Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
Greetings from Southern SAWG

What a great conference we had in Mobile this year! The map above gives just a snapshot of the distances y'all traveled to attend. Thanks to everyone who participated to make it a success. Now that you are back home, the excitement may have waned. But, you can extend the learning, via mp3 recordings, upcoming workshops or just relive the heartfelt stories of farming in the South. In fact, if you were a 2015 attendee, you could even win a free registration to next year's event by giving us feedback on the conference. Check out the rest of this newsletter to learn more.
Want to Grow Your Farm Profits?

Southern SAWG is offering trainings to help farmers improve farm profits.  

  • Identify critical decisions that determine your profitability.
  • Determine your real costs to produce crops.
  • Appropriately price your products.
  • Determine profitability of your markets.
  • Learn how to keep the right records.

February 20, 2015 in Goodman, Mississippi. To learn more and to pre-register, contact Keith Benson: 

or call 601-988-4999.


February 23-24, 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

To learn more and to pre-register, contact Dawn Mellion-Patin: or call 225-771-2242.

Both trainings are free, but you need to pre-register. 
25 + 25 = Sowing Seeds for Our 25th Anniversary Conference

In celebration of Southern SAWG's 25th annual conference coming up January 27-30, 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky,  Alison and Paul Wiediger have each donated $5,000 to support 25 conference scholarships each. This donation was made in honor of Alison's father, Charlie Blair, who was very proud of Paul and Alison's way of farming and their willingness to help others learn sustainable farming techniques. Alison said "SSAWG has given so much to us, we just want to give a little back. After all, we went the first time on scholarship, and it made a profound impact on us. Someone has to give money for that to happen." Conference coordinator Jean Mills said the Wiedigers are, "kind-hearted individuals who deeply understand the importance of sustaining family farms and have dedicated years of teaching to help family farmers. It is so touching that they consider the Southern SAWG conference such a great resource for farmers that they have now contributed funds that will help qualified farmers participate in our 25th annual conference." More details about these Wiediger-Blair scholarships will be released this summer. If you, too, would like to make a contribution (big or small) to our scholarship fund, please visit our donation page,
Tales from the South
Micah Anderson reads his farm story.
Did you miss the live recording of farm stories by Tales from the South? Or perhaps you want to hear them again? Three of our conference attendees shared their wonderful stories about life on the farm during the Taste of Alabama dinner.

Here's the recording from Southern SAWG's Saturday evening dinner. Give it a listen!
A Little Give and (Maybe) Take!
Go online before February 28, 2015 and give us feedback on our 2015 conference. Those who share will enter our contest to win a FREE 2016 conference registration (Lexington, Ky., January 27-30, 2016)
NSAC Winter Meeting

In late January, Southern SAWG Executive Director, Steve Muntz, participated in the winter meeting of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). As stated on it's website, NSAC is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. Southern SAWG is a member.  The focus of NSAC's winter meeting is the establishment of policy priorities for the coming year. NSAC has proven to be a critical player in advancing the sustainable agriculture movement in the country and Southern SAWG is one of only a few members from the southern states. If you would like to build the voice of the southern states in federal policy setting about agriculture consider encouraging other sustainable agriculture organizations to become NSAC members. You can find out about joining NSAC here.

Carlos Robles Appointed Ag Commissioner of Virgin Islands
Carlos Robles on left, seated next to Marty Mesh.
While attending the Southern SAWG conference this year, Carlos Robles received notification that he had been appointed the Ag Commissioner for the Virgin Islands. Robles is a long-time attendee of the Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms conference. Read more about the credentials Robles brings to the job and the administration's agri plans for the island.
February 2015
Southern SAWG logo
More In This Issue:
Missing 2015 Conference Sessions? 

We are really thrilled to provide this year, for the first time, audio recordings of the general conference sessions! We partnered with Rhino Technologies to capture the audio.  Click here to purchase mp3 downloads. 

If you prefer to order a CD, click here for an order form or contact Rhino Technologies: 
222 Temple Hill Dr., Almo, KY 42020, 270-753-0717


From the Conference
The Northeast Texas Community College Agriculture Department recently traveled to the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Mobile, Ala. Ren McCracken, the Director of Agriculture at NTCC and Tales from the South storyteller, shares the group's experience here.
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Southern SAWG
PO Box 1552, Fayetteville, AR 72702