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market Maker

In 2006, the Mississippi MarketMaker web site was established through the leadership of Dr. Kenneth Hood, Extension Professor at Mississippi State University. The Mississippi site became the sixth state MarketMaker site, which has since grown to 20 affiliated web sites across the United States, making Mississippi one of the original state partners and a permanent board member on the national MarketMaker Board.

Mississippi MarketMaker is a national web-based marketing resource tool. The program connects farmers, distributors, and food retailers to consumers and each other. Anyone with Internet access can utilize this powerful marketing tool, for free. MarketMaker is designed for people that grow food, process food, sell food, or eat food.

MarketMaker enables food producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers, access to geographically referenced data, thereby enhancing the opportunity for food and agricultural entrepreneurs to identify and develop new and profitable markets. MarketMaker also improves the efficiency and profitability of food systems, both regionally and nationally. A multi-state partnership of land-grant institutions and state agriculture agencies has formed to build a national network of interconnected MarketMaker sites. Each partner state has its own unique site, but all sites access a common database that will allow for users to conduct regional and national searches.

In 2011, Dr. Hood was approached by the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association to join in a partnership to promote healthy food menus for participating restaurants across Mississippi. The program became the “Eat Healthy Mississippi” program. It offered healthier menu selections at restaurants across Mississippi promoting fresh, locally grown foods as an alternative menu choice. MarketMaker became the link between restaurants and local farmers and a source for consumers to search for participating restaurants. The program won a national partnership award given by the Farm Credit.

If you would like more information about how to get MarketMarker started in your state, or about Eat Healthy Mississippi, please contact Dr. Kenneth Hood at hood@agecon.msstate.edu or 662-325-2155.

Mississippi MarketMaker can be accessed at the following web address: www.marketmaker.msstate.edu

Eat Healthy Mississippi can be accessed at the following web address: www.eathealthyms.com