Key Family Vegetables featured on national farm agency page

Earlier this month, a leader in Mississippi Delta Council’s Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program (BRFDP) and U.S. Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, was featured in #fridaysonthefarm, an online learning project of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Andrew Key owns and farms four acres and is building the business, Key Family Vegetables in Crenshaw, MS. NRCS and the[…]

Beginning Mississippi Delta Farmers Grow for Major Retailer and More

MDCFWOI’s Beginning Farmers have a new agreement with a local Wal-Mart to sell yellow straight neck squash, which is also being sold at our Crossroads Farmers Market in Clarksdale. These samples are from beginning farmer Marvin Weatherby, who farms in Falcon, MS. Mississippi Delta Council is working on agreements with Headstart centers, schools, and prisons[…]

What’s growing in the Delta

Last week, we had kale, cabbage, cucumbers, kale, summer squash, fat red cherry tomatoes, asian eggplants, homemade jams, cooking herbs, and fresh eggs. This weekend, we expect peas, sweet corn, and more squash and cukes. Our growers are farming all kinds of greens, peas, butter beans, green beans, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew. Chemical[…]

Starting up our 2017 Season

Getting set up and ready, under the canopy that features our market logo and is necessary in the heat of a Mississippi Delta summer. Not fancy yet, but wait until the place is set up and spilling over with fresh Delta-grown, chemical-free produce. Mississippi Delta Council Crossroads Farmers Market Summer 2017 – Opening June 10,[…]

Farmworkers to Increase Farming Income

Dec. 10, 2016 – Mississippi Delta Council for Farm Worker Opportunities, Inc. hosted evaluation sessions and entrepreneur training for beginning farmers and ranchers at its facility in Clarksdale, MS. The events prepare participants both for starting or improving their own independent direct-to-consumer sales micro businesses and for participation in a collective program aggregating produce for sale to[…]

School District Signs On as Customer for Our Farmers

Big news for us and our program of aggregated produce sales: Quitman County School District contracted with us to order 300 pounds of mustard and turnip greens from MDCFWOI’s Beginning Farmers. That’s a lot of healthy eating in schools in our area of the Mississippi Delta. School cafeterias in this part of the country still cook,[…]

Delta Farming Start: A Beginning Farmer & Rancher Program

This week, our staff participated in the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program (BFRDP) Project Directors Meeting, hosted by USDA and Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). We had a chance to present a few highlights from year one of our BFRDP project, Delta Farming Start. In this three-year project, we provide basic business training (including a[…]

Improving the Market Customer Experience

With some hands-on help and practical ideas from our program and evaluation consultants (who happen to have designed and run a beautiful handmade soap (and more) business in Tucson, AZ), we’re upgrading and reorganizing the look of the market. Prettier looks (especially with our visiting colleague and grants management specialist Juan Pesquiera standing behind the crates), uniform[…]

Fresh Eggs

Ernestine and Dorfus Young, a husband and wife team participating in our Delta Farm Start program deliver eggs to Sweet Magnolia Gelato in Clarksdale, MS. The Youngs and Sweet Magnolia’s founder Hugh Balthrop met through an MDCFWOI quick business planning workshop funded by USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture and conducted by DRAResources and ChangeMatters. Mr. Balthrop is inspired[…]

Youth Grower Opportunity and Market Program

  MDCFWOI youth growers and mentors participated in the local Producers Meeting plus processing training and tour of Alcorn State University’s vegetable processing facility (April 7, 2016). They are pictured standing underneath the Marks Mule Train commemorative mural painted by our friend and local painter, musician, and art teacher Rosalind Wilcox. At the Delta Regional Mule Train Market &[…]

Clifton Lockett’s Produce Garden

Clifton Lockett is one of our DeltaFarmStart participants. His family has been involved in farming for generations. His farming operation is being mentored and advised from Tougaloo College FarmAid program Alcorn State University. Might not look like much yet…it’s early in the season. But farming takes patience! C

Youth Agriculture Entrepreneur Program

With one of the highest unemployment rate in nation, the Mississippi Delta is a tough place for an aspiring teen to find a summer job. At MDCFWOI, we are working to create a more positive future for our community and that’s why MDCFWOI developed the Youth Grower Opportunity and Market program. The Youth Grower Opportunity and Market Program[…]

Delta FarmStart Participants Get Ready for the 2016 Season

In this post, we’re sharing a few more snapshots of some of the things happening in February, as participants in Mississippi Delta Council’s Delta FarmStart farmworker microenterprise program gets going in 2016. The program, which is funded by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program (BFRDP) helps farmworkers and individuals new to[…]

Business Plan Workshop for Beginning Farmers

  Our two-day workshop, February 11-12, 2016, on basic business planning focused on break-even analysis to determine how long it will take for a new farming or ranching business to start making money. We worked together to answer these questions for each participant: Is there a business in this business? and What $500 investment in the business will[…]

Delta Farm Start, a Beginning Farmer Rancher Program

In a pilot project funded by USDA’s Beginning Farmer Rancher Program, MDCFWOI provided business planning support and assistance to 21 selected participants who represent limited resource, socially-disadvantaged farm and ranch or farm labor backgrounds.  Within workshop curriculum developed for the program and tailored to the selected group of participants, MDCFWOI introduced and tested an “Estimated Profit”[…]