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Have you heard the news?

Slow Food of Southwest Missouri is celebrating “Local Week,” this Friday with their first Farm to Table dinner of the year, followed by Movies at the Moxie. What better way to spend a Friday night, right?

There  is a spring dinner featuring local producers Real Farm Foods, OOVDA Winery and Suncrest Farm. Tickets for the farm to table dinner can be purchased at Homegrown Foods and Pickwick House, 611 S. Pickwick and tickets are $40 per person or $15 for children 12 and younger. 

The group is also highlighting local restaurants that serve locally sourced foods like the Farmer’s Gastropub, Tea Bar & Bites and Mama Jean’s Deli.

If you want to learn more call 417-827-4207.

Dinner from local farms, local drinks and a movie – sound like a great date night!

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The Market Lady Video Producer

The Market Lady Video Producer Kelsie Young

It takes a team to accomplish a goal.  Our team consists of three ladies who each bring their own flare to The Market Lady Project

Our Video Producer, Kelsie Young, is a sophomore Agriculture Communications major at Missouri State University. She attended Aurora High School where she took an interest in media productions and agriculture classes, as well as the FFA. In 2005, Kelsie and her family started a small cow-calf operation.

Through the FFA, Kelsie quickly found a passion for agriculture. FFA brought her many opportunities. She has traveled Missouri doing leadership workshops and has been an advocate for agriculture as a State FFA officer in 2009-10. Kelsie even had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan, for an agricultural tour, to further her learning of the industry.

She has a passion for educating others about agriculture and cannot wait to help spread the word of agriculture. Kelsie is interested in media productions as well as public relations for a future career and that is what brought her to The Market Lady Project.  I, The Market Lady, held internship interviews to find a person that fit our project.  After talking with Kelsie, it was clear where her passion was and that she would make a perfect fit to our team. 

Kelsie has many years of experience filming and editing videos and her lively personality works well with our team.  Look for Kelsie out and about while shooting videos across the Ozarks this year!

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We have an invested interest in The Market Lady Project and here is why.

Nutritionists agree that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables would result in a healthier population. The first end objective of our project is to improve the health of the population in Southwest Missouri. We hope to achieve this through increased consumption of local specialty crops sold through farmers markets. The means to achieve increased consumption is education of adults and children as to the nutritional value, availability, selection and preparation of local specialty crops.

The second end objective of our project is to improve the financial success of specialty crop farmers in Southwest Missouri. This will be achieved through increased sales of specialty crops at local farmers markets. We want to see our local farmers flourish across the Ozarks.

With the increasing costs of health care and the social and personal costs of poor health, our project has the potential to impact issues of local and national concern. The White House initiative to reduce childhood obesity and the USDA initiative Know Your Food, Know Your Farmers tie directly to this project. The increasing interest locally and nationally in the culinary arts and in fresh high quality produce makes this project extremely timely. But, we need your help to make this project successful!

Get out and Buy Local Ozarks!

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In 2010 Webb City Farmers Market Master Eileen Nichols came to me with the idea for a pilot project, The Market Lady.com. Eileen explained to me that the project would educate local Southwest Missouri consumers on ways to eat healthy and local, while increasing sales of specialty crops at area farmers markets. Therefore, the writing began and in March 2010, we submitted a grant proposal to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, “Increasing Child and Adult Nutrition Knowledge and Consumption of Specialty Crops in Southwest Missouri through Social Media and Video Marketing.” Here we are in March 2011 and the project is in its early stages and will run throughout this year.

What we hope to accomplish:
Southwest Missouri has a substantial and growing number of farmers markets, however the markets serve only a fraction of the region’s consumers. Many residents are unaware of the nutritious specialty crops available through farmers markets. Many don’t know how to select and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables or the importance of incorporating fresh produce into their diets.

This grant projects proposes to:
1.) Develop and distribute regional farmers market video segments and websites/social media that will encourage healthy eating habits for both adults and children and increase consumer awareness of fresh, local specialty crops available at local farmers markets and
2.) Educate students on the importance of eating healthy with a lesson plan, based on the 5 a Day Program, that will be made available nationwide.

TheMarketLady.com will provide information through television videos aired weekly in the Joplin and Springfield viewing areas and through social media marketing, in turn increasing the consumption of Southwest Missouri specialty crops and expanding market share. The interactive website will serve as the hub of consumer information to increase regional knowledge about where to buy local foods and preparation and cooking instructions for specialty crops in the Southwest Missouri.

Stay tuned for more information about our exciting project!

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