Open Letter

Watch your mailbox for your conference brochure or take a look at our full program online!

You will love the program we have put together for this year's Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms conference. Sustainable ag topics include: commercial vegetable production, livestock production, specialty crop production, farm to school, urban agriculture, direct marketing, food hubs, farm business management, community food systems, and food and farm policy.

See below for important deadlines coming up this month.

You Never Forget Your First Time Attending a Southern SAWG Conference

Some of us were hesitant because we didn't know for sure what we'd get out of it, but most of us will never forget the wonderful experience we had that first time. Many folks have told us about how they saved their money so they could attend their first conference, and now won't miss it, or how they had never experienced such energy and enthusiasm at an ag conference or how their experience left them super motivated to help build a viable sustainable local food system in their community. Althea Raiford, who attended her first conference in 2012, says: "I attended as many courses as humanly possible, met people that would and have changed my life for the better, found information that we needed and some that I didn't know we needed, and promised to return the following year to continue to grow into a better farmer…I came back in 2013 with my brother. Which is a whole another story…." Check out what others have to say about their first time at the Southern SAWG conference here.

Send us your first time story.
We'd love to hear all about it

Pre-Conference Offerings: Wed & Thurs – January 15-16
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Short Courses
Our popular 1½ day pre-conference short courses are intensive learning experiences packed with comprehensive information and take home materials. This year we offer short courses covering these subjects:

• Organic Vegetable Production

• High Tunnel Production

• Managing Your Farm
as a Business

• Farm to School 101

Click here to learn more about these excellent short courses.

Mini Courses
Our ½ day pre-conference mini courses provide in-depth information on high-interest topics. They are excellent opportunities for exploring new territory. The topics for the four mini courses this year are:

• Pastured Broiler Production

• Biodynamics

• Value-Added Products

• Fundraising for Organizations

To learn more about these great mini courses, click here.

Field Trips
Sometimes you just need to get out there and see what they are doing! For those who learn best by getting out in the field, and seeing what others are doing, we offer five outstanding ½ day field trips this year.

• CSA Farming

• Permaculture

• Organic Beef, Lamb
and Pork

• School Garden

• Urban Farming

Click here to learn more about these outstanding field trips.

General Conference Info: Fri & Sat – January 17-18
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Expert Presenters
We have nearly 100 presenters for you to learn from this year. Each year conference participants tell us the great line-up of presenters with their practical experience is what makes our conference program so valuable. These people know their stuff and are willing to share their expertise. One older farmer said “I sure wish I had had access to this kind of expertise when I got started. I’d have gotten a lot further a lot faster!” Click here to see the incredible expertise our presenters are bringing to this program!
Over 60 Educational Sessions
The general conference, running all day Friday and Saturday, offers more choices: over 60, 1½-hour sessions on a broad range of topics for start-up and seasoned producers alike. We have sessions about organic and sustainable vegetable, livestock and specialty crop production, unique marketing strategies, urban farming, farm to school, business and finance management, community food systems work, useful federal farm programs and agriculture policy developments. Click here to see the full description of sessions on this year’s program.
Registration, Fee Waivers and Poster Display
Register gift Call for Posters

The Southern SAWG conference is always a great bargain, given the quality of the information to be gained and the networking opportunities that come with such a large turnout of the South’s most innovative and successful producers, organizers and advocates in sustainable agriculture. Your farming operation or local foods organization can’t afford to miss this event.

For a listing of fees and a printable registration form, or to use our safe and secure online registration system, click here.

Fee Waivers
Deadline Soon!

This year we have three options for those looking for a fee waiver to participate in this conference. To learn more about fee waivers and how to apply, click here.

Note to organizational and institutional leaders: We can provide letters of support to your potential funders if you are seeking funds for producers in your area to participate in the pre-conference and conference activities. Just contact us with the details.

Call for Posters
Deadline Extended!

If your research or program provides practical information relevant to organic and sustainable family farmers and/or to those working to build local food systems, you are invited to display a poster about your work at the 2014 Southern SAWG conference.

Those interested in displaying a poster must first submit a brief abstract for each poster. Abstracts are due November 15, 2013. Members of the Southern SAWG Scientific Committee will review all submitted abstracts and make decisions regarding acceptance. Click here to learn more.

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Save Those Seeds

We'll provide space on Thursday evening for those who wish to swap seeds. This will be a good opportunity to meet seed savers and learn about varieties dear to their hearts. Don't forget to bring your seeds! Bring photos and samples too if you can.

Exhibitors Invited

If you have products, services or programs you'd like conference participants to learn about, click here. You can reach a lot of people through our conference. We're expecting over 1,200 registrants!

Be a 2014 Conference Sponsor

Your presence as a sponsor will help hundreds of farmers, community food advocates, educators and researchers across the South, and with the visibility this event affords, it will distinguish you as a supporter of the sustainable agriculture movement. Click here to learn more and show your support.

Keep up with Southern SAWG through Facebook and Twitter. Show your support for Southern SAWG by liking and following us!

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