Jody Hardin

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Jody Hardin is the owner of Hardin Farms in Grady, Arkansas, and the manager of the Argenta Farmer's Market and the Argenta Market grocery store on Main Street in North Little Rock. Hardin also plans to open an Arkansas Food Warehouse at the former site of the Prime Quality Feed Mill in the Argenta Historic District. Hardin is a fifth-generation Arkansas delta farmer.

The Argenta Market opened with eight farmers selling their produce in May 2008. Hardin's long-term goal is to create an Arkansas Food Network of markets "across the state with paid market managers who also act as market makers in their individual market regions ... so that we may organize the flows of local food through distribution channels that are focused solely on local food security."

Hardin is a former vendor at the River Market Farmer's Market. His business was called Hardin's River Mercantile, where he established the Basket-a-Month program offering locally-produced food. Said Hardin in December 2007, "We just realized that we're really wanting to do local food and the River Market is not really promoting or creating policies that are conducive to local foods or local farmers." He estimated that seventy percent of the food sold in the River Market Farmer's Market came from outside the state. "Farmers often they stop growing [sic] and start wholesaling and reselling at the market and the rules permit this." He also cited lack of parking as an immediate reason to leave Ottenheimer Market Hall in the River Market District.


  • Jody Hardin, "Certified Arkansas Farmers' Market Report #1," May 8, 2008.
  • Jennifer Barnett Reed, "Take It Slow: Socially Conscious Eating in the Post-Organic World Means Ditching the Paper Plates and Getting to Know Who Grows Your Greens," Arkansas Times, December 9, 2007.
  • Jake Sandlin, "NLR's Argenta Taking Shape: Grocery, Family Market on Drawing Board for Downtown," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 10, 2008.

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