NCBA CLUSA and Partners to Establish Regional Farmers Market in Mississippi Delta
By Patricia Brownell Sterner, COO, National Cooperative Business Association
Seven years ago Shreveport Federal Credit Union opened a branch in Marks, Mississippi to expand their services to the broader community in the Mississippi Delta region. The credit union’s leadership embraced their unique position as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and began building alliances with other cooperative organizations with a focus on using their collective resources to address the many needs and opportunities of the region.
The credit union’s initial work led them to discussions about the establishment of a regional farmers’ market located in Marks, Mississippi. Joining with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, the primary cooperative development expert in the rural south, Shreveport FCU worked with local community leaders to further explore opportunities for community engagement.
The idea for the Delta Regional Market (a name under consideration) came about through multiple meetings with community members, mayors of several towns, and farmers in which they addressed the challenges which have caused this region to be so economically deprived. The resulting consensus has been the establishment of the Delta Regional Market as a means to overcome these challenges by providing the venue for farmers, artisans, and others to bring items to market inexpensively, allowing them to realize the financial benefits resulting from their labors and creativity. The Market will be a food hub for the entire community providing reasonably priced, fresh, locally-grown foods; creating jobs for some and for others an entertainment and a gathering place.
Partnering with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and NCBA CLUSA, Shreveport FCU recently hosted... Read more »