HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Hub City Farmers' Market began five years ago as a community partnership between local farmers and The University of Southern Mississippi and is back this year as the Pine Belt Farmers' and Artisans' Market with more vendors, musicians, arts and crafts, and farmers.
The market will open at 4 p.m. each Thursday starting April 17 at Town Square Park.
"This is an evolution, extending what's been in place," said Dr. Timothy Rehner, School of Social Work assistant director and professor at Southern Miss. "It's always our hope, with any project, that it will grow and gain enough momentum to run on its own."
The market will host an "open mic, picking-party, jam session" open to all musicians. The Mayhem String Band from Oxford, Miss., will perform on opening day.
"The market is not just for farmers and people looking for produce. It will feature a wide variety of fresh produce and prepared foods, arts, crafts and any other thing a person believes other people would like to buy," said Chris Cagle, this year’s market manager and owner of New Yokel Market and Side Door Cafe in downtown Hattiesburg. "The name change reflects this new approach to the market, a renewed commitment to community building in general and Hattiesburg's role as the center of the Pine Belt in cultural and economic terms."
The Hub City Farmers’ Market began five years ago with the help of the Indian Springs Farmer’s Association, Southern Miss School of Social Work, the Department of Nutrition and the Department of Economics, Finance and International Business.
The market was a tool for both farmers and children at the Family Network Partnership, a community-based agency sponsored by the School of Social Work. The children earned money by selling produce from their community garden, which soon grew into a full-fledged market when area farmers began selling their produce.
Recently, more partnerships have been formed for the continuation and enhancement of the market.
"Everybody has a different role to play," Rehner said. "It's a win-win for the university, city, county, citizens and the farmers."
For more information, contact Chris Cagle at 601.818.5368, or e-mail
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.