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Regenerating Soil and Community at Rabbit Ridge Farms – “Good Roots” May 2022

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  • Chris DellaPace
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“ … seven miles away from a stop light and 30 minutes away from a jug a milk.”

That’s how Alan Mahan describes the location of Rabbit Ridge Farms, the farm he and his wife Angela own and operate in Bee Branch, Arkansas. The farm raises cows, hogs and chickens that roam the pastures; plus, they create prepared meals and other goods that are found in some of the state’s most popular restaurants and on dining tables across the country.

Alan Mahan with the baby chicks - Chris DellaPace

Alan and Angela both grew up on farms, but each had separate careers and no plans of running their own operation. Life had different plans for the two, and their childhood experiences combined with their unique backstory as a couple came to fruition in Rabbit Ridge Farms, the very farm Alan grew up on.

Angela Mahan inspecting their plants - Chris DellaPace

Today, the two are dedicated to running their operation as sustainably as possible, working to “ … regenerate the soil rather than take away from it.” At first, this might sound like a more modern approach, but they have pride in their traditions and methods that hold true to the values of the generations before them.

Left - A baby chick getting ready to graze the land - Chris DellaPace - Right - Baby pig roaming free - Dero Sanford

One thing that is wholly theirs, however, is Rabbit Ridge Farms’ clearly stated mission: “Creating community through food and agriculture.” The Mahans made the decision (a rare one for farmers) to open up their farm to tour groups, school field trips and any of the other thousands of visitors they host each year who are curious about where their food comes from.

One of the meals served at their event, Friday Night at the Farm - Chris DellaPace

The Mahans’ goal is to make their home a welcoming place for all walks of life — investing back into their community the same way they regenerate their own land — by regularly hosting breakfast events and dinners with local entertainment for anyone who wants a taste of Rabbit Ridge.

Alan Mahan getting his social media for the day - Dero Sanford

To see more of daily life on the farm and Alan’s enthusiasm for social media (which Angela likens to that of “ … a 14-year-old girl’s,”), check out Rabbit Ridge Farms on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

TUNE IN:

 

Friday, May 13, 2022

 

“Good Roots” inside “Arkansas Week,” 7:30 p.m. 

 

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“Good Roots” is produced in partnership with Arkansas Farm Bureau; additional funding is provided by Union Pacific Foundation.

 

Watch social extras, full episodes and more on YouTube at youtube.com/ArkansasPBS