Resource Spotlight: Southern SAWG

In this month's Resource Spotlight, we're chatting with members from Southern SAWG. They have tons of resources available for community food systems, focusing on sustainable farmers in the South.
First up, contact info:
Contact person:  Julia Sampson
Link to sign up for listserv, newsletter, etc.:
Who are we “speaking” with and what’s your role?
Keith Richards, Program Director
Link to your profile on FSLN:
The Details:
Domain/Subject Area:
We provide practical education for sustainable farmers in the South through an annual conference and online resources.  We also facilitate networking and collaboration between the folks working in food systems organizations in 13 states in the South.
Southern SAWG'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.
Okay now for the fun stuff…
How would you describe Southern SAWG? But there’s a catch… describe the SSAWG in a haiku!
Building a movement
for Southern Sustainable
Ag since ‘92
What does the Southern SAWG bring to the regional and national table?
We are primarily known for an annual conference that serves as a watering hole for the sustainable agriculture community in the South.  We provide practical education for farmers as well as a platform for networking and exchange between the folks working in food systems organizations – including sustainable ag information providers, educators, researchers, and policy advocates.  Our next conference will be January 22-25, 2020, in Little Rock, AR.
Who does Southern SAWG serve? 
We serve farmers who are striving to be more sustainable in 13 states in the South and people in the organizations who serve them.  Our greatest emphasis is on serving farmers of small- and medium-scale operations whether urban or rural, and especially underserved and limited-resource farmers.
What do people/orgs look to you for?
Farmers look to us for practical tools and information that they can use to become more sustainable.  Organizations look to us to facilitate partnerships and networking opportunities that will help them become more effective in their work and create synergy across our region.

What one (or two!) problem(s) can someone find solutions for on your site?
Our online Growing Farm Profits course provides training and tools for farmers who want to improve their record-keeping and business analysis.  Using the Veggie Compass or Livestock Compass tools, farmers are able to better understand the information they need to make better business decisions and how to gather and process that information in the course of their work. 
Are there certain tools or resources that you’ve found especially popular?
Our most popular “resource” is our annual conference.  Each year, over 1,000 people participate in nearly 75 educational workshops, field trips, and networking sessions during the four-day event.  Although the information learned is extremely important, it is even more valuable for fostering relationships and providing inspiration for people across our region who are in this movement together.
Who can access your resources? How?
All of our online resources are free and available for anyone on our website (“What We Do”).  People can register for our conference at our website (for a discount) or register on-site.
What other resources or support is the Southern SAWG looking for?
Southern SAWG partners with numerous organizations each year on programming for our conference and other projects that create food system change across the region.  We are always open to ideas from potential partners.

What other “resource-full” organizations would you recommend?
ATTRA is a terrific resource for sustainable farm information.  The Wallace Center has great resources for food systems leaders.

How can someone get in touch with you for more information?

Thanks for sharing more about Southern SAWG’s resources, Keith!

FSLN Admin

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