Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group presents: Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference

Check out the program and make plans to get to Lexington, Kentucky this January!

With this being our 25th conference, we've added some special Voices from the Field events this year, to hear from those in our region who have helped bring about the great progress that has been made in local foods and sustainable agriculture over the last 25 years. We'll kick off this series on Thursday evening with Wendell Berry and others telling us what keeps them laughing, motivated and inspired. Plan to arrive early!
Pre-conference Info: Wed & Thu - Jan. 27-28
Short Courses
Our popular 1 day pre-conference short courses are intensive learning experiences that provide comprehensive information.

1. Start-Up Organic Vegetable Production and Marketing

2. Advanced Organic Production and Marketing
 
3. Growing Farm Profits by Managing for Profit

4. Developing a Food Hub: For Beginners and Emerging Food Hubs

Click here to learn more about the short courses.


Mini Courses
Our day pre-conference mini courses cover specific topics in greater depth than is possible in our regular conference sessions.

1. Pastured Poultry Profits
 
2. Extending Your Sales from Thanksgiving to St. Patrick's Day

To learn more about mini courses, click here.


Off-site Course
This day-long course will go out into the community to see examples of farm to cafeteria work and will discuss some of the next stages in this work.

1.  Farm to Cafeteria: Innovations for Increasing Local Food at Schools and Universities

To learn more about this off-site course, click here.
Field Trips
Load up on the bus and head out to see things in action. For those who learn best by getting out in the field, we offer four outstanding day field trips this year. 

1. Equipment, Machines and Structures for Increasing Efficiency

2. Growing Vegetables and High Yield Organic Soil

3. Rotational Grazing

4. Resilient Communities: Engaging the Urban Dwellers in Foodsheds

5. Warehouse Farming: Up-scaling for the Organic Retail Market

6. Cultivating Small-Scale Farmers

7. Creating a Commercial Permaculture Farm

To learn more about field trips, click here.
General Conference Info: Fri & Sat - Jan. 29-30


The general conference, running all day Friday and Saturday, offers 58 educational sessions on a broad range of topics, plus networking sessions. We have sessions for those with years of experience and for those who are new to the field. The session topics include organic and sustainable vegetable, livestock and specialty crop production; unique marketing strategies; business and finance management; beginning farming; farm to school; community food systems; federal farm programs; agriculture policy developments; and more. Click here to see the full description of sessions on this year's program.
Expert Presenters
We have a very exciting slate of "field-tested" presenters this year. They are successful farmers and ranchers, along with well-respected educators and local food organizers. All 100 presenters have extensive knowledge and most importantly, practical experience. 




Registration and Fee Waivers

Registration
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.


Fee Waivers
To celebrate Southern SAWG's 25th anniversary, Alison and Paul Wiediger have donated funds to support 25 fee waivers each this year. These funds will help make it possible for limited-resource farmers to participate in this event. 

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.
Trade Show, Advertisements and Poster Display
Tradeshow and Advertising
If you offer products or services to those looking for sustainable farming and local food system solutions, then this is the event for you. Click here for information about our trade show and advertising opportunities.

Call for Posters
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 2016 Southern SAWG conference. Click here to learn more.
voicesSpecial Events:  Celebrating 25 Years of Progress
Let the celebrating begin! We'll have a series of "Voices from the Field" activities. It is by many, many people and groups working at all levels -- farm, community, state, regional and national -- that so much has been accomplished over the last 25 years! Our Voices series will gives us a chance to reflect, celebrate and be inspired.

On Thursday evening we'll hear from those with a long history in the movement. Plan to arrive early for this.

On Friday and Saturday, we'll hear from those whose everyday activities have contributed to the progress we've made.

Throughout the weekend, we'll have on display our interactive Timeline for you to post the milestones most important to you, including your own achievements.

We'll also have our interactive Memorial on display, commemorating those from our field who have passed on, but whose voices are not forgotten.
Book Signing
Thursday 
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 

Wendell Berry, Joel Salatin, and several other conference presenters, will be on hand to autograph their books for you immediately following the "25 Years in the Field" event. 
Opening Mixer
Thursday 
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Catch up with old friends and make new friends. We'll have a cash bar set up with local brews.
Door Prizes
We will give away 25 door prizes over the weekend. Prizes will be given at each of our Voices from the Field events. The Grand Prize, a Grillo walking tractor donated by Earth Tools, will be given at the Taste of Kentucky Banquet. Must be present to win!
Closing Mixer and Live Music
This is our time to celebrate together and make connections before returning home for the season. Hang out and relax with your buddies while enjoying live music and local brews.
Become a 2016 Conference Sponsor
As a sponsor you will be helping 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 critical supporter of the sustainable agriculture movement. Click here to learn more and show your support.
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PO Box 1552, Fayetteville, AR 72702