Thursday, July 31, 2008

Director of Agriculture Celebrates Eat Local, Buy Missouri

Don SteenReminding consumers of the many locally grown food products available at farmers’ markets, u-pick locations and grocery stores across Missouri, Director of Agriculture Don Steen prepared for the upcoming Missouri Farmer’s Week, Aug. 3-9, 2008, today by eating all locally grown foods. On the Eat Local, Buy Missouri tour, Steen visited six agricultural locations providing local fresh foods to consumers each day.

“Celebrating the safe, abundant food supply that Missouri farmers provide to us each day is important. We are lucky to be in a part of the world where we can rely on affordable foods that are safe to eat,” said Don Steen. “Missouri farmers, as we have seen today, continue to provide consumers locally grown, fresh foods at farmers’ markets and other locations. Farmers’ Market week is a great time to join in the support of Missouri agriculture. I encourage all Missourians to pick a day to purchase and eat locally grown products.”

At an upcoming event at the Missouri State Fair on Aug. 9, Steen will present a proclamation signed by Gov. Blunt to the farmers’ market industry declaring Missouri Farmers’ Market Week.

“I am declaring Aug. 3-9 2008 Farmers’ Market Week in Missouri to show support for the many farmers that continue to strengthen our food supply,” said. Gov. Matt Blunt. “Farmers markets also help to promote nutrition education, wholesome eating habits, and better food preparation, as well as boost the community’s economy.”

Missouri is home to over 140 farmers’ markets in the state. The Columbia Farmers’ Market, where more than 6,000 people gather on a Saturday morning, was one location that Steen visited during the tour to purchase food products to prepare for dinner. “We were very excited to host Director Steen at the Columbia Farmers’ Market where he rang the opening bell,” said Carolyn Todd, Columbia Market Master. “Our market promotes eating local, not only the health benefits, but, buying local also keeps your dollar in your community.”

In addition to the farmers’ market visit, Steen visited Show Me Farms in Columbia to experience their Missouri beef and eggs and purchase beef from their country store. From there, Steen traveled to Peach Tree Farms in Columbia for a mid-morning snack and opportunity to view a part of this year’s bumper peach crop.

A lunch stop at Café Berlin in Columbia brought a full menu of great choices of locally grown products. All products at this location, when is season, are purchased within a 60-mile radius of Columbia.

For a taste of Missouri grapes, Steen toured the Les Bourgeois Winery vineyard and sampled one of the sparkling grape juices available to consumers. For a mid-day snack, Steen enjoyed Honey Ice Cream from Walk About Acres in Columbia and visited Boone County Farmers’ Market.

Show Me Farms, Peach Tree Farms, Les Bourgeois Winery, Walk About Acres, Boone County Farmers’ Market and Columbia Farmers’ Market are all AgriMissouri members, a program of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. For more information regarding this event, contact Misti Preston at (573) 751-8596, (573) 645-7395 or

No comments: