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Natchez Farmers Market holds annual appreciation luncheon

Lorman, Miss. (January 10, 2014) - Alcorn State University Extension Program Natchez Farmers Market welcomed over 50 attendees at its annual appreciation luncheon held December 20 at the Vue Hotel in Natchez, Mississippi.

Farmers, vendors and volunteers from around Adams county and neighboring communities in Mississippi and Louisiana, local elected officials, representatives of local businesses, Mississippi State University Extension Service representatives and Alcorn School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences (AREAS) administrators and staff gathered to celebrate the project’s success.

Rilondricks Breeman, area agriculture educator (Claiborne County), welcomed the audience followed by greetings from Dr. Brenda Robinson, interim area 4-H youth educator (Adams County). Mary Baker, a farmer from Natchez, delivered the invocation.

Helen D. Brooks, marketing coordinator of Natchez Farmers Market, who spearheaded the project, reflected on memorable moments in 2013.

“We were elated to show appreciation to our farmers, vendors and volunteers who help make this year’s market a success. This project provides viable means for local families to supplement their income and is a place for community members to purchase locally grown produce. We look forward to 2014 being an even grander year for us and the community.”

During the luncheon, Dr. Mattie Rasco, nutrition specialist, introduced Dr. Cindy Ayers-Elliott, president and CEO of Foot Print Farms in Jackson, Mississippi, who served as the guest speaker.

Ayers-Elliott commended the project and encouraged community members and the farmers to keep up the good work that is so important for building a healthy community.

“The Natchez Farmers Market has changed and evolved over time into a successful project”, said Ayers-Elliott. “Growing and consuming food locally means a lot for the economical stability of the community, and it is great to know where your food comes from.”

She also spoke about cash share programs availability and shared information on USDA agencies programs that assist in the farming enterprise.

Dr. Barry L. Bequette, dean and director of land-grant programs, and Dr. Dalton H. McAfee, Extension administrator, offered closing remarks followed by recognition of guests by Shirely Middleton, area 4-H Youth Educator (Claiborne County).

For information on upcoming events at the Natchez Farmers Market, please contact Helen Brooks at (601) 442-4648 or brooks@alcorn.edu .

-ALCORN-

Alcorn State University is a premier comprehensive land-grant university that develops diverse students into globally competitive leaders, and applies scientific research through collaborative partnerships that benefit the surrounding communities, state, nation, and world.