Natchez Farmers Market

Description:

Alcorn State University, in cooperation with the City of Natchez and Adams County officials, established a farmers/crafter market in the City of Natchez. This market serves as a central point where limited- resource farmers, handicrafters, and others can sell their product. Natchez is a fast growing tourist city; therefore, the market was conceptualized. Located near historic downtown Natchez at 199 St. Catherine Street, the market serves as a tourist attraction.

The overall objective of the market is to provide an opportunity for limited- resource farmers and others from southwest Mississippi to market nontraditional crops and exotic spices. In addition, Alcorn State University will continue to pursue the production and marketing of organic vegetables and spices and organic vegetables.

The Natchez Farmers Market is governed by an Advisory Board. This board is responsible for setting policies, procedures and other rules or regulations governing the farmers market. The market manager is responsible for coordinating all activities and enforcing all guidelines and policies set forth by the Advisory Board.

A collaborative effort between the Mississippi Commission of Agriculture and Commerce and the Mississippi State Department of Health WIC Program, the Mississippi Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program begin in the state in 1998, and is a unique program that was introduced for two purposes - to provide access to Mississippi grown fruits and vegetables for participants of the Senior Program. In addition, to promote crops and the growers who produce and sell them at the local farmers’ markets throughout Mississippi.

Each year the farmers receive a Program Guide for Farmers, a manual that consist of guidelines that govern the farmers. Funded federally by the USDA with matching funds from the State of Mississippi, the guidelines have been set mostly by USDA.

Planned Program:

The Small Family Farm Enterprise Financial Analysis, Management, and Marketing Distribution Planned Program focuses on increasing farmers/vendors skills; increasing their profit margins; increasing repeat customers and increasing market vendor for farmers market throughout the state of Mississippi.

The program training for farmers/vendors throughout the state of Mississippi provides them with tools and techniques they can use to increase the visibility and profitability by making changes in how they price, and display their produce/products. In addition, the program provides them with policies and procedures to follow when marketing and selling at their local farmers market. This will make for a profitable and enjoyable part of their farm and business.

They will, also, be provided with research-based market analysis and an understanding of the economic environment, and marketing in a global setting that is constantly changing.

Joint extension and research studies, extension programming and training will focus on addressing problems associated with enterprise and market selections. Extension, research and outreach programs and training will be put in place with the ultimate goal of enhancing the economic viability and profitability of farmers/vendors at farmers markets throughout the state of Mississippi.

Staff Members:

Helen D. Brooks - Interim Marketing Coordinator
601-442-4648 or 601-807-0376
Email: brooks@alcorn.edu