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Southern SAWG Newsletter  Volume 8, #2


                             July 2011

Dear Friends,

Well the Dog Days of Summer are here. And in full force. The ice storms and bitter cold of Winter seem like a distant memory...


These are the days that make us thankful for those who grow and nurture our food and fiber crops and animals. 

Be sure to visit your local farmers market. And say "Thank you" to a farmer.  


--Your friends at Southern SAWG 


New Logo for 2012 Conference
Heifer Int'l: Seeds of Change
More Educational Opportunities
Food Justice Certification
NSAC Seeking a Policy Intern
Grant Opportunity-VAPG
Many Thanks
Join Our Mailing List
New Logo for  2012 Conference 

Logo-2012 Conference


The 21st Annual Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference will be held at
The Peabody Hotel January 18-21, 2012 in
Little Rock, Arkansas.

Schedule will be available online in October or email to request a brochure.


Seeds of Change: A new Heifer International Initiative Heifer Intl Logo


The Seeds of Change Initiative, a new multi-year, multi-million dollar grant and technical assistance initiative, builds on the emerging local foods movement to foster economic development and improve access to nutritious, locally-produced food among food insecure populations. The initiative will work with broad-based coalitions to design and implement sustainable community food systems projects that create jobs in sustainable agriculture and community food enterprises for low-income families; improve access to healthy food; and improve the environment by supporting responsible agricultural practices.


The Request for Application and supporting documents can be viewed at Applications must be submitted by August 15, 2011.

Please direct all inquiries to:

Seeds of Change Initiative
Heifer International U.S. Program

1 World Avenue

Little Rock, Arkansas 72202


More Educational Opportunities Around the Region

Many other organizations in our region have upcoming activities and conferences.  Go to the events page on the Southern SAWG website for a listing of these: .  If you would like to have a sustainable farming or community food oriented event posted on our Events page, please email the information to for consideration.

Food Justice Certification

Food Justice Certification Gains Momentum: Certifiers and Farm Worker Representatives Complete Training and Qualifying Exam

The Agricultural Justice Project proudly announces the awarding of certificates to representatives of four organic certification agencies and five farm worker organizations who successfully completed a 3-day training on the requirements for the Food Justice Certified label. Twenty one people took part in the training May 3 -5, 2011, in Eugene, Oregon, which included formal presentations on AJP standards and policies, and three practice inspections on area farms and a business. Management Committee member Sally Lee explained, "A Memo of Understanding with AJP will allow the certification agencies to offer our domestic fair trade certification to farms and food businesses across North America. A unique feature of the AJP system requires the trained certification inspectors to cooperate with representatives of farm worker organizations in performing the third
party verification." 

More information can be found at Ag Justice Project. 

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
2011 Fall Policy Intern Position

NSAC is currently accepting applications for a fall internship.  This is a temporary, full-time (40 hours per week) position located in NSAC's office on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  Hours are between 9 am and 5:30 pm Monday through Friday.  Start and end dates are somewhat flexible, and could begin the end of August or beginning of September and continue into December.

The position will provide the opportunity to learn about legislative and administrative aspects of federal policy through attendance at meetings, briefings, and hearings on Capitol Hill.  Duties include research and writing for outreach materials, position papers, and the NSAC blog and Weekly Roundup, as well as making updates to the NSAC website and database.  The intern will also manage incoming calls and share other administrative duties with the NSAC staff.


To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to

Value-Added Producer Grant Program 
Deadline to Apply August 29, 2011

USDA has invited applications for Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG).  Two years of funding totaling more than $37 million will be awarded.  Proposals are due August 29th, 2011.

VAPG is a competitive grants program that awards grants to producers to help them develop farm-related businesses that add value to basic agricultural products through branding, processing, product differentiation, labeling and certification, and marketing.  VAPG includes projects that market inherently value-added production, such as organic crops, grass-fed livestock, and locally produced and marketed food products. 

VAPG also funds regional food supply networks that benefit small and mid-sized farms by incorporating
producers into larger farm-to-plate value chains.


Two types of grants are available:

Grants of up to $100,000 each to develop business plans and feasibility studies (including marketing plans) to establish viable marketing opportunities for value-added products; or


Grants of up to $300,000 each for working capital to operate a value-added business venture or alliance.

The agency estimates it will make about 250 awards, announced by the end of November 2011 and that the
average size grant award will be $116,000.  In the last round of awards, 41 percent of total awards were under $50,000.  Applicants may propose any time frame for the project provided it does not exceed three years.

An Opportunity to Do Good

Would you like to help save family farms?

Are you interested in ......?

If so, you can become a 2012 Conference Sponsor!

If you or your business would like to sponsor the 2012 Conference in Little Rock, AR, please

contact Julia Sampson, (479) 251-8310 Email:

 We appreciate your support.
To make a donation online or download a form
to mail to us with your check
click here

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We welcome your feedback and suggestions

Please write to us at
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.