October is Farm to School Month!

via FoodTank (http://foodtank.com/news/2016/10/celebrate-national-farm-to-school-month-this-october)

October is National Farm to School Month and communities across the country are celebrating the importance of farm to school programs. These programs, implemented in more than 42,500 schools in the United States, can help improve child nutrition, stimulate local economies, and educate children about where their food comes from and how to make informed food choices.

This year’s theme, One Small Step highlights the simple ways that, students, parents, teachers, nutrition professionals, food producers, and activists can make a difference by learning more about farm field trips, cooking lessons, and taste testing. The National Farm to School Network provides several resources including a toolkit on how to start and develop local farm to school programs, tips on how to ensure the sustainability of a school garden, and an overview of current and pending farm to school-related state and national policies. In addition, National Farm to School Month will highlight the different aspects of farm to school programs by focusing on a new theme every week: education, healthy school meals, farmers and producers, and the next generation.

Farm to school programs have engaged over 23.6 million students and have been shown to provide a multitude of benefits. According to the National Farm to School Network, students in farm to school programs demonstrate increased fruit and vegetable consumption, are more willing to try new foods, and exhibit improved academic outcomes. Christina Plyman, a student volunteer at Boyle County High School’s school garden in Kentucky, says“I’ve seen kids in the cafeteria eat healthier foods because their friends grew it, and they know the garden it was grown in.” Boyle County High School student garden volunteer, Trinity Sinkhorn, also praises the program, explaining “I’m taking on new leadership in our farm to school program and I’m interested in learning new approaches and finding ways to grow our activities.”

In addition to providing learning and leadership opportunities to students, farm to school programs benefit schools and the community. According to areport by UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, participating schools have reported an average increase of 9 percent in school meal participation and have increased local procurement of foods, with some schools sourcing up to 50 percent of their total purchases locally. Meanwhile, local farmers have experienced average income rises and increased market diversification. Upstream Public Health, a public health-focused nonprofit, found that for every US$1 spent on farm to school, US$2.16 is generated in economic activity benefiting the local community.

Farm to school programs may differ from school to school, but all enrich our local communities by changing food purchasing, education, and eating practices at schools and other education sites. Matthew Raiford, Executive Chef of The Farmer & The Larder in Brunswick, Georgia and a sixth generation farmer, addressed the importance of a collective effort to create strong and just local food systems at the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in June 2016. According to Raiford, “It takes more than a village. It takes villages to build better systems.” Food Tank invites you to join us and the many schools, farms, communities, and organizations around the country in celebrating National Farm to School Month this October.

Food Tank highlights a few outstanding farm to school programs happening around the country. Look who made the list!


Good Food for Oxford Schools, Mississippi: Good Food for Oxford Schools, an initiative of the Oxford School District in Oxford, Mississippi, aims to improve school meal offerings and provide nutrition education to students and their families. The program has increased the amount of local fruits and vegetables in school cafeterias and implemented nutrition education lessons in the classroom, emphasizing the importance of a healthy, nutritious diet. Outside of the classroom, Good Food for Oxford Schools offers cooking classes and educational grocery shopping trips for families.

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MFPC Quarterly Meeting Notice

The Mississippi Food Policy Council invites everyone to attend our quarterly meeting set for October 14 from 11 am – 2 pm.  The meeting will be held at the MSU CAVS Center in Canton.

We will host three presentations:

Chance McDavid, Mississippi State University  – Statewide Local Food Meetups

Keith Benson, Founder and Director of the Alliance for Sustainable Ag Production – New Food Safety certification for small to medium size producers in partnership with MSU

Dorothy Grady Scarbrough, co-lead for MS Farm to School Network – highlights and updates on healthier food for students statewide.


Lunch will be provided for a small donation.

Please RSVP to Henry Fuller at  hfuller@mbk-inc.org

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Mississippi Oyster Season to Open in October — Mississippi MarketMaker Blog

The Mississippi oyster industry underwent severe economic hardships due to the massive destruction and frequent closures of the state public oyster reefs associated with natural and technological disasters since 2005. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) reported that Hurricane Katina destroyed 90-95 percent of the state oyster resources in August 2005. MDMR also stated […]

via Mississippi Oyster Season to Open in October — Mississippi MarketMaker Blog

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Local and Regional Food Webinar – October 7th, 2016

“Local & Regional Foods: Connecting Regional Efforts” The South has seen significant activity around local and regional foods systems in the recent months. As a result, a team of Extension and research professionals have come together to create a process for connecting these efforts and growing the work across states and disciplines. Come see what […]

via Local and Regional Food Webinar – October 7th, 2016 — The VeggieDr Blog

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Register for a Local Foods MeetUp Near You!

via Register for a Local Foods MeetUp Near You! — The VeggieDr Blog

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Specialty Crop & Green Producer Workshop — The VeggieDr Blog

Mississippi Farm Bureau is hosting a Specialty Crop and Green Producer Workshop October 26, 2016 Cotton Blues Restaurant 6116 US 98, Hattiesburg 10 am – 2 pm Topics Include: Food Safety & Modernization Act FSA Loan Opportunities Grant Opportunities Market Development Labor Policy RMA Risk Management Products Worker Protection Standards To RSVP, […]

via Specialty Crop & Green Producer Workshop — The VeggieDr Blog

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Most Innovative Women in Food Named by Fortune and Food & Wine Magazines

Long-time friend of the Mississippi Food Policy Council, Emily Broad Lieb topped this year’s list of Most Innovative Women in Food!  The list, released by Fortune and Food & Wine, highlights women who had the most transformative impact in the last year on what we eat and drink.

“We considered hundreds of entrepreneurs, activists and idealists to single out those who have had the most transformative impact in the past year on what we eat and drink.” —Christine Quinlan, Elyse Inamine, Carson Demmond and Daisy Alioto

Emily Broad Lieb – Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic

According to the United Nations, the world produces more than enough food for everyone on the planet. Yet billions of pounds end up in landfills every year. Leib is taking on the hunger epidemic by focusing on legislation to address labeling and to make donating easier. “For most foods the date on the label is about freshness, not safety,” she says. “There are no guidelines at the federal level and inconsistent ones on the state level that are not based on actual science. We want to make labeling laws clearer, so when people pick up a yogurt, they know when it’s OK to eat it and when to throw it out.” This common-sense approach has the potential to transform our system, with the ultimate goal of getting more food to those in need.

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