Norton Center Salutes: Marksbury Farm Market

Marksbury Farm Market, a locally owned butchers shop, farm market and processing facility outside of Danville is challenging the status quo.  By partnering with local farmers who share a commitment to sustainable, humane, and natural production methods and delivering an array of high quality, healthy and fresh products to residents, community festivals, and restaurants around the state, Marksbury is creating a sustainable food network for a growing number of Kentuckians.

While most know Danville to be rich in history and heritage, according to John-Mark Hack, co-owner of Marksbury Farm Market, the region is rich in other things too – namely, sustainable resources.  “These unique riches,” he says “combined with the nationally recognized institute of higher education that is Centre College and world-class performances at the Norton Center are what make Danville unique and such a progressive community.”

Hack worked in food and farm policy during Governor Paul Patton’s administration, developing programs throughout Kentucky aimed at rebuilding the state’s farm economy in the wake of major structural changes in the global tobacco market.  The Market opened in August 2010 and is a natural by-product of the outgrowth of agricultural entrepreneurship that stems from policy changes over the last 20 years. Hack and his partners, Preston and Rachel Correll, direct-market farmers who produces beef, pork, poultry, and eggs out of a family farm in Stanford; Greg Correll, who serves as General Manager of Marksbury after careers in education, banking, and non-profit management; and Richard McAlister, a stonemason from Scotland, who founded McAlister Stone based in Garrard County, believe that Marksbury is filling a pressing need in Kentucky’s fast-growing local food economy.

The Market, which is constantly expanding, currently serves nearly 30 restaurants and food distribution facilities throughout the region including Sodexo at Centre College, the restaurant Nectar in Cincinnati, Berea’s Boone Tavern, Table 310 and Bellini’s in Lexington, as well as Proof on Main, Bistro 301 and Grasshoppers Market in Louisville, to name just a few.  With a firm commitment to providing affordable processing services to local farmers all Marksbury meat, dairy and produce products are supplied by area farms such as St. Asaph, Clark Family Farms, Foodleaf Farm, Happy Trotters Farm and the farm at Berea College.

Some may question why the Norton Center chose to include “We Are What We Eat” in a performing arts season, but Hack isn’t fazed:  “Art is the essence of human life.  The most fundamental example of our relationship with the natural world and the most important decision we make each day is what we decide to eat. In my mind, it’s the most basic form of human artistry.”

Coincidentally, Hack has also served on an advisory committee with Marion Nestle, one of the invited guest speakers for the program, for the past 11 years.  “‘We Are What We Eat’ provides us with an opportunity to ponder our relationships with food,” he says.   “We want good food to permeate every aspect of this community and we want this region to become known as a good food capital of the world, not just Kentucky.”

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Marksbury Farm Market is proud to sponsor the Norton Center’s engagement of “We Are What We Eat.”  Learn more at marksburyfarm.com.

For information on how you can support Norton Center programs and performances, please contact the Norton Center Development Office at 859.238.5421.

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