What drives us?
The long-term implications of Landmark Training’s efforts are to see childhood malnutrition eradicated and replaced with higher educational achievement.
Malnutrition affects many children and we feel that the elimination of malnutrition would produce significant economic benefits. We believe that if they have their nutritional needs met, many of these poor children would be capable of higher mental achievement, which translates into higher achievement in each grade, less repeated grades, fewer dropouts and resulting higher lifetime earnings for these future adults.
Mission: Our mission is to create sustainable agricultural environments in food desert communities.
Goal: Our goal is to offer a positive alternative for people to gain a measure of self-confidence and self-respect.
Vision: Our vision is to see childhood malnutrition eradicated and replaced with higher educational achievement.
Strategic Plan: Our strategic plan is to help people develop the work skills, attitude and habits that are appropriate and necessary in our competitive economy.
Tennessee 2016 SMALL FARMER of the YEAR
Small Farms have become big business and in the State of Tennessee there are over 2,000 small farmers and farm direct businesses. This year Mike and Karen Minnis, the proprietors of Landmark Farmers Market in Memphis have been selected as the 2016 Small Farmer of the Year in the State of Tennessee. Mike and Karen’s non-profit enterprise represents a unique combination of organic farming, beekeeping, a Youth Urban Farm Training Program, a food pantry and their farmer’s market. They are also a state approved food manufacturer and create various wellness products from plants grown on-site.
“Our mission is to create sustainable agricultural environments in food desert communities, our goal is to offer a positive alternative for young people to gain a measure of self-confidence and self-respect, our vision is to see childhood malnutrition eradicated and replaced with higher educational achievement, and our strategic plan is to help young people develop the work skills, positive attitudes, and good social habits that are appropriate and necessary in our competitive economy,” said Mike Minnis.
Their small farm is both a training facility and a source of nutritious food for community residents. They teach young people how to farm, provide high quality fresh food for individuals and families living in a USDA designated food desert community called Orange Mound. Plus, they sell a portion of their organic produce to retailers as part of their commitment to self-sufficiency.
Leonard Jordan, a federal conservationist and a 1977 graduate of Tennessee State University with a B.S. degree in plant and soil science, was the keynote speaker July 21st at the 12th annual Small Farm Expo at TSU’s Agricultural Research and Education Center, where the state’s Small Farmer of the Year Award winners were recognized. The associate chief for conservation at the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, Jordan said the acreage of agricultural land in the U.S. has decreased by 30-35 million acres in the last 30 years while the population continues to grow.
“This is alarming,” Jordan said. “Anytime there is a growth in the number of people, who rely on food and fiber for their survival, and there is less acreage to produce it on, that should be a concern.” Jordan said with these “alarming statistics,” the nation is depending more on small farmers to fill the gap of growing enough crops for its people.
“Their role is very critical,” he said about small farmers. “The figures tell us that their operations are more important today than they have ever been. You (small farmers) should feel good about what you do each and every day. We owe you more than you ever know.”
TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover called small farmers the “back bone” of America and worthy of recognition. “I applaud you (the small farmer) for the work that you do and continue to do to not only feed us but to encourage and prepare future farmers,” said Glover.
Landmark Farmers Market operates under the umbrella of Landmark Training Development Company, a State of Tennessee registered non-profit organization with IRS tax exempt status and since their founding in 2008, and they have demonstrated self-reliance, entrepreneurship, and community leadership. Using donated labor they have reclaimed abandoned properties and land, building an Urban “Small Farm,” training program, food pantry and farmer’s market. They have primarily relied on family and friends to build their non-profit organization; they are now ready to strengthen their infrastructure and expand their programming and partnerships.
As they seek to move from self-reliance to social-entrepreneurship and the ability to have a greater impact, they are seeking investment from individuals, philanthropic foundations and businesses. Local investment can help underwrite operating costs related to expanded farming and youth programming. They welcome your support.
Landmark Farmers Market
2489 Carnes Avenue
Memphis, TN. 38114