March meeting to promote Copiah farmers market

Published 4:16 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Copiah County has long been known for its production of cabbage and tomatoes.

     However, the county has not had a farmers market for locals to buy and sell goods and crops.

     That will change this year when the Copiah County Farmers Market starts in June, said David Yowell, manager of the Copiah County Farmers Market.

     A meeting for anyone interested in the market will be held on March 20 at 6 p.m. at the Gallman Fairgrounds Complex in Gallman. The event will be a dinner and have two guest speakers.

     Paige Manning, director of marketing and public relations and commerce for the Mississippi Department of Agriculture, and Will Scarborough, market manager for the Mississippi Farmers Market, will address those in attendance and answer questions.

     The inaugural Copiah County Farmers Market will be June 16. From there, it will be held every Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. until October, according to Yowell.

     He added that the start date could be moved up in the future.

     Yowell said the idea came from a group of residents of the county and went from there. Eventually, a nine-member steering committee was assembled and he was selected as manager and started his part-time duties in February.

     Yowell said at this point they are looking for fruit and vegetable farmers, backyard farmers and those who make canned or baked goods for the market.

     The market’s goals are to promote healthy eating, the farmers in the area and to get school children involved so they can learn more about agriculture and teach them entrepreneurship.

     Yowell said he has been pleased with the interest he’s seen so far from Copiah County.

     “We’ve seen solid interest so far,” said Yowell. “I’ve made some contacts already and we’re going to send out some flyers soon to let more people know about it.”

     The Farmers Market aims to help the community, said Yowell. He encouraged anyone who’s interested to contact him at 769-232-2657 or visit FarmersMarket.hazlechamber.com.

     “Our ultimate goal is to pack it full of vendors and bring economic prosperity to the community,” he said.