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Southern SAWG Newsletter  Volume 6, #5
May 2010

Dear Friends,
Our hearts go out to all who were affected by the recent storms in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Alabama. Some of the resulting catastrophic floods are being described as 500- to 1,000-year floods. In Tennessee, local sources say that it will be weeks before there is a clear picture of the impact on farmers, but early estimates from Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Ken Givens indicate crop losses well in excess of 30 percent in many areas, which is the threshold for qualifying for a Secretarial Declaration of natural disaster.
Of lesser magnitude, but still important, please note that The Southern SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program) Administrative Council is still seeking nominees, and they need farmer nominees. We want good farmer representation on the Council, which evaluates grant proposals, guides program direction, and oversees the budget (read: purse strings). Council members also serve as vital links between Southern SARE and the communities they represent, bringing ideas and needs to the forefront. Remember, it is encouraged to nominate yourself! The deadline of June 1 is fast approaching--read on for more details.
And some good news-congratulations are in order to our longtime friend Will Allen, of Growing Power, on his well-deserved inclusion on the TIME 100 list! It's great to see this level of national recognition for a sustainable farming advocate.
Wishing safety and recovery to those in the storm, and good growing to all,
--Your friends at Southern SAWG
Growing Power's Will Allen Named a Time 100 Hero
Southern SARE Seeks Administrative Council Representatives...Application Deadline is June 1, 2010
Grant Program for Small Socially Disadvantaged Producers Accepting Applications - June 27, 2010 is Deadline to Apply
Updated Small Dairy Resource Book Now Available Online
Co-Op 101 Workshop June 25-26, 2010 Epes, AL
Florida Small Farms & Alternative Enterprises Conference July 31-August 1 Kissimmee, FL
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Growing Power's Will Allen Named a Time 100 Hero

Will Allen shows finished compost to Growing Power Field Day participants from the USDA Risk Management Agency Community Outreach Program Director's Meeting in 2007

Will Allen at Growing Power
Will Allen is well known in the sustainable agriculture and food community as a local hero, and Time magazine has made it official. On April 19, Time released their 2010 Time 100 list of individuals or small working groups who are most influencing current world events in the categories of leaders, heroes, artists, and thinkers, and placed Will in the area of heroes.
Will was recognized for his advocacy for food security and food justice through Growing Power, a non-profit urban farm and training center that he founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to develop a return to localized food systems, and teach communities where good food is not affordable or readily available to grow it themselves. He says, "Everybody, regardless of their economic means, should have access to the same healthy, safe, affordable food that is grown naturally."
The Time article points out that one goal of the movement represented by Will Allen is a cleaner food system for the planet as well as the people, including the reduction of transportation costs and the carbon footprint, along with the growth of healthy, thriving communities.
"Polls now show that 86 percent of Americans want good food, real food; fresh, locally grown food that is safe and free of chemicals and genetic modifications," says Will. "But there is simply not enough good food being grown for all those who want and need it. I am simply trying to help change that."
Will is in good company on Time's 2010 list, where he is joined by fellow good food and sustainable agriculture advocate Michael Pollan. It is also not Will's first major national recognition. In addition to his 2008 McArthur Foundation Fellowship, and membership in the Clinton Global Initiative, Will Allen joined First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House this past February to speak to the nation at the launch of her Let's Move! initiative to reverse childhood obesity in America.
For the many farmers, educators, and food advocates who have attended Growing Power's excellent trainings, and who have met and been inspired by Will at workshops, at Southern SAWG conferences, and on farms throughout the South (and come away with a bucket of worms!), he has long been one of our favorite local heroes. Congratulations and thank you, Will Allen.
Southern SARE Accepting Nominations for Representatives for the Administrative Council
Application Deadline is June 1, 2010
The Administrative Council of the Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research Education (SARE) Program is accepting nominations for representatives for the Administration Council. Openings are available for three producers, one agribusiness representative and one quality of life representative to join the Council for a three-year term beginning February, 2011. Nominees must be familiar with sustainable agriculture and its impact on the environment and rural communities.
Especially welcome are nominees representing women in agriculture, minorities, and farm laborers, and self-nominations are encouraged.
The Administrative Council (AC) is the governing body of the Southern SARE program, which is one of four USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education programs. Southern SARE offers grants to farmers, researchers, agricultural educators, and other professionals who are involved in projects that are directly linked to sustainable agriculture. Southern SARE also has outreach activities to communicate results of projects as well as other sustainable agricultural information. 
The Administrative Council is made up of seven producers, three NGO (non-governmental organization) representatives, one agribusiness representative, one quality of life representative, and a number of 1862, 1890, federal and state governmental agency representatives.
Since the AC plays a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of sustainable agriculture programs, we strongly encourage you to put forward good nominees. The AC evaluates grant proposals, makes funding decision, oversees the general budget, and provides guidance for programming. The AC is also responsible for setting program policy, suggesting program improvements, reviewing the allocation of funds, and guiding overall program direction.
One of the key roles played by each AC member is that of liaison to groups they represent. Each AC member represents farmers, or NGOs, or some partner agency, with the opportunity to provide valuable input to Southern SARE, represent SARE to their group, and make sure that SARE has vital information about the goals, research, and training needs of the diverse constituents.
The AC also guides the vision of the program, setting goals, providing feedback from groups and being ambassadors from the program to the region. 
The new Council members will serve a three-year term beginning in February 2011. Duties of the Administrative Council include attendance at two council meetings each year, February and August. Each meeting is expected to last two days.
Your nomination must be received by June 1, 2010 to be considered. For more information about the Administrative Council and the nomination process, and the address for submission,
click here.
Grant Program for Small Socially Disadvantaged Producers
Now Accepting Applications

