Oct. 22, 2021
Nov. 6 workshop, webinar offer insight for starting a food business
By Tracy Courage
U of A System Division of Agriculture
- Free workshop on Nov. 6, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (CDT)
- In-person and virtual options available
- Topics: Arkansas Food Freedom Act, creating food products, food manufacturing, Share Grounds virtual tour
LITTLE ROCK — Starting a business begins with a great idea, but turning that idea into a reality takes a lot more. That’s where the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Share Grounds program can help — from helping entrepreneurs scale up recipes to understanding food laws to providing a permitted kitchen space where food entrepreneurs can work.
The Division of Agriculture will offer training on Saturday, Nov. 6, on Starting Your Food Business at the Share Grounds.” The in-person workshop is scheduled for 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (CDT) at the Cooperative Extension Service state office, 2301 S. University Ave. in Little Rock. In-person attendance is limited to 20 people; lunch will be provided.
Participants will learn how to take their food product idea to market and how to set up a food business at Share Grounds. The webinar will provide information about the Arkansas Food Freedom Act, creating food products, food manufacturing and business planning. Attendees will also get a virtual tour of the Division of Agriculture’s Share Grounds kitchen incubator and aggregation center site in McCrory.
“This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in starting a food business to learn what it takes to successfully take a product to market,” said Amanda Philyaw Perez, food systems and food safety specialist with the Division of Agriculture’s Local, Regional and Safe Foods team. “They may be a perfect candidate to use our Share Grounds facilities.”
The Division has two Share Ground sites — one in McCrory in Woodruff County and one in Rison in Cleveland County. Both use existing facilities and infrastructure at the county fairgrounds. The kitchens are certified and permitted.
“Our goal is to help entrepreneurs successfully develop food products, which increases access to and consumption of local foods in Arkansas,” Perez said. “It also supports local farms and the larger regional food economy.”
Since 2020, Share Grounds personnel have worked with about 45 clients, who are in various stages of product development.
To learn more about Share Grounds, visit www.uaex.uada.edu/sharegrounds.
To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uark.edu. Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit https://uada.edu/. Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons 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.
Director, Communications Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service