Monthly Archives: June 2015

Save the Date! Farm to School Workshop


Regional Farm to School Workshop

July 28, 2015


Forrest County Extension Office

What is Farm to School?

Farm to School enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and preschools.


Want to learn more?

Attend this informative workshop and get connected to schools and growers in your area!

Who should attend?

  • School Nutrition Directors
  • Teachers
  • School Administrators
  • Farmers/Producers
  • Parents interested in students eating locally-grown food
  • Extension Agents
  • Food and Nutrition educators


Regional Farm to School Workshop_hburg_3

Find local food!

Find local food!

Find your local farmers market, CSA or food hub – and make sure your operation is listed!

What a great time of year to visit your local farmers market! From blueberries and strawberries to the first tomatoes, farmers markets are full of fresh ingredients that you can use in your favorite summer recipes. The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service maintains four Local Food Directories online, including the National Farmers Market Directory, which includes 8,200 farmers markets and provides information on their locations, operating hours, and other details. But that’s not all – check out the other directories, and make sure that your operation is included:

  • USDA’s National Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) Enterprise Directory – A CSA is a farm or network of farms that offers consumers regular deliveries of locally-grown farm products during harvest season on a subscription or membership basis.
  • USDA’s National Food Hub Directory – A Food Hub is a business that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of food products to multiple buyers from multiple producers, to strengthen the ability of these producers to satisfy local and regional wholesale, retail, and institutional demand.
  • USDA’s National On-Farm Market Directory – An On-Farm Market is a farm market managed by a single farm operator that sells agricultural products directly to consumers from a location on their farm or on adjacent property.
  • USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory – Farmers markets feature two or more farm vendors selling agricultural products directly to customers at a common, recurrent physical location.
  • Mississippi MarketMaker – -MarketMaker is a national network of states that connect farmers and fishermen with food retailers, grocery stores, processors, caterers, chefs, and consumers.

Know Your Farmer Know Your Food Compass Map Updated!


kyfkyf compass map

When was the last time you looked at the KYF2 Compass Map? It’s now updated and easier to use! The Compass Map shows USDA and other federal investments in local food in your community and around the country – plus data on farmers markets, food hubs, and more. Zoom in on your city or town or search the map by keyword to see how other communities are using federal resources to do innovative work on local foods. Explore this comprehensive tool and other resources from USDA on the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food website.

Most Americans Could Eat Locally, Research Shows

Most Americans Could Eat Locally, Research Shows

Farmland mapping project indicates more than 90 percent of U.S. could eat food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes, helping economy and making agriculture more sustainable.feedable-cities

June 1, 2015
Quick Facts:
A project by UC Merced Professor Elliott Campbell mapped the potential of every American city to obtain food locally.
Research shows unexpectedly large current potential for productive farmland.
Plant- or animal-based diets can change the percentage of people who can eat locally.

Professor Elliott Campbell

Professor Elliott Campbell

MERCED, Calif. — New farmland-mapping research published today shows that up to 90 percent of Americans could be fed entirely by food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes.Professor Elliott Campbell , with the University of California, Merced, School of Engineering, discusses the possibilities in a study entitled “The Large Potential of Local Croplands to Meet Food Demand in the United States Opens a New Window..” The research results are the cover story of the newest edition of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, the flagship journal for the Ecological Society of America, which boasts a membership of 10,000 scientists.

Elliott Campbell’s research is making an important contribution to the national conversation on local food systems,” influential author and UC Berkeley Professor Michael Pollan said. “That conversation has been hobbled by too much wishful thinking and not enough hard data — exactly what Campbell is bringing to the table.”

The popularity of “farm to table” has skyrocketed in the past few years as people become more interested in supporting local farmers and getting fresher food from sources they know and trust. Even large chain restaurants are making efforts to source supplies locally, knowing more customers care where their food comes from.

Farmers markets are popping up in new places, food hubs are ensuring regional distribution, and the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill supports local production — for good reason, too,” Campbell said. “There are profound social and environmental benefits to eating locally.”

Local food potential has declined over time, which Campbell said was an expected finding, given limited land resources and growing populations and suburbanization.

The surprise, though, was how much potential still remains.

Campbell's map shows the percentages of people who could eat locally in all areas of the country.

Campbell’s map shows the percentages of people who could eat locally in all areas of the country.

