Jul 28, 2020 - AARP
Once, I was an investment banker on Wall Street, but after 9/11, I moved back home to Mississippi and became executive director for a nonprofit, working on agricultural policy. But I knew I couldn’t help farmers just by talking policy to them. I needed to immerse myself in their world. For me, the questions were: What is lacking in my community, and how can I help?
Jul 28, 2020 - Garden & Gun
Ten years ago, Cindy Ayers Elliott was no farmer. “I’d never grown anything in my life except for flowers, and even those were plastic,” she says with a laugh. Now the Mississippi native and former New York investment banker runs Foot Print Farms on sixty-eight acres in Jackson, Mississippi. There, she uses USDA techniques, programs, and policies in her quest to help combat the state’s soaring rates of obesity and diabetes by getting healthy food on local tables and educating other would-be farmers in the process. She started with raised beds of cherry tomatoes on a tennis court—now dubbed the Serena Williams Tennis Garden—and has transformed her land into a full-fledged farm that rears goats, herbs, fruits, and vegetables as typical as collards and as novel as kohlrabi.
Jun 03, 2020 - BBC
Foot Print farms is within Jackson city limits, parts of the city are considered a food desert. That means people struggle to get fresh fruit and vegetables because they live more than one mile from the nearest grocery store. Most of Mississippi is a food desert in this way. So the current situation is particularly worrisome.
When you go to the grocery store and you see shelves empty, it is scary. Some people are afraid to go in at all. I see some lines a mile long, with people sitting and waiting to get inside. This is the problem people are facing in Mississippi at the moment. Getting good, fresh, local food is hard.
Sep 18, 2018 - Huffington Post
Cindy Ayers Elliott is probably not the first person to have a life-altering epiphany after hearing Michelle Obama speak. For Ayers Elliott, the aha moment came around 2010 at a conference she attended in Washington where Obama spoke about Let’s Move!, her healthy foods initiative. Ayers Elliott had been invited to hear about the farm bill’s newest efforts due to her recent job as CEO of the Delta Foundation.