ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl visited Corinth Friday as part of a 13-state Appalachian tour highlighting the economic potential of local food systems.
“Oftentimes in Appalachia, we’re chasing the old market,” said Gohl. “This is a new market.”
At the new farmers market shed on Fulton Drive, Gohl spoke with farmers Junior Duncan and Charlie Crum about their experience selling to the public while customers continued to come in for tomatoes and other vegetables. Duncan said the market gets a steady flow of people looking for quality produce.
“If you want something grown in other countries, you can go to the store,” said Duncan. “That’s what people come down here looking for is stuff that we grow.”
Gohl said local food markets have shown significant growth in the last few years.
By supporting the infrastructure, said Gohl, “We can support the growers, we can support nutrition and keep the food economy local, keeping the money here in Alcorn County so that it can support your growers, it can support your workers, it can support the restaurants, it can support a whole variety of things.”
In addition to farmers markets, the ARC has supported things such as canneries and training programs for culinary workers.
Gohl had a brief driving tour of downtown and took a stroll along the developing Wick Street area, getting a look at one of the renovated building interiors and the planned green space location at Wick and Franklin.
City, county and Alliance officials accompanied Gohl on the tour.
ARC is a regional economic development agency that provides funding for several hundred projects each year.