USDA Assistant Secretary for Administration Visits Marks, MS Processing Facility
North Delta Produce Growers Association (NDPGA) is a cooperative serving North Mississippi (specifically the MS Delta). NDPGA members produce a variety of vegetables, such as: varieties of greens, okra, peas (southern) varieties of squash, and melons.
Assistant Secretary for Administration, Dr. Gregory Parham, visit to the facility, addressed a group that included: Karis Gutter, Deputy Undersecretary of Farm and Foreign Agriculture Service, Carlissia Graham, Special Assistant, Malcolm Shorter, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration, Carolyn Parker, Director, Office of Advocacy and Outreach and representatives from Mississippi NRCS, RD, FSA, Mississippi Association of cooperatives and Alcorn State University Extension Service by outlining the tremendous success that has occurred in Mississippi as result of the StrikeForce Initiative.
Rural Americans face many unique challenges that afford the U. S. Department of Agriculture numerous opportunities to provide assistance to help rural communities prosper. In 2010, USDA launched the StikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity....an effort to leverage partnerships in poverty-strickern rural areas to ensure that every community has equal access to USDA programs.
NDPGA is partnering with food supply chains such as Wal-Mart to support local producers. Local producers harvest crops, process them in our state of the art processing facility, and sell their produce to stores. Packaged vegetables can be found on local grocery shelves with a "Make Mine Mississippi" logo attached to them.
North Delta Produce Growers Association in conjunction with Wal-mart and Alcorn State University are teaming together to stock Wal-Mart shelves with locally grown purple hull peas. Through support provided by various USDA agencies, the North Delta Grower Association's producer-members and other small socially disadvantaged agricultural producers were able to deliver over 13,000 (18 oz. clamshells) of purple-hull peas to the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in New Albany, MS. the clam-shells were placed in over fifty (50) stores throughout Mississippi.