the final report.

The Wallace Center held conversations with partners over the past year and recognized an opportunity for enhanced coordination across the state’s farm support ecosystem. In discussions with the 14 individuals who took part in the calls, the group created a shared understanding of the barriers for small farms in Arkansas, including the lack of infrastructure for transportation and processing; financial instability; legal challenges associated with heirs’ property; and a system-wide lack of communication. The group discussed priority areas for collaborative work, exploring the tangible ways in which organizations can better support Arkansas’s farmers. The group engaged in conversation around priority areas found for collaborative work and made recommendations for next steps, based on the current landscape, barriers, and assets in the farm support ecosystem.

This report shares the insights gleaned from those discussions and makes short- and medium-term recommendations for next steps to bolster support for Arkansas’s family farmers.

For more information about the Wallace Center visit wallacecenter.org. To discuss ideas or opportunities in Arkansas, contact Andrew Carberry at andrew.carberry@winrock.org. To discuss our work nationally, contact Co-Director Susan Lightfoot Schempf, susan.schempf@winrock.org.

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