COB’s Allison Speaker Series Features Angela & Alan Mahan of Rabbit Ridge Farm

This week, the spring Allison Speaker Series featured Angela and Alan Mahan of Rabbit Ridge Farm in Bee Branch. They shared their expertise in business, innovation, and entrepreneurship with students and spoke of their passion to create community through agriculture, food, and experiences.

After a few opening remarks, Dr. Tracy Suter, Chair of the Marketing and Management Department, interviewed the guests.

The Mahans shared about their entrepreneurial venture called Rabbit Ridge Farm where they produce all-natural beef, pork, and poultry. The Mahans are experts on supply chain, shipping and logistics, tourism, social media, farming, land conservation, and more.

Before they began this venture together, Alan spent 28 years as a general contractor and Angela was a college professor. They enjoyed their careers, but after they married and blended their families, they were led to farming, a long-time family tradition for both.

“The defeats are tough, but the victories are sweet. One victory will propel us past ten defeats, and having a partner to share it with is even better,” Alan Mahan told students. “She [Angela] has her lane, and I have mine. We’re together every day all day, and I never get tired of it.”

Rabbit Ridge Farm is unique in their philosophies. In their pastures, they begin with the grass that feeds their animals because they believe, “we are ‘what we eat’ eats.” The micronutrients from the grass are transferred to the animals as they graze and wander. The Mahans believe in complete transparency and welcome people to come to the farm, including the “Venue” where they serve Rabbit Ridge home-grown food on site and offer rooms that allow people to stay overnight on the beautiful, peaceful farm. Rabbit Ridge also supplies restaurants with Rabbit Ridge Farms meats and sells online orders to individuals.

The Mahans were upfront about the challenges of entrepreneurship and the value of the mentors that have contributed to their journey. Angela said, “we started some revenue streams to pay the light bill. It wasn’t like ‘If you cook it, they will come.'” They shared about the many relationships they have made with visitors and other farmers, saying relationships are their favorite part of the work.

“Being an entrepreneur is a life choice, a life commitment that requires sacrifice,” added Angela.  

The College of Business was thrilled to welcome the Mahans to bring their vast expertise to our business students and allow them to ask practical questions.

Learn more about these sixth generation farmers and Rabbit Ridge Farm from the Arkansas Farm Bureau, Arkansas PBS, the Conway Area Chamber. Also be sure to check out Eric the Wonder Pig’s social media account as well as Rabbit Ridge Farm’s adventures on social media.

This event was sponsored and originally founded by Mr. Bunny Adcock, a former chair of the UCA Board of Trustees, a long-time supporter of the UCA College of Business, a known prominent business and government leader in Arkansas, and a previous Allison Series speaker himself.

The John W. Allison Entrepreneurial Speaker Series was created to expose UCA College of Business students to successful men and women who have distinguished themselves in business by their entrepreneurial abilities. All speakers are Arkansans that have been meticulously selected to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. The series is designed for a small group of select students to allow for greater interaction between the speaker and the students. Speakers for the series has previously included business and community leaders such as: John Allison, Governor Mike Beebe, Kristian Anderson, Governor Mike Huckabee, Todd Ross, Steve Strange, Alex Lieblong, Sheffield Nelson, and others.

Dr. Tracy Suter, Mr. Bunny Adcock, Alan Mahan, and Angela Mahan