Monday, November 21, 2016

K Rashid Nuri and Ricardo Salvador: Our keynote speakers at the 2017 conference


Two exciting keynote speakers, a corral of field-tested presenters, 56 educational sessions, and loads of special events and activities await you at the 2017 Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference.

Ricardo Salvador

Join us for this eye-opening session on Friday morning with Ricardo Salvador. We come here from all across the country to share and gain knowledge and to grow the sustainable food movement. In this session, we'll hear from one of our country's leading experts on the connections between food and health, environment, economic development, sovereignty, and social justice.


As the senior scientist and director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, Ricardo Salvador works with citizens, scientists, economists, and politicians to transition our current food system into one that grows healthy foods while employing sustainable and socially equitable practices. Click here to learn more.



K Rashid Nuri

In our closing keynote address, K. Rashid Nuri will discuss the transformative power of farming in inner city communities. He and a team of community members are transforming vacant lots in some of the most distressed areas of metro Atlanta, Georgia into vibrant farms and community hubs. 


But producing food is not the sole purpose of The Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture farms--it is a means for building and lifting up the community. Rashid Nuri will inspire us all to tap into this power to build communities across race and cultures. Click here to learn more.



Thursday evening we will have a mixer for you to catch up with old friends and make some new ones! Yes, there will be a cash bar stocked with local brews.

A variety of conference presenters will be on hand Thursday evening to sell and autograph their books for you during the pre-conference mixer.


We'll provide space and envelopes for those who wish to swap seeds. This will be a good opportunity to meet seed savers and learn about varieties dear to their hearts. Bring seeds, photos and samples too if you can. 




Wednesday and Thursday - January 25-26, 2017


These popular 1½ day pre-conference short courses are intensive learning experiences that provide comprehensive information.


1. Start-Up Organic Vegetable Production and Marketing


2. Mixing and Matching Cattle, Sheep and Goats on Pasture


3. Permaculture for Commercial Vegetable Production


4. Student Farms: Maximizing Learning Opportunities on College Farms


Click here to learn more about the short courses.

Our ½ day mini courses cover specific topics in greater depth than is possible in our regular conference sessions.  




The Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS) will bring together researchers, farmers, ranchers, extension agents, educators, agricultural professionals, and other beneficiaries of organic agriculture and farming systems research to learn about and advance organic farming research.

To learn more about this symposium, click here.

Load up on the bus and check out the farming going on around Lexington, Ky. If you who learn best by getting out in the field, we offer six outstanding ½ day field trips this year. 

1. Feeding Students:
A Collegiate Ag Program Nourishing Mind and Body at Berea College

2. Permanent Culture: Creating a Commercial Permaculture Farm

3. Fertile Land: Growing Organic Vegetables and High Yield Soil

4. Veggies and Herbs:
Ways to Extend Season, Control Pests, and Grow a Superior Product

5. Work Smarter: Equipment, Machines and Structures for Increasing Efficiency

6. Full Circle: Building a Food System from Field to Freezer--Livestock


To learn more about field trips, click here.




Friday and Saturday - January 27-28, 2017


The general conference, running all day Friday and Saturday, offers 56 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 cafeteria; student farms; community food systems; federal farm programs; agriculture policy developments; and more. To see the full description of sessions on this year's program, click here.

We have a very exciting slate of presenters this year. They are successful farmers and ranchers, along with well-respected educators and local food organizers. All 90+ presenters have extensive knowledge and most importantly, practical experience. Learn more about our presenters here.


The Southern SAWG conference is always a great bargain, given the quality of the information 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.

Click here to learn more about registration fees and upcoming deadlines. Or register now by clicking on the button below.

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.


Kentucky farmers! Check out the article below to learn how you can apply (by Dec 1) for up to $500 to participate in conferences like this Southern SAWG conference!

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.


Kentucky Farmers:

Get Funds to Attend the Southern SAWG Conference


Kentucky State University is offering educational support grants of up to $500 for Kentucky farmers who wish to participate in trainings for "certified organic farming and marketing, value-added enterprise development, aquaponics and new economic development." The Southern SAWG conference, as well as the Organic Agriculture Research Symposium being held in conjunction with the conference, would both be excellent events for which these funds might apply. This is restricted to farmers with less than $250,000 gross sales from the farm and special consideration is given to limited-resource farmers, small acreage producers, female farmers, minority farmers and the 54 Appalachian counties. 


The next deadline for application is December 1, 2016. For more information, visit this link or contact Joni Nelson at


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.





We need conference sponsors! 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


Southern SAWG, PO Box 1552 , Fayetteville, AR 72702



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