UACES Facebook “Food meetups” provide opportunity to organize local markets
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“Food meetups” provide opportunity to organize local markets

By Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
June 27, 2016

Fast Facts:

(354 words) 

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansans interested in creating, supporting or participating in local food markets should mark their calendars for a series of upcoming regional “food meetups” throughout the state. 

The meetings are intended for producers, purchasers and food market developers interested in developing and strengthening food markets that help move local Arkansas-produced food from farmers and makers to consumers, said Amanda Philyaw Perez, community development specialist with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. 

“Our goal is to build a directory of the state’s local food system sector,” Perez said. “At each meetup, we’ll describe the opportunities, assets and challenges associated with developing a regional food system, recommend solutions for securing technical assistance and resources and talk about making connections across the region in an effort to grow the local food system.” 

There are now five meetups scheduled for the months of July and August: 

  • July 6: Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub 201 East Broadway Street, N Little Rock
  • July 7: University of Arkansas Community College – Hope, Hempstead Hall 2500 South Main Street, Hope
  • July 12: Church Street Station 524 S Church Street, Jonesboro
  • July 14: Pratt Place Inn and Barn 2231 West Markham Road, Fayetteville
  • Aug. 9: Sadie T. Johnson Community Building 383 North Larkin Street, Monticello 

Each meetup is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m.

The meetings are designed to address questions and concerns from: 

  • Producers (growers of perishable locally grown foods, horticulture, meat and dairy)
  • Cooperative or farmers market managers
  • Restaurateurs, caterers, grocers or other retail buyers
  • Institutional buyers (including public school food service, public and private university food service, hospital/health care)
  • Technical assistance providers working in local food (extension specialist or agents; university faculty or staff; local, state or federal government administrator or staff; not for profit support agency; community and economic developers)
  • Transporters/distributors/ aggregators (including food hubs, co-packers) currently operating processors/value- added producers 

To register, visit The cost is $10, and registration will close one week before each scheduled meetup. Call Amanda at 501-671-2228 for questions. An ARKANSAS GROWN lunch and refreshments will be provided. 

For more information, call Amanda Philyaw Perez at 501-671-2228. 


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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