SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Demand for local food in Missouri is strong and growing stronger, according to Pam Duitsman, nutrition and health specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
“In short, buyers want to buy more local food, consumers want to eat more local food, and growers want to grow more local food. We are trying to connect the dots to get that done, and the program we have planned for November continues that effort,” said Duitsman.
To help local farmers and producers, MU Extension and Lincoln University Cooperative Extension will be offering a three-day series of workshops beginning Thursday, Nov. 5.
“Seeds of Prosperity: Scaling Up to Meet the Demand for Local Food” will be held at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield. The program runs 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 5; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 6; and 9 a.m.-noon Nov. 7.
The last two days of the program are geared toward farmers and will include an “Introduction to GAPS” and “Preparing the Farm Food Safety Plan.” Participants may register for the full program for $70 per person or $40 for the Friday and Saturday farmer-focused session.
Complete program information and tickets are available at http://extension.missouri.edu/greene. Registration can also be completed by contacting Clarissa Hatley, MU Extension Center in Greene County, at 417-881-8909 or [email protected].
The program is sponsored by MU Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, Farmers Market of the Ozarks, Ozarks Regional Food Policy Council, Missouri Veterans Agriculture and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.
LOCAL INTEREST AND DEMAND
“Consumer interest in local food is strong and growing,” said Duitsman. “Increasingly, wholesale buyers are requesting locally grown food. To meet the demand, we need to be able to move a significant amount of locally and regionally grown food into markets like restaurants, grocers and institutions like hospitals and schools.”
Local growers, farmers and producers are interested in economically viable ways to produce more and are looking for connections with these larger stable markets to allow them to scale up their operations successfully, she said.
“By scaling up production within the region, the entire local food system is strengthened and economic development is spurred.”
For more information on this or related programs, contact Pam Duitsman at the MU Extension Center in Greene County at 417-881-8909 or [email protected].
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