- Agronomic: soybeans
- Crop Production: conservation tillage
- Education and Training: demonstration, display, farmer to farmer, mentoring, on-farm/ranch research, workshop, youth education
- Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, cooperatives, marketing management, farm-to-institution
- Natural Resources/Environment: hedges - grass, habitat enhancement, hedgerows
- Pest Management: chemical control, cultivation
- Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, employment opportunities
Mississippi County Missouri, is located in what is known as the Bootheel of Missouri. This region of the state is in the Lower Mississippi River Delta region, and similar to other parts of the Delta is one of the poorer areas of the United States. Agriculturally, the region consists of large commercial farms; however there are opportunities for smaller niche agriculture enterprises.
With the abject poverty, there is an epidemic of obesity in the region. Even though, this is a major agriculture area, food consumption is typically fast food or at the best processed food from the local store chains. Young children may not be introduced to a healthy diet; with the exception of the meals obtained during the school day. However, as with most school systems, the food preparation is outsourced to for profit food vendors, or the school utilizes prepared food from the same vendors. Ironically, it is difficult for local food producers to sell their commodities into the local schools.
Ms. Goodin has created a new marketing technique, by organizing "edamame tasting parties". Local families are invited, edamame is cooked and served. Ms. Goodin educates the participants on proper preparation, the health benefits of the product and the method for eating. Edamame is such a new food to the area, in that people must be informed of its benefits and uniqueness. Ms Goodin has at least three of these annually, with over 100 people being educated about edamame.
Monica Goodin with the Marketing Edamame Soybeans in Southeast Missouri Project will address the following:
1. Marketing of edamame soybeans into the local schools systems.
The major focus of this project will be the movement of edamame soybeans into the local school systems. Ms. Goodin, will meet with local school officials in Mississippi and surrounding counties, she will then document the barriers to selling directly into the schools. Ms. Goodin will develop a plan, to meet the demands of the local schools, if reasonable, and then implement actions to sell this commodity into the local schools. Ms. Goodin will be able to provide samples of edamame to the local schools, for each child in that school, with the purpose of introducing school age children to this healthy snack. Ms. Goodin will work with four local schools, in which there will be over 1500 children in attendance.
2. Expansion of the edamame parties
Ms. Goodin will expand the edamame parties. She will engage other people to assist in hosting the parties. There will be 6 of these parties over the life of the grant. Each of the participants will be surveyed about edamame, indicating their perspective on this food item. The parties will be held around harvest, in that it is better to have fresh edamame.
3. Changing the eating habits of local children
As part of Ms. Goodin's efforts to introduce edamame into the local schools; she will present information on the health benefits of edamame. She will work with the health or nutrition instructors at each of the schools, to present information about healthy food, and the availability of local foods in the Bootheel of Missouri.
4. Edamame production evaluation on small acreage in Southeast Missouri
Ms. Goodin will record production costs for edamame, and then income from the sale of this food item. The movement of the production around the area will be documented and explained. This information will be evaluated.