On June 21, the Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees was once again addressed by members of the Garden Sass Farmers' Market.
"I just wanted to talk to you about the health benefits of the farmers' market," said John Potter, Garden Sass president. "All of these foods are grown in Barry County using very little if any spray.
"The activity of gardening itself is a great health benefit to the producer," said Potter. "Plus, the sales tax from the market stays here, and 95 percent of the money earned at the market is spent in Barry County.
"Farmers' markets located anywhere in Barry County should be promoted and used by the people of Barry County," added Potter.
Paul Bingham, who is also a member of Garden Sass Farmers' Market said that the vendors are interested in cooperating with the Barry County Health Department.
"We don't want an antagonistic relationship with the board," said Bingham. "We want to cooperate with you as much as possible, and we hope that the board will explore options and opportunities to promote the farmers' market."
Garden Sass Farmers' Market is held at the pavilion on Mineral Springs Road in the Cassville City Park from 7 a.m. to noon each Tuesday and Friday. Vendors also offer items at the Tractor Supply Company parking lot on Old Exeter Road beginning at 8 a.m. each Saturday.
"There is also a new farmers' market in Cassville called the Cassville Open Market, which operates at Tractor Supply Company on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday," said Potter. "The farmers' markets of Barry County are under used. We hope more people attend the markets."
Potter and Bingham said that they plan to attend all of the upcoming Barry County Health Department meetings in order to learn more about the department's activities.
"These are open meetings, and we appreciate when anyone expresses interest," said John Starchman, board chairman.
"We think you do an outstanding job," said Potter. "We would like to continue to work with you all."
Potter said the health department's labeling requirement has made him more comfortable when selling to customers. Labels offer a list of ingredients and the name of the person who made the food item.
In new business, the health board approved an employee health insurance plan for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
The board voted to continue using Anthem health insurance. Premium rates increased 9.3 percent this year. The board also voted to continue using United Health Care for dental and accidental death insurance.
In other business, the Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees:
* Decided to leave the mileage reimbursement rate at 50 cents per mile.
* Adopted the Missouri Department of Health Environmental Health Operational Guidelines (EHOG).
* Moved the next board meeting from July 19 to July 26.
* Approved the service fees, which decreased 7.46 percent when compared to May of 2011.
* Heard that Roger Brock, health department administrator, signed the core contract for 2012-13 fiscal year. The core contract is estimated to decrease by $8,000 due to state budget cuts.
* Reviewed and approved the service counts, which showed that 955 services were offered in Cassville and 863 services were offered in Monett in May.
* Heard that monitoring for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Contract will be conducted at the Cassville office on Sept. 5, 6 and 7. Around seven Barry County Health Department staff members will participate.
* Approved the environmental report, which showed that 12 wastewater systems were permitted and 23 routine food and eight lodging inspections were conducted in May.
* Heard that the WIC (Women, Infant, Child) contract will increase from $257,246 to $263,789 due to an increase in case load.