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The Delta Regional Food Business Center is set to expand market opportunities for farmers in the Mississippi Delta



delta farmers
Goats in a farmer's field. (Photo courtesy ACU)
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The ‘Mississippi Delta Council for Farm Workers Opportunities’ Inc., a minority-led non-profit based in Clarksdale, will be supporting the Delta Regional Food Business Center, a new initiative aimed at helping producers in the Delta region create new and expanded market opportunities.

The United States Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, spoke to dozens of farmers from around the state at the Mississippi Farmers Market, where the big announcement was made. The Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure program from the USDA has allocated funds to support this new initiative.

This program is expected to increase farm income, generate high-paying jobs, and improve overall resilience in the food system. During a panel discussion, farmers shared their concerns about potential problems with the current food chain supply programs, and expressed similar fears about the new food business center.

“Some of the school districts, the policies do not allow school districts to buy from local farmers. They have to buy canned goods in order to meet their budget. So, we have to look at some of the systemic problems within the organizations,” said Secretary Vilsack. “As we finance additional opportunities for federal procurement, resources that are given to states for food banks, or school lunch programs, we are encouraging states to purchase from people like yourself.”

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