Farm to School News   |   Putting Policy on the Map
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group  |   June 2016
Putting Policy on the Map
As part of SSAWG's ongoing policy work, the Policy Collaborative Action Network (PCAN) is building a map of agricultural organizations involved in advocacy and policy throughout its 13 states. This PCAN pilot project will give a visual listing of the organizations, their mission, and contact information. The map is still in beta testing, but keep an eye out for updates on its progress!
In the spirit of collaboration, we see this map as a resource for farmers looking for local organizations to contact about policy change, organizations looking for other southern groups who are tackling a shared policy concern, and many future connections. Though a PCAN volunteer has combed the internet and compiled a list of groups to include, we need your help to ensure that our list is complete and accurate. 
If you work for an organization that does policy work, and would like to be listed, please email Please also share this information widely with any organization that you think should be included--from regional nonprofits to local food policy councils. Also, don't forget to join our next PCAN call on July 26th for an update on our progress.
PCAN: Call for Agenda Topics

Southern SAWG's next Policy Collaborative Action Network call is coming up on July 26th. Now is the time to suggest topics or issues for the group to consider for discussion. Tell us about your policy successes or your struggles. What good food or farm issues are starting to gain some traction in your community or state? Have a policy topic that you think should be addressed at a Southern SAWG conference? Let us know. Bring your issues to the table and share them with other food and farm policy nuts in the region. Please send your topics or issues to by June 30th!
Report on the Farm to Cafeteria Conference

Earlier in June, more than 1,000 food service professionals, farmers, educators, policy makers, entrepreneurs, students, representatives from nonprofits, public health professionals, and others gathered in Madison, WI for a national farm to cafeteria conference. With a sharp rise seen in the participation of local farmers and food hubs in the food supply chain to cafeterias, this makes the conference a must-attend event. Read more here.
Meet New Board Member:
Brennan Washington

Brennan Washington is a creative farmer working diligently to build local food systems by growing healthy food, increasing access to healthy food and nurturing the farmers of tomorrow. He owns and operates a 2.5 acre farm dedicated to the production of quality produce for the surrounding community. His work includes: researching and implementing sustainable farming practices; starting a CSA; and researching and producing niche crops and successfully bringing them to market He created the Georgia Farmers Market Association to provide technical assistance and training to market managers, consumer and vendor education and perform statewide promotion of community farmers markets.

Brennan serves on several boards and advisory committees in the state of Georgia. In 2010, he received the Sustainable Agriculture & Research Education Grant for his research into the Production and Marketing of European Melons in the Southeastern United States.  
Ark. Students to Get "Exotic" Fruits, Vegetables for Snacks

The Yellville-Summit School District in Arkansas will use a $19,965 grant from the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to purchase a greater variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, like kiwi and watermelon, for elementary students to snack on this fall. The program does carry some stipulations, such as requiring the district to buy only pre-cut fresh fruits and vegetables. And it cannot serve the produce during breakfast or lunch programs or before or after school. So the district plans to serve the fruits and veggies as an afternoon snack during school hours.

Congratulations to the Yellville-Summit School District on their latest grant! Read more about their story here.
USDA Value-Added Producer Grant Deadline: July 1

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the availability of $44 million in funding through the competitive Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. The VAPG program provides competitive grants to producers for working capital, feasibility studies, business plans, and marketing efforts to establish viable value-added businesses. Up to $75,000 is available for planning grants and up to $250,000 is available for implementation grants.

The deadline for proposals is now right around the corner! Paper applications are due July 1. More details here at the USDA website.
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!

Never been to a conference and wondered what to expect? Read about future farmer Karen Lanier's experience on the SSAWG BLAWG
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