Policy Call July 26   |   Farm to School Resources
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group  |   July 2016
Get Your Market Listed! Deadline: July 15

Get ready, get listed! You want people to find your market, right? USDA's Local Food Directories can help you promote your farmers market. This tool allows shoppers to quickly identify you as a supplier of the local food. 

Deadline to add or update your listing is July 15th and it takes less than 10 minutes to do. Read more here or go straight to the USDA's update portal to list your market now!
PCAN Policy Call July 26
 
Join Southern SAWG's Policy Collaborative Action Network (PCAN) on July 26, 2016 at 7pm EST/6pm CST for the PCAN conference call. We have a lot to discuss: conference planning, local regulations, FSMA and events going on in SSAWG states. This will be a great opportunity to provide your input. We look forward to hearing your voice! Please email policy@ssawg.org for call-in information.

Agenda topics include:
  • National and Local Policy Updates/Discussion
  • Asset Map Updates
  • Conference Planning:
    • Topics
    • Call for Planning Committee
  • Open Floor
SAWG Board Seeks Candidates

The Southern SAWG Board of Directors is accepting applicants for consideration of board appointment beginning in March 2017. If you, or someone you know, would be a strong candidate who would help strengthen and support the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group in achieving our mission, please consider applying. 

Board Term: March 2017-March 2020
 
Application Deadline: August 15, 2016
 

Farm to School -- By the Numbers!
 
This spring the USDA released new data from its 2015 Farm to School Census and the results are clear: farm to school activities have grown from a handful of schools in the late 1990s to reaching 23.6 million students nationwide. 

According to the data, 5,254 school districts -- a total of 42,587 schools across all 50 states and Washington D.C. -- participate in farm to school activities, including serving local food in the cafeteria, holding taste tests and taking students on field trips to farms and orchards. 

During the 2013-2014 school year, these schools purchased $789 million worth of local products from farmers, ranchers, fishermen and other food producers. That is a 105% increase over the $386 million of local food purchased in 2011-2012 and a huge investment in community economic development. Furthermore, 46 percent of school districts reported they will increase their local food purchases in coming school years. While fruits, vegetables and milk currently top the list of foods schools are most likely to buy locally, many indicated that they'd like to buy more plant-based proteins, grains, meats, poultry and eggs from local suppliers.

Forty-four percent of the school districts also reported having at least one edible school garden. In school year 2013-2014, more than 7,101 school gardens gave students daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables, while also helping them learn where food comes from. This is a 196 percent increase over the 2,401 edible school gardens reported in the 2011-2012 school year when the first census was conducted.


Meet New Board Member:
Martha Daughdrill 

After completing her Ph.D. in Agricultural Anthropology which focused on how growers in the U.S. were adapting to urban growth, Martha Daughdrill and her husband, Paul Benton, owned and operated Newburg Vegetable Farm for 12 years. Located in the southern Maryland area near Washington, DC, they sold their certified organic products to restaurants, local wholesalers and at numerous farmers' markets in the region. They also ran one of the first CSAs in the area. Based on her academic research and practical farming experiences, Martha became dedicated to importance of sustainable agriculture, particularly in the United States. Upon selling their farm and moving to Mobile, Alabama in 1999, Martha began a full-time teaching career at the local community college while continuing to grow and sell part-time on their 5-acre BeanPatch. When their daughter, Grace, left for college in 2007, Martha and Paul established ViperVille Vegetable Farm in a more rural setting across Mobile Bay. After retiring from teaching, Martha now farms full-time again raising a variety of vegetables, fruits and flowers.
Resources Now Available from the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

Presentations, resources and materials from the recently-held, eighth National Farm to Cafeteria Conference are now available on their conference 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!
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