Driven by a sense of community and a desire to return home to rural life, Cody Hopkins and his wife Andrea Todt founded Falling Sky Farm - a diversified, grass-based, livestock farm with a mission to provide technical, processing, marketing, and organizational support to develop a profitable and environmentally-friendly community of farms in central Arkansas. This community of farms now serves as the backbone of a local-food system that both works in harmony with nature and reinvigorates a local economy that has historically existed on the margins.
While operating as a pastured chicken, turkey, beef, and hog producer ad poultry processor since 2008, Falling Sky Farm has also tapped into the shift in consumer tastes, shopping patters, and technological advancements and has created an online farmers market that conveniently and cost-effectively connects 35 growers to more than 200 customers. This market, Conway Locally Grown, now provides customers in central Arkansas with homegrown vegetables, fruit, and other products. Co-managed by a local non-profit organization that focuses on food security, cultural production, and economic opportunity, the two organizations regularly conduct festivals, farm days, on-farm community meals, and experiential opportunities for customers and potential growers.
Falling Sky Farm brings both economic development and healthy, unprocessed foods to a region where a quarter of the population falls below the poverty line and one third is classified as obese. In addition, the Farm currently employees 7 rural Arkansans with a starting pay that is 38% above federal minimum wage.