Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group          |          April 2017
Virginia Non-Profit Cannery Still Operating

In August 2009, Horizons Learning Foundation took over operations of the Keezletown Community Cannery. The cannery is the only true, can-your-own, non-profit cannery remaining in Virginia, and it is one of the oldest in the United States. The foundation plans to make some improvements to the cannery, such as creating a classroom museum for school groups to visit to learn about the canning process. Another goal is to function as a means for other non-profits to make money for their organizations.
The Keezletown Community Cannery is one of the oldest community canning kitchens in the United States and is the only privately-owned facility of its type in Virginia. Located in the fruitful Shenandoah Valley in a small town called Keezletown, the cannery first opened its doors and fired up its cook kettles in 1942.
Canneries began during World War II in the 1940s as a concept to foster patriotism and community spirit and were historically supported in part by school systems, which used them for educational purposes. Individuals and groups are invited to use this community facility to learn how to can or to quickly and easily can large batches of fruits, vegetables, sauces, or other foods.

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project's Radio Series

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project's (ASAP) mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. One of their more creative projects is a radio series accessible on-air or online, at your convenience. Local radio is a great marketing tool for your products and project work.

"Growing Local" is a radio series on WNCW on Mondays during Morning Edition at 8:45 a.m. "Growing Local" comes from ASAP's Local Food Research Center, and features stories about local food and farms in the Southern Appalachians. If you miss an episode on the radio, you can follow it on their SoundCloud page, where they'll be posted each week, or go to Growing Local on iTunes.

Mapping of Farm to School Opportunities in Texas

Are you interested in selling your products to schools in Texas? Check out the Texas Farm Fresh Network -- Helping strengthen the connection between Texas food and Texas children! Their state-wide map includes farmers, ranchers and distributors that are currently selling products to schools or are interested in selling to schools. There are 70 companies registered with the Farm Fresh Producer's program. Clicking on the red pins will display the contact information for each participant.

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Photo by Anna McKibben
Photo by Anna McKibben
Quapaw Tribe Building Meat Processing Plant in Collaboration with University of Arkansas

One of the recent accomplishments of Janie Hipp, and the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, is to assist the Quapaw Tribe in building a meat processing plant near Miami, Oklahoma.

Hipp said many Native American tribes have traditional cultural ties to food production. "If you go back into individual tribes' history on this continent, particularly before European contact, there were massive levels of food production," said Hipp, who is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. "Tribes were not just hunting and gathering as ancient peoples on this continent; many tribes were involved in food production historically and remain deeply involved in food and agriculture today. Tribes all across the United States have a rich history in food production, and the Quapaw Tribe's move into food processing and food science is an exciting next step."

The plant will include a classroom, laboratory and test kitchen and is being designed to process up to 50 animals per week.

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Florida Organic Growers Celebrates 30 Years of Supporting Organic and Sustainable Agriculture!

From beginning as a grassroots organization with the office located in someone's kitchen or an unused corner of a barn to an established organization with programs that educate producers, consumers, institutions and governments about the benefits of organic and sustainable agriculture, Florida Organic Growers (FOG) has continually made an impact in communities around Florida.
In 2001, FOG received its USDA accreditation to certify farms as organic under its certification program, Quality Certification Services (QCS). QCS is a USDA and ANSI ISO/IEC 17065 accredited certification body that offers a wide array of certification options for farming, livestock, aquaculture, compound animal feed, packing, handling, processing, and wild harvest operations. We are excited to offer certification options to farms and producers to set them apart.

PCAN Conference Call Coming Up April 25

Join us on April 25, 2017 at 7 p.m. EST/ 6 p.m. CST for the PCAN conference call. We have a lot to discuss: Farm Bill, Farmers Market Administration, and updates from Washington DC and around the SSAWG region. This will be a great opportunity to provide your input and join the conversation. We look forward to hearing your voice! Please email to register. 
PCAN Conference Call Agenda
I.     Introductions
II.    Farm Bill Webinars Introduction
III.   Policy Discussion
       a. NSAC Update
       b. State Updates
       c. Farm Bill Programs: Nutrition Incentives,
Specialty Organizations, Marketing Services
       d. Eminent Domain/Farm Preservation
       e. Farmer's Market Administration
IV.   Open Floor
V.    Next Call
How to Make Conference Session Suggestions

Southern SAWG hosts a conference each January that is highly regarded for the educational content and networking opportunities. As part of our main conference program we generally provide over 50 educational sessions. 
Although we don't formally solicit session proposals, we welcome ideas for compelling topics and presenters. If you would like to make a suggestion, please click here to submit your ideas by May 15.
Our Mission

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's mission is to empower and inspire farmers, individuals, and communities in the South to create an agricultural system that is ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just, and humane. Because sustainable solutions depend on the involvement of the entire community, Southern SAWG is committed to including all persons in the South without bias.
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