How Rabbit Ridge Farm managed their resources to serve their community and operate during COVID-19

COVID-19 has brought many challenges on farms, but it has also reminded people of the importance of agriculture. The Arkansas Farm Bureau takes us to Rabbit Ridge Farm, where they took their resources and magnified their business.

Angela and Alan Mahan are grass farmers and raise chickens, cattle and hogs on Rabbit Ridge Farm.

“We do things here a little different. We’re grass farmers, and we harvest grass with animals. So, the way that we raise animals is kind of like my grandfather did 100 years ago,” Alan said.

They raise their chickens on pasture, thus helping regenerate the soil. Alan says that when the chickens are moved from one area to another they actually leave enough fertilizer for one whole year.

Their cattle are also on grass; however, they finish on a grain blend.

Rabbit Ridge Farm also supplies local restaurants with meat and operate as an agritourism spot. When COVID-19 came along, their entire operation was halted.

“March 13th, 2020 was a pivotal day for us,” Angela said. “We actually had just finished making our deliveries in Little Rock to our wholesale customers, we supply restaurants... We were watching the news and we looked to each other and said our world’s about to change. The next week we had zero people at the farm, all of our events were canceled, and all of our wholesale customers came to a halt because of the restaurants closing down.”

Their e-commerce side ended up taking off. With the help of family members, they were able to ship out meat orders every week to 35 states.

Slowly, they have been able to open up their farm’s restaurants, while complying with social distancing and COVID regulations.

Angela adds that people wanted to buy local and support local farmers, but they did not know how and wish it did not take a global pandemic to make that decision.