NCAT’s Gulf States Regional Office in Jackson, Mississippi, was opened in June of 2013. Located in the Dickson Building on George Street, the offices are just a stone’s throw from the Capitol Building in historic downtown Jackson.
The Gulf States office specializes in the agricultural component of NCAT’s mission by providing information and expertise on sustainable farming for low-income, minority, and historically underserved populations. Mississippi has one of the highest poverty rates and the highest obesity rate in the nation. The Gulf States Office is working to address issues specific to the region through a range of collaborative projects that focus on sustainable agriculture and food justice.
The office regularly provides workshops, seminars, and other services throughout the five-state region, which includes Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.
Through NCAT’s ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service program, the Gulf States office offers programs for new and beginning farmers as well as information and expertise for established growers interested in transitioning to more sustainable practices. Its staff is composed of agricultural professionals with hands-on—as well as academic—knowledge and experience in organics, ruminants, and conventional small and large farms. NCAT’s ongoing mission is: “helping people by championing small-scale, local, and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities, and protect natural resources.”
The Gulf States Regional Office also hosts FoodCorps Mississippi. A FoodCorps Fellow is based out of the Dickson Building, and FoodCorps members serve at schools across the state. The service members work with school gardens, conduct hands-on nutrition education, and connect kids to local, healthy foods.
The Gulf States Regional Office welcomes inquiries by individuals and groups interested in sustainable agriculture and is always on the lookout for collaborators and partners to further that goal.