Giving THANKS for YOUR Input
Giving THANKS for YOUR Input
Over 150 community members have attended two “Using Food to Build Community” forums and dinners and one Stakeholders Meeting. Since our first Local Food Network (LFN) Steering Committee meeting on October 27, 2015, 11 committee members have met a total of 13 times.  We have distributed 6 e-newsletters and have had 6 articles in the newspaper. We have created a web page, the first Weakley County Local Food Guide, and have published a 206 page Local Food, Local Places Community Action Plan for Weakley County (request a copy). We have received a technical assistance grant through the Environmental Protection Agency with the Local Foods, Local Places Program which helped us receive the $25,000 grant from the Delta Regional Authority.  Best of all - we are officially an acronym: LFN.
Thank you for being one of the 225+ community members that are strengthening our local food system and helping us continue to grow and strengthen relationships within our network and beyond. We are trying to do a HUGE thing and we look forward to working together in 2017 to advance our recently updated LFN Goals and Actions - thanks to your input from the "Using Food to Build Community" Forums.
NextFarm® Workshop Series for Farmers
The Northwest Tennessee Entrepreneur Center (NTEC) is planning a series of workshops geared toward food production and farming businesses to provide the tools needed to grow a successful farming business both locally and regionally. More information will be available online and in the next e-newsletter.
The Farmers Tool Box
**This workshop will serve as one (1) course requirement for the 
Fruit and Vegetable sector and the Value-Added sector of Producer Diversification for

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
9 AM – 3 PM
Northwest Tennessee Development District, 124 Weldon Drive, Martin, TN 38237
A light breakfast and lunch is included with $20 registration fee (due on-site).

Subjects include: 
  • Future Demands in the Food Chain
  • Supplying the Food Chain with Value-Added Products: How Distribution Centers Work
  • Round-table discussion on the Creation of NWTN Farmers Cooperative
  • How to Know if you are making money: To the Penny Farm Financial Records in an Hour a Week
  • Best practices from the Food Safety Modernization Act: Navigating the GAP Auditing Process and Potential to Increase Local Food Production through wholesale vending
  • Presenting your Farm as a Profitable Business to Investors
Farm-to-Consumer Marketing Best Practices
**Participants receive a free SIGN with logo design and web site page build**
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Northwest Tennessee Development District, 124 Weldon Street, Martin, TN 38237
A light breakfast and snack is included with $20 registration fee (due on-site).

Subjects include:
  • Farm-to-Consumer Marketing Best Practices
  • Social Media Best Practices
  • What's in a Logo? Designing a logo for your farm
Taste it Tuesday
The "Taste it Tuesday" program has begun as part of a new Farm-to-School Initiative in the Weakley County School System. It began in October by serving Steele Plant Farm sweet potato samples to children attending all schools in the school district. Students were surveyed their opinions (see image to the left from a Dresden Middle School participant). 
If you are a producer who is interested in providing food for this initiative, please contact Trista Snider, the Coordinated School Health Director, 731.364.3347 or by email at
Understanding the Role of Farmers Markets in Weakley County
A research study is being conducted by a joint service learning effort between UTM psychology and sociology classes under the supervision of Dr. Angie MacKewn and Dr. Aaron Rowland, from the University of Tennessee at Martin. The current study will be examining perceptions towards community Farmers' Markets within Weakley County. If you agree to participate,the questionnaire should take approximately 20 minutes. Thank you for providing your feedback to help strengthen our area Farmers Markets.
Farmers Market Perception SURVEY

UTM Student Dietetic Association teaching kids to eat healthy

On October 28, 2016, the UTM Dietetic Student Association organized a cooking demonstration and healthy eating activities with students who attend the Martin Housing Authority after school program at the Learning Enrichment Center in Martin, TN. They made sweet potato pancakes for the kids and taught them about the "Choose My Plate" healthy eating curriculum. A total of 35 elementary and middle school children participated in the program.

UTM Student Dietetic Association goals:
- To elevate members through volunteer experience with the community
- To create and promote continuous partnerships within the community and our field
- To coordinate the mission of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- To develop strong SDA membership and strong leaders

In the Photograph: (back left to right) Zach Reed, Tavarious Cleaves, Josie Wheat, Hannah Grider, Ameen Alsinan, Gerpouria Minter, Jennifer Sommerville, Hannah Carroll

Butternut squash grows from annual long trailing vines that is usually cultivated under warmer climates and used for their edible fruits, flowers, as well as seeds.It has more vitamin A than that of a pumpkin. It is rich in B-complex group of vitamins. Butternut squash seeds are a good source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids that benefit heart health. BUTTERNUT SQUASH RECIPES
Join Dine In Day!
To help encourage family meals, UT Extension FCS is teaming up with The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) to promote Dine In Day on December 3, 2016!  This day has been designated by AAFCS as a time for families to pause and enjoy a meal together. Be sure to make a commitment to "Dine In" on December 3, 2016 before you go!
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Do you have information you would like to share with the Local Food Network in the next e-newsletter? Please contact Samantha Goyret,
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