Growing the Local Food Chain in Missouri!

Our “Growing the Local Food Chain in Missouri” project builds on Missouri Rural Crisis Center’s and Patchwork Family Farms existing local food framework by increasing the availability of healthy, family farm-raised food to all Missourians. This project is also focusing on educating urban and rural families about the health, economic, environmental, and social benefits of growing and eating locally produced food, while building unity among diverse groups to support Missouri’s family farmers and our local economies.

From our youth farm camps, cooking demonstrations and local food workshops–to the family farm policies we work for at the local, state and federal levels…

Our “Growing the Local Food Chain in Missouri” project is building a new generation of farmers who care about the land, and a new generation of consumers who care about how their food is raised!

So far, 1,402 youth, their families and community members have participated in our farm camps, local food workshops, cooking demonstrations and food justice events!


Urban/Rural Farm Camps

We are bridging the gaps between urban and rural, young and old, and consumers and producers–by building unity among diverse groups and people. Our Farm Camps expose youth to rural ways of life, help us learn about sustainable family farm livestock production and how to grow and cook locally-raised food.

Group shot from our 2017 Livestock Farm Camp in Howard County, MO

In this environment, rural and urban youth and adults can interact and build life-long relationships centered around food and farming.

  • We learn how to feed and care for cattle, horses and pigs—and about sustainable livestock farming.
  • We talk about benefits of family farms for our health, our food system and our environment, and we learn about healthy cooking, eating and living.
  • We explore the different roles we can all play in the Local Food Chain–like being a farmer or processor, working in a grocery store or restaurant, or eating, growing and purchasing local food as a consumer.

Feeding cows in Howard County, MO

Campers practicing their chopping skills

Up close and personal with family farm livestock

Local food lesson in the barn!

Youth from St. Louis, MO bonding with the horses

Making new friends at farm camp–youth from mid-Missouri and St. Louis!

Cooking demonstration at the Amber House B&B in Rocheport, MO. We made meatloaf with family farm-raised beef and pork, mashed potatoes and kale salad


Local Food in the Classroom

In addition to our Farm Camps, this project deepens our engagement with youth through experiential and educational activities focused around local food–like providing guest speakers, local food workshops, cooking classes and field trips for school children in mid-Missouri and St. Louis.

Farmer and restaurant owner Walker Claridge shows kids from CPS’s Camp Salsa program how to make meatballs with an heirloom tomato sauce

Rev. Audrey Hollis working with youth in the community garden.

Youth from the Camp Salsa program learn how to make meatballs with Patchwork Family Farms pork

Tasting family farm-raised bacon with youth from
Midtown Catholic Charities in St. Louis

Community Cooking Demonstrations

MRCC staff show how to make pot roast & pork burgers at our event
“Farmers on the Patio” at City Greens Market in St. Louis, MO

Connecting Farmers & Consumers:

We host events that directly connect consumers to their food and to farmers–from community dialogues about food and farming, to “meet your farmer” events, to cooking classes that teach lifelong local food skills.

Showing off Patchwork Family Farms pork burgers at City Greens Market’s
“Farm-to-table” Celebration!

Bobbie Sykes of Women’s Voices shows us how to make her famous veggie wraps at our “Farmer’s on the Patio” event at City Greens Market in St. Louis

Tasting local foods at City Greens Market

These kids are loving the Patchwork Family Farms pork burgers!

“Creating Tasty Meals with Local Foods” class let by MRCC member and local Farmer Margot McMillen at the Calloway County Library in Fulton, MO

Local Food Crock Pot Project:

Our Local Food Crock Pot Project provides families who want to learn to cook with healthy and local meat and vegetables a quick and easy way to create good meals. This program holds workshops that provide lessons on family farm meat preparation, nutrition, meal planning, gardening and so much more! Each class participant gets a free crock pot, a recipe book, local food resources, and a local food starter bundle with Patchwork Family Farms meat and locally-raised vegetables.

Fundraiser for our MRCC’s Local Food Crock Pot Project in Columbia, MO.
Thanks to everyone who donated!

Group shot from our Crock Pot Class at Russell Chapel in Columbia, MO

Food Justice and Urban/Rural Connection

Farmers and faith groups collaborate in Kansas City
at our Faith, Farms and Families event

Food insecurity is a challenge in both rural and urban communities. Our goal is to build a healthy food chain with economically-viable family farms and urban and rural consumers who have access to fresh, local food at affordable prices.

One of the great parts of this project has been working with our friends at Beacon of Light Ministries at Greater St. Mark Family Church in St. Louis. Their new food justice project, United People Market, provides locally raised produce and family farm-raised meat in North St. Louis–increasing access to local food in their community.

Families from Ferguson,  MO buy their first family farm-raised meat at our “Farms are for Everyone” Bundle Sale and Urban/Rural partnership event

Opening day at United People Market in Ferguson, MO

Customers shopping for fresh foods at United People Market

Learning about family farm-raised meat at United People Market

Working together to make a difference!

Get Involved and help “grow the local food chain” in Missouri!

Join us to build an even stronger food
justice movement in Missouri!

  • Sign up to Get Involved! in our Growing the Local Food Chain in Missouri project and our other food and farm programs!
  • Be a Volunteer for one of our upcoming farm camps in Mid-Missouri.
  • Share your cooking, canning and gardening skills! Volunteer to a lead local food workshop for youth, adults and families.
  • Are you a farmer? Let us know if you are interested in hosting a farm tour and sharing your animal husbandry and farming skills!
  • Buy Patchwork Family Farms! Support local food and Missouri’s family farmers by purchasing local, sustainably raised, high-quality meats from Patchwork Family Farms!
  • Looking for Local Food in St. Louis? Shop local and support our friends at United People Market!

Interested in more information, volunteering, donating, or hosting a farm tour? Contact Lauren at or (573) 449-1336.


To Get Involved in Farm & Food Policy, Sustainable Agriculture, Local Food and Democracy…To Take Action on the Issues YOU Care About, Sign Up for MRCC’s Action Alert List!


Its MRCC’s 35th Anniversary