Most areas of the country could feed between 80 percent and 100 percent of their populations with food grown or raised within 50 miles. Campbell used data from a farmland-mapping project funded by the National Science Foundation and information about land productivity from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.With additional support from the University of California Global Food Initiative, he found there is enough land to assure that eating locally doesn’t have to be a passing fad.

These results are very timely with respect to increasing interests by the public in community-supported agriculture, as well as improving efficiencies in the food-energy-water nexus,” said Bruce Hamilton, program director for NSF, which supports a spectrum of emerging technologies Opens a New Window.that might help alleviate growing agricultural demands.

Campbell and his students looked at the farms within a local radius of every American city, then estimated how many calories those farms could produce. By comparing the potential calorie production to the population of each city, the researchers found the percentage of the population that could be supported entirely by food grown locally.

The researchers found surprising potential in major coastal cities. For example, New York City could feed only 5 percent of its population within 50 miles but as much as 30 percent within 100 miles. The greater Los Angeles area could feed as much as 50 percent within 100 miles.

Diet can also make a difference. For example, local food around San Diego can support 35 percent of the people based on the average U.S. diet, but as much as 51 percent of the population if people switched to plant-based diets.

Campbell’s maps suggest careful planning and policies are needed to protect farmland from suburbanization and encourage local farming for the future.

Click on the image for a larger version.Opens a New Window.

Click on the image for a larger version.

“One important aspect of food sustainability is recycling nutrients, water and energy. For example, if we used compost from cities to fertilize our farms, we would be less reliant on fossil-fuel-based fertilizers,” Campbell said. “But cities must be close to farms so we can ship compost economically and environmentally. Our maps provide the foundation for discovering how recycling could work.”

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Blueberry Jubilee–Poplarville

Blueberry Jubilee–Poplarville

Blueberry Jubilee
June 13, 2015

The Blueberry Jubilee is an arts and crafts fair held the second Saturday in June of each year. Located in downtown Poplarville, Mississippi, the Blueberry Jubilee attracts about 10,000 visitors each year. The Jubilee features arts & crafts, storytelling, live entertainment, lots of food, and down home southern hospitality.

One of the Best Fields for New College Graduates? Agriculture.


From the USDA…

Release No. 0135.15
Contact:  Amanda M. Hils (202) 720-3359

One of the Best Fields for New College Graduates? Agriculture.

Nearly 60,000 High-Skilled Agriculture Job Openings Expected Annually in U.S., Yet Only 35,000 Graduates Available to Fill Them

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new report showing tremendous demand for recent college graduates with a degree in agricultural programs with an estimated 57,900 high-skilled job openings annually in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment fields in the United States. According to an employment outlook report released today by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Purdue University, there is an average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher in agriculture related fields, 22,500 short of the jobs available annually.

“There is incredible opportunity for highly-skilled jobs in agriculture,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Those receiving degrees in agricultural fields can expect to have ample career opportunities. Not only will those who study agriculture be likely to get well-paying jobs upon graduation, they will also have the satisfaction of working in a field that addresses some of the world’s most pressing challenges. These jobs will only become more important as we continue to develop solutions to feed more than 9 billion people by 2050.”

The report projects almost half of the job opportunities will be in management and business. Another 27 percent will be in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas. Jobs in food and biomaterials production will make up 15 percent, and 12 percent of the openings will be in education, communication, and governmental services. The report also shows that women make up more than half of the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment higher education graduates in the United States.

Other highlights of the reportThis is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website. include:

  • While most employers prefer to hire graduates of food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment programs, graduates from these programs only fill about 60 percent of the expected annual openings. Even as enrollments in these programs increase and the job market becomes somewhat more competitive, good employment opportunities for the next five years are expected.
  • Growth in job opportunities will be uneven. Employers in some areas will struggle to find enough graduates to fill jobs. In a few areas, employers will find an oversupply of job seekers.
  • Expect to see a strong employment market for e-commerce managers and marketing agents, ecosystem managers, agricultural science and business educators, crop advisors, and pest control specialists.
  • Job opportunities in STEM areas are expected to grow. Expect the strongest job market for plant scientists, food scientists, sustainable biomaterials specialists, water resources scientists and engineers, precision agriculture specialists, and veterinarians.

The report, Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Agriculture, Renewable Natural Resources, and the Environment, United States, 2015–2020This is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website., is the eighth in a series of five-year projections initiated by USDA in 1980. The report was produced by Purdue University with grant support from NIFA.


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