Jackson Free Press Article lauds the new farmers market bill

Biz Roundup: Farmers Market Boost

by Elizabeth Waibel

May 8, 2012

A new Mississippi law this year allows cities and counties to now donate money to local farmers markets.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB 535 into law late last month, giving county and city authorities the go-ahead to donate funds to their local farmers markets. The law applies to farmers markets within the city or county that are certified by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

The Mississippi Food Policy Council, which supported the bill, said farmers markets increase access to healthy food and keep money in the state. Roy Mitchell, who chairs MFPC, said he thinks some local governments will come through to support farmers markets despite already-tight budgets.

“I think communities recognize that investments in farmers markets are investments in your community,” he told theJackson Free Press. “… It’s a win-win–you’re stimulating the economy, and you have a healthier population.”

Rep. Toby Barker, R-Hattiesburg, sponsored the bill.

“With the signing of HB 535, local communities will be more empowered to take ownership of the health of their communities,” Barker said in a statement. “I hope and expect that we will see more local and certified farmers markets throughout the state.”

MDAC lists two certified farmers markets in the Jackson-metro area: the Mississippi Farmers Market (929 High St.) and the Livingston Farmers Market (Corner of Highway 463 and Highway 22, Madison).

To view the article, click here.

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