When Animals Come to Dinner

Do you have  nuisance animals in your yard, garden, or farm?  This presentation will give you some ideas for developing your own animal control strategy!

You’ll learn tips for dealing with above-ground pests, below-ground pests, and fliers.  Specifically, you’ll learn about deer control and exclusion and repellents to help you control feeding damage.

Click on the link below to see the PowerPoint presentation I recently gave at the SCALE Food Safety Conference.

When Animals Come to Dinner

When Animals Come to Dinner

Food Policy Council Map Released by Center for a Livable Future

Food Policy Council Map Released by Center for a Livable Future

The Food Policy Networks project at the Center for a Livable Future just released a new map that shows the location of Food Policy Councils (FPCs) in the United States and Canada, and the locations of organizations that convene these councils at a regional level.

Check out the map here:


Mississippi Food Policy Council Mississippi

Dr. DeMarc Hickson, President
My Brother’s Keeper, 710 Avignon Drive Ridgeland, MS 39157




Independent Grassroots Coalition

Top Priorities

Education, Purchasing (Farm to School, Farm to Institution, Cottage Food Industry), Other

Notable Achievements

Through a resolution drafted and championed by the MFPC and its partners, the Mississippi; Legislature designated the first week of October as “Mississippi Farm to School Week.” In response to discussions with the Mississippi Food Policy Council (MFPC), the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) now gives wireless Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) machines to farmers market managers, allowing SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) recipients to purchase any eligible products at farmers markets. The MFPC worked with legislators to draft and pass legislation that created an Interagency Farm to School Council. The Interagency Council will facilitate the procurement and use of locally grown and locally raised agricultural products in school meals in order to improve the quality of food served in schools and to support the state economy. The MFPC worked with legislators to pass legislation exempting cottage food production operations from certain licensing requirements. This new cottage food exemption creates a viable option for in-home production of jellies, jams and other low-risk foods.

Mississippi Food Policy Council Stakeholder Survey



Please help the MS Food Policy Council better serve our state!

Originally posted on Mississippi Food Policy Council:

The Mississippi Food Policy Council (MFPC) is reviewing its history and organizational structure, monitoring the food system in Mississippi, identifying a variety of key stakeholders and resources, and analyzing a collection of information to better inform its short- and long-range plans. As part of this planning period, the Board of Directors of the MFPC is defining its focus and direction to advance its mission. We would appreciate your willingness to assist us with this process. With planning for the future of MFPC in mind, the Board of Directors is seeking your input via the following survey.

Completing the survey should only take about 10-15 minutes of your time. All responses are anonymous and will be kept private and confidential. No individual responses will be shared in any report, presentation, or publication.


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Healthy Food Access


As a member of the Mississippi Food Policy Council, I co-chair the Food Access Subcommittee with Alicia Landry of USM.  We work on a variety of topics including underserved popluations and food deserts.

Lack of access is not an issue that can be solved through a single-focused campaign. Rather, there are multiple factors that make lack of access to fresh, healthy and affordable foods a daily struggle for over 800,000 Mississippians including 200,000 children.

Factors contributing to lack of access to fresh, healthy and affordable foods:

  • Too few grocery stores in the state
  • Transportation boundaries
  • High caloric options outweigh healthy options in rural areas

I recently attended a luncheon sponsored by The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi where we discussed healthy food access and the state’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI).

Helping communities secure a grocery or convenient store where there are none is an initiative The Partnership is involved with in collaboration with The American Heart Association, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Voices for Healthy Kids. This includes the successful passage of a Healthy Food Financing bill that will allow for interested developers, grocers and other retailers to apply for grants and or loans to build, upgrade, remodel or buy equipment to a grocery or convenient stores. For more information on Healthy Food Financing please contact Langston Moore at


green veggies heart

Photo courtesy of

Check Out This New Website!



This website makes it easy to find out which legislators to contact about issues that matter to you!

Originally posted on Mississippi Food Policy Council:

This website allows you to select your state, your relevant issues (agriculture, appropriations, etc.), and then find out names and contact information for your state representatives based on key issues. There are Senate and House links so you can see parallel committees. Also, the representatives voting records, scorecards, and donors are linked to their names.

Here you go:

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40,328 schools and counting!



This is great news from the USDA F2S Census! Check it out!

Originally posted on Mississippi Food Policy Council:

The first USDA Farm to School Census showed us that by the 2011-12 school year the farm to school movement had taken hold in communities across the country, reaching more than 40,000 schools and 23.5 million students. Since then, even more schools have started buying local products and teaching children where their food comes from, so USDA is taking another pulse.

Does your school participate in farm to school activities? Make sure it gets counted! USDA is seeking updated information through the 2015 Farm to School Census now. This is an important tool for gathering information about the state of the farm to school movement to advocate for supportive policies from the local and state level to Washington, D.C. Together we’re building healthy eaters and strong local economies. Help us show that farm to school is the new normal.

The Census questionnaire was distributed to school districts through state agencies the week…

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Upcoming Event: SCALE


The Mississippi Association of Cooperatives and Alcorn State University Mississippi Small Farm & Agribusiness Center are hosting the SCALE Food Safety Conference on May 19, 2015 at the Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond, MS.  This conference will provide valuable information on food safety and food defense for Specialty Crops, Aquaculture and Livestock Enterprises (SCALE).  Registration for the conference is $25 for farmers and students and $150 for agricultural professionals. For more information, please email or call 601.877.2425.


In addition, a 2-day HACCP Training and Certification, May 18-19, 2015, for fruit and vegetable operations will be offered.  The registration fee for the 2-day HACCP training and certification is $200 per participant and space is limited to 15 participants.  If you or a staff member would like to participate in the HACCP training, please send an email to nbell@alcorn.edufood safety