- State Fellow: Marlena Nip
- State Partner Supervisor: Felicia Bell
For more information, please contact Marlena.
Mississippi is the birthplace of American music, a major arena in the Civil Rights Movement, and the home of many of our nation’s most prolific voices and creative minds – Richard Wright, William Faulkner, BB King, Tennessee Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Jim Henson, David Banner and Eudora Welty. Step onto soil in the Mississippi Delta and you’ll walk over some of the most fertile ground in the country. And with Mississippi’s moderate winter temperature, there is no fallow season in our neck of the woods! However, the complicated agricultural history of the state has stripped the soil of its nutrients and left a heavy impact on both urban and rural areas.
Most adults in Mississippi are familiar with the process of growing food because of their grandmas’ backyard gardens, their families’ farms in the country and the state’s unsettling agricultural and social history. And as in many other places, most adults in Mississippi will agree that the climate of food has become increasingly unhealthy. Despite our state’s fertile soil, most of Mississippi’s food is imported from out of state, and as more and more people are alienated from the local food system, they learn to rely mostly on convenience foods . Nevertheless, there is a growing group of people around the state that is committed to healing our connection to the land through community-oriented agriculture. Volunteers from many walks of life have offered contributions to our new school gardens over the last few years, and communities and farmers are coming together around the common goal of healthy eating and living.
The National Center for Appropriate Technology—Gulf States Office is a national nonprofit with regional offices in six states, including Mississippi. Founded in 1976, NCAT’s mission is to help people by championing small-scale, local and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities, and protect natural resources. We do this through a wide variety of renewable energy and sustainable agriculture projects, most notably ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. NCAT’s Gulf States Office in Jackson is actively involved in farmer education projects and local food.