In the Food Modernization Safety Act's current form, farmers making less than $500,000 in annual sales are exempt from stricter food-safety regulations.
Photo by File Photo
A new Mississippi law this year allows cities and counties to now donate money to local farmers markets.
Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB 535 into law late last month, giving county and city authorities the go-ahead to donate funds to their local farmers markets. The law applies to farmers markets within the city or county that are certified by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.
The Mississippi Food Policy Council, which supported the bill, said farmers markets increase access to healthy food and keep money in the state. Roy Mitchell, who chairs MFPC, said he thinks some local governments will come through to support farmers markets despite already-tight budgets.
"I think communities recognize that investments in farmers markets are investments in your community," he told the Jackson Free Press. "... It's a win-win--you're stimulating the economy, and you have a healthier population."
Rep. Toby Barker, R-Hattiesburg, sponsored the bill.
"With the signing of HB 535, local communities will be more empowered to take ownership of the health of their communities," Barker said in a statement. "I hope and expect that we will see more local and certified farmers markets throughout the state."
MDAC lists two certified farmers markets in the Jackson-metro area: the Mississippi Farmers Market (929 High St.) and the Livingston Farmers Market (Corner of Highway 463 and Highway 22, Madison).
JSU Promotes Engineering
Jackson State University is now taking applications from high-school students for a pre-engineering program this June.
Students will participate in a four-week program that will include classes and lab activities designed to teach them about physical science as it relates to engineering. The program will use Robotics Educational Board (Lego NXT) as a learning platform.
The program targets minority high-school students who plan to major in science, technology, engineering or mathematics--the STEM fields.
The summer program is funded by UNITE, which is part of the Army's Youth Science Cooperative Outreach Agreement and is coordinated by the Technology Student Association. UNITE funds programs for talented high-school students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines.
The deadline to apply is May 10. For more information, contact Dr. Francis Tuluri at 601-979-8262 or [e-mail missing], or visit JSU's website.
Congressman to Speak at GJCP
Congressman Bennie Thompson will speak at the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership's Membership Luncheon May 21.
Thompson, who represents Mississippi's 2nd Congressional District, is currently serving his ninth term in Congress and is up for re-election this November.
The luncheon will be held at noon on May 21 at the Hilton Jackson on County Line Road. Seats are $35 for chamber members and $40 for others. Reservations are required; call Debi Green at 601-948-7575 or email [e-mail missing].
Rainbow Offers Discounts for Survey Input
Rainbow Natural Grocery Cooperative (2807 Old Canton Road) has a survey up on its website asking customers and members of the community for input on its image.
In exchange for taking the survey by today, Rainbow is offering participants a coupon for the shareholder discount at High Noon Cafe.
In Case You Missed It
A bill that would have let Jackson levy a small sales-tax increase for infrastructure improvements died on a procedural move a few days before the end of the 2012 legislative session.
Jackson is planning a medical corridor along Woodrow Wilson Avenue between Interstate 55 and Interstate 220.
Developers say a "One Lake" flood-control plan will create 600 jobs and encourage more people to visit downtown.