By Mandy Stanage Shoptaw | Photography by Dero Sanford | Hair by Haydon Howard with Face Your Day Xpress| Makeup by Justine Torres with Face Your Day Xpress | Wardrobe from Indigo | Shot on location at Heifer International Global Headquarters
“This is a really big year for Heifer International. It’s their 75th anniversary,” Maeghen Carter explains. “Since 1944, it has helped over 34 million families lift themselves out of poverty.” To celebrate this milestone, Heifer International has planned a three-day celebration in the Capitol City. As Urban Farm Fest Chairman, Maeghen will welcome friends and patrons to an evening of casual fun at the Heifer Urban Farm on Thursday, June 6. The other events are Feast in the Field and Goat Yoga. Proceeds benefit Heifer USA, a program that supports farmers interested in small-scale sustainable agriculture and their entrepreneurial endeavors.
“Many major philanthropic events can seem intimidating for young professionals, but Urban Farm Fest is a laid-back event with a low-ticket price that makes it attainable,” says Maeghen of the third annual event. Guests enjoy lawn games, tasty treats from food trucks, cocktails created from ingredients fresh from Heifer Urban Farm, local beers, live music, and did we mention the baby animals? That’s right, baby goats will be in attendance for selfies. “There’s no other event like this in Little Rock, and the fact that it also helps Arkansas farmers is a double-win,” Maeghen adds with delight.
Expounding on the impact Heifer has on local farmers, Maeghen explains that the international aid organization works with Arkansas farmers to build cooperatives through the Heifer USA program. Locally produced food is a key to feeding communities across the country and these farmers are vital to creating strong community-focused agri-businesses and economic growth in rural areas. Each of the anniversary weekend events in Little Rock is committed to an environmentally friendly approach that includes composting leftover food and liquid.
“I started as a volunteer at the first Urban Farm Fest and was involved with the committee for the second year. I loved seeing what a fun and impactful event it was and I knew it was something I wanted to continue being involved in as it grew,” says Maeghen, a native of Michigan who attended Harding University and now works with Stone Ward. “Not being from here, it was important to me to get involved locally and what better way than through volunteering?” She is also a member of the Junior League of Little Rock and volunteers with the Downtown Little Rock Partnership.
“Everything Heifer does is intentional. From the design of the building, to how every dollar is used, they make sure everything they do has a purpose and a cause. This is how they continue to benefit people both locally and around the world,” Maeghen notes, with a reminder that Heifer Urban Farm Fest is intentionally a perfect date night or evening out with friends that offers an exclusive opportunity to experience the organization’s beautiful gardens.