Deadline to Apply is July 27, 2010

The USDA's Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant program (SSDPG), is now accepting applications for projects from qualified applicants for up to $200,000 for up to one year; approximately $3.5 million in total funding is available for fiscal year 2010.

The Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant (SSDPG) program, formerly known as the Small, Minority Producer Grant Program, is designed to provide technical assistance to small, socially-disadvantaged agricultural producers through eligible cooperatives and associations of cooperatives. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis, and the maximum award amount per grant is $200,000. 
Applicants must be from a rural area, with a population less than 50,000 people. The membership or board of the cooperative that is applying must be comprised of at least 75 percent socially disadvantaged producers.

SSDPG applications are available online here or on paper at your local Rural Development offices. You are strongly encouraged to contact your local Rural Development State Office early in the application process with any questions about your application. The staff will provide advice on draft applications before the application deadline and answer your questions about the application process and program requirements.  
The deadline to apply is July 27, 2010. Click here to find your local Rural Development office, or call 800.670.6553 for contact information.
Updated Small Dairy Resource Book Now Available
Small Dairy Resource BookThe Small Dairy Resource Book, published by SARE, has been updated and is now available for free online. A thorough collection of resources for farm families interested in capitalizing on value-added dairy products, the 2010 version of The Small Dairy Resource Book contains new entries, and revised contact and price information. Extension agents and other agricultural educators also will find this guide a valuable source of information.
In the book, Vicki H. Dunaway, of the Hometown Creamery Revival, evaluates the pros and cons of more than 150 resources, from the most current information in print and online to obscure, out-of-print publications that are useful for their timeless knowledge. Resource formats include books, periodicals, videos, and websites on a wide range of topics related to farmstead dairy processing. Resources are organized into these categories:
Ice cream
Dairy processing
Dairy animals
Business and marketing
Other dairy foods
Food safety
Feeds and grazing
Download it for free here.
Co-Op 101 Workshop at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/LAF Rural Training and Research Center
June 25-26, 2010
Epes, Alabama
Learn about the benefits of cooperative businesses from the leading experts. This workshop will provide the basics on starting and operating a democratically-owned and operated business that is formed to meet the mutual needs of its member-owners. 
To learn more contact Osagie Idehen; 205.652.9676.
Florida Small Farm & Alternative Enterprises Conference 2010:
Sustaining Small Farms; Strengthening Florida's Communities
July 31-August 1, 2010
Kissimmee, Florida

This conference will feature workshops, demonstrations, and discussion groups to share research and provide educational support for producers to operate sustainable and profitable enterprises.
New products and technologies for small producers will be available in a large exhibition area, where suppliers, allied organizations, educational groups, funding agencies, foundations, and other industry representatives with services for small farmers will be participating.
Networking, dialogue, and visioning among members of the Florida small farms community will be supported at the conference, along with ways to increase awareness of the small farms industry to decision makers, supporting institutions, and the general public.
For more information and to register click here.

Cherokee roses in bloom at Cane Creek Farm, Cumming, Georgia. 
 Photo courtesy of Lynn and Chuck Pugh
Cherokee Roses in Bloom at Cane Creek Farm, Georgia

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Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, Inc. (Southern SAWG) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1991 to promote sustainable agriculture in the Southern United States.