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Southern SAWG Newsletter  Volume 9,  #6


                             September 2012

Dear Friends,  


The lettuce, tomatoes, and cukes have been plentiful in the CSA box this season. By this time of the year, a daily large salad feels good and righteous.

Well, the summer of 2012 was quite memorable; too much rain or no rain at all, hurricanes and tropical storms. One thing that we can guarantee about the weather is that it will change.

Speaking of change, Congress is back in session, and the Farm Bill will be a hot topic. If you care about agriculture, food, and/or farming, please pay attention and take action.


 --Your friends at Southern SAWG



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


We appreciate your support.   
Farm BIll Action Heats Up
SSAWG Board Seeking a Few Good Candidates
Brand New Video Available!
FREE Online Course
Grant $$ for Farmers
2013 Conference Dates
Become a 2013 Sponsor
Join Our Mailing List

 2012 Farm Bill Action Heats Up Again!

Stay up-to-date with Action Alerts at  




2012 Farm Bill


This is it. 
It's make or break time for the 2012 Farm Bill, and Congressional leaders are playing year-end politics.

What's on the table?

  •    Hands-on training and tools for beginning farmers and ranchers.
  •    Support for cutting-edge organic and sustainable research. 
  •    New infrastructure - like 'food hubs' and innovative marketing tools - that helps farmers take advantage of ever-growing demand for local and regional food. 
  •   The core farm bill conservation programs - Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) -
  • ... and more!

These are the programs in the bill that give farmers and our allies in our communities the tools to grow and succeed, and to harness economic opportunities across the nation. 

Unless Congress takes action, these programs will expire on September 30 and hundreds of millions of dollars for sustainable agriculture, economic development, and beginning farmer support will literally disappear. 

We can't let this happen on our watch.   
Help us tell Congress this is unacceptable - take just 5 minutes to call your Representative and Senators today!

The message is simple:  "Don't walk away from America's farmers and ranchers.  Pass the 2012 Farm Bill and fully fund farm bill programs for beginning farmers, local food, organic agriculture, and rural jobs that expire on September 30 - programs that create jobs in rural communities, help farmers seize market opportunities, and invest in the next generation of farmers."    
Click here to get your Rep and Senators' contact information.     Your message TODAY matters - thank you for taking action! 


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.

Producing and Marketing Lamb
featuring Earl Jones, Louisiana Pride Farm, Slaughter, LA

The latest title in the Natural Farming Systems in the South series is here.

Earl Jones raises sheep in Louisiana.  Instead of wool sheep, he raises a breed more suitable for his hot and humid climate. The sheep are pasture-raised and produce high-value lambs that he direct markets.  This brand new 21-minute DVD provides the details of his sustainable production and marketing techniques.


You may place an order for your very own copy at this link.

Production Work at LA Pride Farm
Allen Rosen, videographer, two cute granddaughters, lamb, and Earl Jones                                                                photo by Jean Mills

Funding for this project was provided by the Risk Management Agency at USDA.  


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



Southern SARE Call for Proposals - 2 Different Grants!

Producer Grants to Further Sustainable Agriculture Now Available 
Calls for Proposals for the 2013 Producer Grants, intended for farmers/ranchers and farmer/rancher organizations throughout the Southern region, are now available from the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) program.

Proposal submission deadline is November 15, 2012
. Announcement of grants will take place in late February 2013.

Producer Grants are used to conduct projects that solve challenges farmers face and to develop information on what works and what doesn't so that other farmers and ranchers facing those same challenges can benefit from the results of the funded project. The grants are not designed to pay a farmer to farm. They are designed to take some of the financial risk away from trying a solution.

On-Farm Research Grants Emphasize Ag professional & Farmer/Rancher Collaboration 
Ag professionals in Cooperative Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Services, universities, NGOs, and government and non-government organizations who regularly work with farmers/ranchers have the opportunity to apply for a grant that affords them the opportunity to conduct on farm research in sustainable agriculture.

Proposal submission deadline is November 15, 2012
. Announcement of grants will take place in late February 2013.

For detailed information on how to apply for either of the two grants mentioned above, download the current Call for Proposals from The Call for Proposals includes application information, program priorities, use of funds, proposal submission instructions, and contact information. Be sure to carefully follow the information in the Call for Proposals when submitting your proposal. Failure to follow the submission guidelines may result in your proposal being rejected. 

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.