Growing Farm Profits   |   USDA Offers Portable Equipment Loans
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group  |   May 2016
"Extending" the Reach of Growing Farm Profits

Craig Mauney is an extension agent in western North Carolina. After participating in Southern SAWG's Growing Farm Profits in-service training in Mobile, Ala. in January of 2015, Craig wrote us a quick note that said: 

"The training in Mobile Alabama was simply awesome! I feel so good about it and it really boosted my confidence level working with growers etc. I am so excited. Just wanted to update you and let you know how good the training was and that by giving me this skill I am going to be able to help my growers out more."  

We recently followed up with Craig to see if he had been able help out his growers as he had hoped. Here's what he said: 

"The information I learned has helped very much as I consult with growers, actually tenured growers, and new growers beginning farming and farming the first 5-10 years. I have recommended multiple times for growers to go to the Southern SAWG website and use the tutorials and two growers have responded back to me that they realize now how important individual costs of production being fairly spread across their crops is to them in pricing."  

Craig and about 40 other service providers have benefitted from this one-day in-service training that Southern SAWG and our partners have provided. Many thanks to the Southern SARE Professional Development Program for supporting this effort through a generous grant! Want to learn more about Growing Farm Profits? Check out this link on our website.
Meet New Board Member:
Lydia Villanueva

Lydia Villanueva is the Director/Founder of CASA del Llano, INC., (Established since Oct. 2000) a nonprofit rural outreach center that unites the regional education and training interests of other groups with the goals of a community-based, grassroots organization. The organization works toward identifying Latino farm owners in the Texas Panhandle (Hereford, TX) and also works to build leaders who are empowered to take ownership of their own communities. CASA also runs a Summer Youth Program that encourages children (ages 6-12) to continue reading, as well as engages them in activities such as arts and crafts, gardening, cooking classes, and hiking. Lydia served as the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Policy Education Coordinator from 2005 to January 2014. 
Miss Our First PCAN Call?
Join Our PCAN (Policy Collaborative Action Network) Facebook Group!
Thanks to everyone who joined us for our first Policy Collaborative Action Network call. We are excited about this effort and hope to engage many folks across the South in food and farm policy work. In case you missed the call, but you still want to get engaged, we encourage you to join our PCAN Facebook Group. This is an invitation-only group, but we will be glad to invite you if you just send us a request. Just jot a quick note to policy@ssawg.orgHelp us get the South working on the issues that matter to you!
USDA Offers New Loans for Portable Farm Storage and Handling Equipment

Portable Equipment Can Help Producers, including Small-Scale and Local Farmers, Get Products to Market Quickly

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide a new financing option to help farmers purchase portable storage and handling equipment. The loans, which now include a smaller microloan option with lower down payments, are designed to help producers, including new, small and mid-sized producers, grow their businesses and markets.
"As more communities reconnect with agriculture, consumer demand is increasing for food produced locally or regionally," said Dolcini. "Portable handling and storage equipment is vital to helping farmers get their products to market more quickly and better maintain product quality, bringing them greater returns. That's why we've added this type of equipment as a new category for our Farm Storage Facility Loan program."
Learn more about these changes to the Farm Storage Facility Loan. Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit availability to apply.
Farm to Cafeteria
Farm to Cafeteria Conference 
Farm to cafeteria is a powerful vehicle for food system change. It's not too late to take advantage of the great learning and networking opportunities happening at the eighth National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Madison, Wis. Onsite registration will be available June 2-4
We are going back to Kentucky for our 2017 Conference!

Lexington will be the host city for our Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms conference. Make plans to attend. Hope to see you there!
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