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Southern SAWG Newsletter  Volume 9,  #5


                             August 2012

Dear Friends,  


Extreme drought has affected farmers (and eaters) in much of the Southern region. Hopefully,
a good series of long, gentle rains will help nourish the soil and replenish the groundwater supply.


The SSAWG Board of Directors will be looking for a few good candidates to join the Board for a three-year term beginning in Spring 2013. Please see the full article below for details.


Isn't it nice that so many people are concerned about and working on support for local farmers? Hopefully, YOU are involved in this wonderful movement. Please send us your stories of food or agricultural revelations to The Future depends on us!  


 --Your friends at Southern SAWG



Please make a Donation to support the work of Southern SAWG.   


We appreciate your support.   
Farm Bill Action on Break
SSAWG Board Seeking a Few Good Candidates
RFP for African-American Landowners
FREE Online Course
2013 Conference Dates
Become a 2013 Sponsor
Join Our Mailing List

 2012 Farm Bill Action on Break while Congress is in recess.


Stay up-to-date with Action Alerts at



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Southern SAWG seeks candidates for 2013 Board of Directors

--- nominate yourself, or someone else (with their permission).

The Board of Directors is responsible for establishing the long-range program focus for Southern SAWG, and for maintaining a strong and vibrant organization. Specific responsibilities include providing support and oversight for funding development, financial management, and strategic planning and evaluation, along with supervision of the Executive Director.

Each Board member is elected to a three-year term and serves on one or more of its committees. Board members should be prepared to provide leadership as officers, committee chairs, or participants in a Board-appointed task force. Experience with governance of other nonprofit organizations and/or with strategic thinking on a multi-state/regional level would be valuable in this position.

Candidates for the Board must be knowledgeable and supportive of SSAWG's mission and goals (, live within the Southern region (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia) and be willing to serve for the entire three year term, or longer. Presently, there aren't any members on the Board from Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma or South Carolina. That said, all nominees will be considered no matter where they reside.

Additional information about Southern SAWG, the Board of Directors, and the nomination
process is available by contacting Charlie Maloney, Chair of the Board Development Committee,
at (804) 785-9401 or by email at

New candidates for the Board must submit a letter of interest, a resume, and two references by October 5, 2012 to Charlie Maloney via, email ( or USPS mail
(Dayspring Farm, 942 Buena Vista Rd, Cologne VA 23181).

Candidates will be contacted by a Board Development Committee member for a telephone interview before th
e Board meets in late October. Newly elected Board members will begin their terms in the spring of 2013.

Dollars Available for African-American Landowners

The US Endowment for Forestry & Communities, Inc. has announced a pilot program to support Black landowners in the Southeast.  The program is designed to aid landowners in retaining and better utilizing their forests.  The Endowment has allocated $1 million to the 30-month pilot project  

with the expectation that at least an additional $1 million will be generated through partnerships and matching funds.  

Two multi-county regions will be chosen for the pilots through an open Request for Proposals (RFP) process.  The RFP includes two-steps beginning with submission of a pre-proposal survey by August 31, 2012.  The RFP can be found here and pre-proposal survey can be found here.  Interested participants should send their pre-proposal survey via email to


"Land is a critical asset for many rural families" says Endowment Chairman Mack Hogans.  "The forests owned and managed by African Americans can be better used to increase wealth for families and communities." 

Nonprofit agencies selected to lead the regional pilots will receive grants from the Endowment to advance forestry practices by building and coordinating comprehensive "systems of support" for Black landowners.  Flexible networks of nonprofits, academic institutions, for-profit service companies, and government agencies working under contractual or through collaborative relationships with the lead agency will target services such as implementing forest management plans, dealing with heirs' property, assistance with loan and grant applications, and financial management and business education.  

"The loss of African American-owned farm and forestland is a continuing drain of assets of Black families and their communities," says US Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) President Carlton Owen. "We believe improved practices of sustainable forest management will increase income and assets and thereby encourage land retention."

The pilots will work closely with and complement current US Department of Agriculture outreach programs for limited resource and minority land owners, including programs of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Forest Service, and Rural Development.

Choosing Your Markets - Online Course


Needing to Explore New Marketing Channels for Your Farm Products?

We now have available online FREE Choosing Your Markets course materials. Learn the benefits, challenges, and resources needed for marketing through farmers markets, CSAs, on-farm markets, Internet marketing, and direct sales to restaurants and grocers. These course materials are intended especially for farmers who are striving to become more sustainable and are made available with funding from the USDA Risk Management Agency.    
Click here for Choosing Your Markets course materials
Choosing Your Markets Image


Enter to win a FREE Southern SAWG conference registration!

We're giving away a free registration for our popular Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference (to be held in Little Rock January 23-26, 2013). To enter the contest, first check out our new Choosing Your Markets online course materials and then answer our 2-question survey. The lucky winner will be announced October 15, 2012


Click here for Choosing Your Markets course materials and chance to win



Make your plans for our next conference!

The 22nd Annual Conference will be held at

The Peabody Hotel January 23-26, 2013 in Little Rock, AR.

Schedule will be available online in October.  

Would you or your company benefit by reaching thousands of farmers and food people in 13 States in the South?

Would you like to help family farms?

Are you interested in good food/local food?

If so, you can become a 2013 Conference Sponsor!


If you or your business would like to sponsor the 2013 Conference in Little Rock, AR,
please contact Julia Sampson, (479) 251-8310, Email:
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.