UACES Facebook Share Grounds commercial kitchen facility reopens in Cleveland County
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Share Grounds commercial kitchen facility reopens in Cleveland County

Dec. 6, 2022

By Rebekah Hall
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast Facts:

  • Share Grounds program makes county fairground commercial kitchen facilities available to food entrepreneurs
  • Clients can use kitchen equipment, access technical support for food businesses
  • Share Grounds location in Rison reopened Dec. 1

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RISON, Ark. — For local farmers and hopeful food entrepreneurs, the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Share Grounds program provides an opportunity to start and grow food businesses by using existing facilities at several county fairgrounds in the state. On Dec. 1, community members, local leaders and potential clients gathered to celebrate the reopening of the Cleveland County Share Grounds commercial kitchen in Rison.

SHARE GROUNDS — Members of the Cleveland County Fair Board gather with community members and Cooperative Extension Service staff to celebrate the reopening of the Share Grounds facility in Rison. The Share Grounds program provides food entrepreneurs with the tools and resources necessary to start or grow a food business, including commercial kitchen space and technical support. (Division of Agriculture photo.) 

“Having the Rison location will help those in Central and South Arkansas have access to a low-cost commercial space to produce products,” said David Hill, extension program associate for food systems and safety for the Division of Agriculture. “This space will provide commercial tools and equipment that they might not have access to, or which may be cost prohibitive when just getting started.”

Hill said the Rison commercial kitchen, located at 200 W. Mockingbird Lane, features a commercial oven, kettle cooker, mixers, slicers and refrigeration and freezer capacity. Through the Share Grounds program, clients can also receive technical support in getting required permits, creating labels, recipe and program development, and more.

Members of the Cleveland County Fair Board – including Karen Fox, John Applegate, Leanna Britton and Arnette Guyer – joined Danielle Watson, Cleveland County staff chair, and David West, Cleveland County agriculture agent, to provide a tour of the facility and answer questions about the Share Grounds program. Lauren Morris, affiliate director of Arkansas Community Foundation, and Cleveland County Judge Elect Jimmy Cummings also attended the ribbon cutting ceremony, led by Roy Philips, president of the Cleveland County Fair Board.

Amanda Philyaw Perez, program director and extension specialist for food systems and safety, said the Share Grounds program provides critical assistance for growers, food businesses and emerging food entrepreneurs looking for resources for both home and commercial food product development in the state.

“Share Grounds is important because it provides a low-cost avenue for business startup,” Perez said. “It will also help those with excess produce to have a way to use it and not have it go to waste, with the added benefit of making some money. Home food businesses can get assistance with food safety testing as well.”

The Share Grounds program is a partnership between the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Local Food Promotion Program, the Arkansas Community Foundation, the West Foundation and regional partners in Cleveland County. For more information, visit the Share Ground website or contact David Hill at

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit 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.

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Media Contact:
Rebekah Hall