JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson is encouraging the public to consider local farmers as a source of produce, meats, dairy, honey, eggs and other food products.
“The good news during the COVID-19 emergency is that our food supply is plentiful, and our food supply chain remains operational. You can thank a farmer for that. So, while it is taking longer than normal for some grocery stores to get their shelves re-stocked, there are plenty of farmers willing to sell direct to consumers. Mississippians who don’t already routinely buy direct farm-to-table meat and produce might want to give locally-grown and raised products a try,” said Gipson.
He continued, “Several farmers markets across the state are open with growers ready to sell. Some farmers that sell to restaurants are finding themselves with an extra supply and are finding ways to sell direct to consumers as restaurants are being significantly impacted at this time. The food is healthy, delicious, local and affordable and these markets are taking steps to comply with CDC recommendations. If you need to leave the house and shop for food, add farmers markets or other participating farms to your list of potential suppliers.”
Farmers markets that are currently open or opening soon include:
- Downtown Natchez Market Pop-Up Market is open Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Forrest County Farmers Market in Hattiesburg is open Wednesdays & Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- Ocean Springs Fresh Market is open Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Oxford Community Market is open Tuesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Mississippi Farmers Market in Jackson is open Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Tate County Fresh Market in Senatobia will be open Monday – Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. beginning April 1.
- The Farmers Market at Long Beach is open Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The list of markets with location and contact information can be found at mdac.ms.gov/COVID19 and will be updated as necessary.
“Buying local is a great way to support our farmers, to support our local economies and to feed your families. I encourage the public to shop at their local farmers market and visit GenuineMS.com to make a connection with our local farmers and ranchers that work so hard to keep food on our tables,” said Gipson.
Agriculture, farms and farmers markets are considered an “essential business or operation” under Mississippi Executive Order 1463 signed on March 24, 2020, by Governor Tate Reeves.