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Know your farmer Know your food Small and limited resource farmers in Winston County are marketing their produce directly off their farms through a United States Department of Agriculture program called Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food. The farmers are members of the Winston County Self Help Cooperative, which gives both adults and youth the educational, informational and networking opportunities necessary to build successful farming operations. “The mission of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food program is to show consumers where their food is grown, how it is managed and how it is packaged,” said Frank Taylor, who has served as president of the Winston County Self Help Cooperative (WCSHC) since 1991. “The program teaches consumers about agriculture, but it also gives our small family farmers a market they can count on that provides them with a higher share of the food dollar.” Farmers involved in the WCSHC vegetable program learn which types of vegetables are in demand, when to plant them, how to grow them and how to effectively market them. Winston County farmers grow greens, peas, lima beans, corn, watermelons, potatoes, cabbage, English peas and tomatoes. “Seventy-five percent of our farmers sell directly off their farms,” Taylor said. “But some of them also sell through farmers markets and grocery stores and to local restaurants.” Youth involved in the vegetable program grow and sell vegetables then donate $5,500 of their profits to needy famGrowing Vegetables

By Glynda Phillips

12

MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY

JULY/AUGUST

Mississippi Farm Country  

July/August 2012

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