Cody Hopkins, who with his wife, Andrea Todt, operates Falling Sky Farm in Marshall, where they raise pigs, chickens, beef cattle, turkeys and ducks, has won the Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur Award of the Hitachi Foundation in New York. The award goes to young business people whose work helps alleviate domestic poverty. It includes $40,000, advice and technical assistance and the support of partner investors.
Falling Sky Farm products are often sold at Argenta Market and Hopkins heads up the Conway Locally Grown online farmers' market.
The press release from Hitachi, which held an event honoring its Yoshiyama award winners in New York, quoted foundation CEO Barbara Dyer as saying that “Falling Sky Farm shows us that we need not make a choice between purpose and profit, and that business innovation in the social realm is abundant.”
From Hopkins and Todt:
“Our work goes beyond farming. We’re here to help restore our community's identity and ensure that a good day’s work deserves a good, sustainable livable wage,” adds Hopkins. Falling Sky Farm’s pay structure is 38% above the federal minimum wage. They also serve as a catalyst for more than 35 other farmers in getting food to market and where livelihoods can be scant. “We’re particularly proud that we’re able come back to rural Arkansas and give back to the community that raised us,” said Andrea Todt.
Todt grew up outside Marshall and graduated from Earlham College in Indiana with a degree in outdoor education and a minor in biology. Hopkins grew up in Van Buren and moved to Searcy County in 2003 to work at Serenity Farm Bakery. He holds a physics degree from Hendrix College.