Mississippi News

Gipson addresses local food opportunities and resources for consumers and farmers

Credit: Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce

Photo: Mississippi Ag Commissioner Andy Gipson discussed sources of local food and five resources available through the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce that consumers can use to find local products. (MDAC photo)

Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson has addressed local food opportunities and resources available for consumers and farmers. As Mississippi enters its peak produce season, Gipson reminded consumers of the benefits of purchasing local foods and ways consumers can find local products.

“As I travel the state, people want to know ‘Where can I buy local food?’ I want consumers to know that Mississippi has an abundant and available local food supply that can be found across the state right now such as in farmers markets that are currently in their prime season,” said Gipson. “We are excited about promoting farmers markets and other local food opportunities. Farmers are hardworking people, working and persevering through tough times like the pandemic and storms that we have faced, and buying from these local farms also benefits our families.”

Gipson discussed sources of local food and five resources available through the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) that consumers can use to find local products:

Farmers markets provide an opportunity for consumers to purchase local produce and other food products including meat, dairy and eggs. Over 60 farmers markets can be found throughout Mississippi. The Mississippi Farmers Market in Jackson, which is operated by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, is open on Thursdays seasonally from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. year-round.  A listing of farmers markets can be found at msfarmersmarket.com.

Many of the 110 agritourism operations in Mississippi include u-pick farms. These unique farms allow visitors to pick the fruits and vegetables they want. This is a great way to purchase produce that can be frozen and preserved for the future. To find an agritourism operation, visit msagritourism.org and download the Mississippi Agritourism mobile app.

  • Farmers can register to sell, and consumers can buy locally from farmers at the Mississippi Farm Marketplace.

The Mississippi Farm Marketplace is an online portal developed by MDAC to connect farmers and consumers looking to purchase direct from growers. The Mississippi Farm Marketplace website allows farmers to list their available commodities for sale direct to the public, as well as labor needs on their farms through the job listings. The Mississippi Farm Marketplace is free to the public and easily accessible via computer or smart phone. Find fresh produce or advertise agricultural commodities by registering at msfarmmarketplace.com.

  • Subscribe to the in-print and online bimonthly Mississippi Market Bulletin at msmarketbulletin.org

The Mississippi Market Bulletin is the state’s #1 agricultural newspaper that provides the latest agriculture news and updates, while also directly connecting buyers and sellers from around the state. Currently, the Mississippi Market Bulletin services over 35,000 paying subscribers across the United States and runs an average of 2,500 ad listings per issue for various agriculture commodities around the state. To learn more about the Mississippi Market Bulletin, visit msmarketbulletin.org.

  • Shop the best of everything Grown, Raised, Crafted and Made through Genuine MS® at genuinems.com.

Genuine MS® is a state branding initiative to promote and bring attention to the incredible range of Mississippi products. At genuinems.com, the public can find locally produced products from 353 members located around the state and includes farms, ranches, agritourism operations and small businesses. The Genuine MS® Store, located inside the Mississippi Farmers Market, features a selection of over 275 Genuine MS® products. The store is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Genuine MS® giftboxes can be purchased online. For more information, visit genuinems.com and follow Genuine MS® on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Gipson encouraged farmers looking for market opportunities to participate in the Local Food Assistance Program.  MDAC has partnered with the three Feeding America affiliated food banks to procure locally produced food, including foods purchased from socially disadvantaged farmers, and distribute this food to identified underserved communities through their networks in all 82 counties. Farmers and other food producers and processors that are interested in potentially marketing their products through this program should register their farm or business in a directory developed by MDAC at mdac.ms.gov/msfp/.

Commissioner Gipson also reminded the public that the dates of the 2023 Mississippi State Fair will be Oct. 5-15. Entertainment acts will be announced in the upcoming days at msstatefair.com and on Mississippi State Fairgrounds’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Local Food Sources:

To watch the press conference in its entirety visit, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkwudlP73t0. Visit mdac.ms.gov to learn more about the various opportunities and resources available to the public through the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce. 

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