Mississippi’s First Farm to Institution Conference
Healthy Farms, Healthy People:
A Statewide Conference on Bringing Mississippi’s Food to Mississippi’s People
Early Bird Registration Deadline: October 25th
“Farm to Institution” refers to any program in which local farmers sell their products to nearby institutions. These programs are gaining popularity in Mississippi as schools, farmers and others realize their potential to improve the health and wealth of local communities. The Mississippi Food Policy Council’s Healthy Farms, Healthy People conference will give organizations and individuals across the state the tools they need to develop thriving Farm to Institution programs.
At the state’s first Farm to Institution conference you’ll learn how:
- Marketing to institutions such as schools and hospitals gives farmers access to a growing – and highly profitable – market;
- Purchasing from local farmers can give institutions an inexpensive source of tasty, healthy food; and
- Educating schoolchildren about local agricultural products can improve their health while benefiting Mississippi’s economy.
The conference will include presentations from Mississippians who have had success implementing Farm to School programs in our state, a training session for growers and institutional officials on how to implement Farm to Institution programs in their area, and a networking session for participants and speakers to connect and build projects going forward.
Speaking at the conference will be Cindy Hyde-Smith, Commissioner of Agriculture & Commerce and Dr. Mary Currier, State Health Officer, among others. The keynote speaker will be Farm to School pioneer Tony Geraci. Currently Executive Director of Memphis City Schools Nutrition Services, Geraci is the feature of a current film, “Cafeteria Man,” the story of his transformation of Baltimore City Public School’s lunch and breakfast program.
A locally sourced lunch will be prepared by Parlor Market, our partner in supporting Mississippi growers.
This meeting is a part of the Healthy Farms, Healthy People (HFHP) State Meetings Learning Community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has supported the learning community through its cooperative agreement with the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI). NNPHI has provided funding to selected state meetings and contracted with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and to provide technical assistance to meeting organizers. The views expressed during this meeting do not necessarily represent the views of NNPHI, IATP, CDC, or the Healthy Farms, Healthy People Coalition.