Published on October 14th, 2014 | by TLV News0
Mississippi Food Summit & Agricultural Revival to Explore the Future of Farming and Food November 7th – 9th
Jackson, Miss. – The Summit will be the second such convening in Mississippi in as many years that stimulates discussions around organic, sustainable, and whole foods between farmers, health practitioners, legislators, chefs, educators, students, market managers, and local food activists. “The goal of the Summit is to educate and empower Mississippians towards the continued development of local food systems which represent real solutions to some of the biggest health and economic related issues we face,” said Daniel Doyle, Executive Director of Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network (MSAN), the host organization. The event will be held at the Mississippi Agriculture & Forest Museum (1150 Lakeland Dr, Jackson, Miss.), in conjunction with the Small Town Harvest Fest, which attracts thousands of visitors daily to experience old farming and homesteading techniques.
Hundreds of local, regional, and national leaders will participate in the 2014 Summit which will take place over three days with a range of activities, beginning with half-day and full-day workshop intensives on Friday. Programming that is free to the public on Friday evening will include a town hall food policy forum and film screening of Dirt and Deeds in Mississippi. Saturday will include a farmers market and vendor fair, a children’s activity area and a daylong conference with keynote talks from Richard McCarthy of Slow Food USA, and Dr. John Ikerd, author of Small Farms are Real Farms. Saturday will close with an evening of music performances and Sunday will conclude the weekend with tours of local farms in the Jackson area.
“The Food Summit provides growers and consumers alike with technical assistance and general knowledge around the revival of local food interests,” added Doyle. MSAN has created themed programs that will occur throughout the conference and is planning to offer scholarship and/or travel assistance to farmers facing hardship who wish to attend. Emphasis around student/youth engagement will maintain a continued focus as a self-titled Youth Congress, which will discuss a variety of topics including equitable access to whole foods and the adoption of local foods in Mississippi school systems. The event is free to those with a valid student ID.
“The supply and access to fresh, local, healthy whole foods has become a vibrant conversation across the State of Mississippi and Nation,” said Event Organizer Nick Algee. “The USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory more than doubled the reported number of markets nationwide from 2004 – 2014. Our culture is beginning to understand the implications organic local food has on the health of our bodies and the environment and they are taking action,” Algee added.
For more information and registration, visit www.mssagnet.net.
The Mississippi Sustainable Agricultural Network supports farms and communities to develop economically and ecologically responsible local food systems throughout Mississippi.