The Arkansas Rural Enterprise Center is a fully established cooperative development center. Primarily funded by United States Department of Agriculture Rural Cooperative Development Program, Winrock’s Arkansas Rural Enterprise Center is focused on providing assistance to minority and socially-disadvantaged groups.
The Arkansas Rural Enterprise Center is a member of Cooperation Works!, the national network of cooperative development centers. Through this relationship, AREC works closely with other centers to increase opportunities across the country.
Cooperative development projects are the foundation of our agile agricultural and rural development program. Projects include activities with sweet potato farmers and poultry producers, dairy and catfish marketing cooperatives and establishing the feasibility for farmers to diversify from traditional crops to change regional economies.
The agricultural development community has recognized that building efficient and equitable markets for smallholder farmers is essential if the strategy of introducing improved technologies that increase smallholder farmer productivity is to lead to better health and improved well-being for rural populations.
Small communities face numerous agricultural and rural development barriers to market participation including poor communication of current price information, lack of storage facilities, inadequate roads, limited understanding of input use, the inability to capture benefits from value-added processes, limited access to energy savings plans and lack of bargaining power and commercial relationships.
U.S. Programs’ commitment to on-the-ground research provides growers with vital energy-related information. Our Review of Biomass Furnaces for Heating Poultry Houses in the Northwest Arkansas Region gave poultry growers up-to-date information on the possibilities for controlling energy costs.
U.S. Programs’ successful history with the Arkansas Farmers Market Association, Arkansas Delta Produce Association, Poultry Partners Trade Association and the Arkansas Women in Agriculture prove that enhancing the ability of growers to diversify and market their products can change the face of industries in the mid-south.
This project, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, will use a proven, successful technical assistance approach to determine how effectively and efficiently non-Genetically Modified (non-GMO) soybeans can be integrated into Arkansas’ crops. Winrock will provide crop diversification technical assistance that addresses business and marketing concerns. The economic aspects of a full transition from GM to non-GMO soybeans versus diversifying a percentage of crops with non-GMO soybeans will be explored. Current and potential markets will be evaluated for the non-GMO soybeans. These are critical components to the discovery of potential profits from the farmers’ perspective. The long-term goal of this project is to provide strategic technical assistance to six farm enterprises in rural ARV to explore the economic impacts of diversifying crops to include non-GMO soybeans.
Winrock International works with socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in West Arkansas to assist in business start-up and retention and in developing a better understanding of USDA programs through technical assistance, training and one-on-one mentoring. Tools to Increase Money and Efficiency (TIME) Program is primarily funded by United States Department of Agriculture Office of Advocacy and Outreach and United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Farmers and ranchers are critical to our countries economy. Many know how to farm, but not every farmer and rancher can prepare a business plan or understand the often cumbersome process of applying for a loan. Socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers often are not aware of the assistance that is available at their fingertips, while others have trouble with language barriers. The TIME program addresses these issues by ensuring translators are available to communicate the programs available and help with the paperwork and technical assistance needed for farmers and ranchers in the business start-up and retention phases of their farm or ranch. Winrock ensures that participants not only become more aware of the programs available, but also more profitable and efficient with land use, animal production and specialty crop production.
On Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012 a group gathered in Mulberry, AR to celebrate the ground breaking of not just a new edamame processing facility but the new American Vegetable Soybean and Edamame, Inc.(AVS) and the new roots of a edamame production and distribution center for the US, right here in Mulberry, Arkansas.
Gov. Mike Beebe gave a speech on Tuesday January 31,2012 at the ground breaking ceremony for a new Edamame processing facility that will be located in Mulberry, Arkansas.