UACES Facebook Arkansas Share Grounds | Kitchen Incubator and Aggregation Center

Share Grounds: Kitchen Incubator and Aggregation Center Development Project

A partnership between the UA System Division of Ag, USDA Local Food Promotion Program and regional partners in Cleveland, Searcy and Woodruff County.share grounds logo

What is Share Grounds?

The Share Grounds project offers an innovative approach to bring solutions to rural communities by utilizing existing facilities and infrastructure at the County Fairgrounds.

This project will establish three kitchen incubator and aggregation centers at these fairgrounds:

  • Searcy (Marshall)
  • Cleveland (Rison)
  • Three County (McCrory) 

Get resources to start your own food business.

The goals are to:

1) increase access to and consumption of local foods in Arkansas by expanding utilization and capacity of fairgrounds for aggregation, distribution, and value-added product development,

2) support local farms,

3) develop and expand opportunities for value-added food businesses,

4) foster the growth of regional food economies, and

5) improve access to food in underserved communities and institutions

Project Timeline

Summer 2019
Finalize construction plan
Recruit clients

Fall 2019
Begin kitchen renovations
Install large equipment
Hire part-time manager
Host community meetings

Winter 2019
Complete construction
Develop manual and policies
Arkansas Department of Health inspection
Train clients
Trial opening

Spring 2020
Kitchen open for business


Can I donate to the project?

Yes! All three sites are accepting donations and non cash gifts, such as pre-approved commercial equipment, donated building materials and labor.

Non cash or in-kind gifts may qualify as a tax-deductible charitable contribution.

Donors will be recognized for their sponsorship at these levels:

$100   - Seed Sower: Website recognition

$250   - Harvester: Logo on marketing brochure & website recognition

$500   - Packer: Name on sponsorship sign at a Share Grounds facility, logo on                   brochure & website recognition

$1000 - Distributor: Logo on sponsorship sign at a Share Grounds facility, logo                     on brochure & website recognition

Contact the Share Grounds Project Manager for additional information on how to donate to the project.


How can I be involved?

1. If you live in Searcy (Marshall), Cleveland (Rison), and Three County (McCrory) and would like to serve in a leadership capacity, consider joining a county advisory committee.

2. Join our email list to receive invites to upcoming community meetings.

Contact the Share Grounds Project Manager if you would like serve on an advisory board or join the contact list.

How can I sign up to use the Share Grounds facility?

The Share Grounds kitchens will open Spring 2020 with a pilot group of clients at each site. Farmers, gardeners and small food business are eligible to use the facility. To become a potential client, please fill out the Client Pre-Registration Form.

If you plan to process a food product, visit the ”How to start a food business” page to understand the steps necessary to launch your product from a shared use manufacturing facility in Arkansas.

Contact the Share Grounds Project Manager to sign up for updates on workshop opportunities and to discuss your food concept.