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Enroll Now in the Conservation Stewardship Program

Enrollment Deadline Extended to March 13

If you’re a farmer, or you work with farmers, you know that conserving and enhancing natural resources on farms is critical to a sustainable production system. But land stewardship takes time, energy, and resources. That’s why the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) exists.

What is CSP? How do I enroll? 

CSP is an innovative program for working farms, built on the belief that we must enhance natural resource and environmental protection as we simultaneously produce profitable food, fiber, and energy. By providing comprehensive conservation assistance to whole farms, CSP offers farmers the opportunity to earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and the transition to organic farming — while they work their lands for production.

For more information on the program and the process for signing up, check out this updated CSP Information Alert by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). Farmers, this resource is for you!

NSAC has recently published an updated version of the Farmers’ Guide to the Conservation Stewardship Program. Download the comprehensive guide from this website.

Are you interested?  NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT!

Farmers and ranchers interested in enrolling in the program for 2015 now have until March 13 to go to their local Natural Resources Conservation Service office and sign up. The initial sign-up process is easy! Download the updated CSP Information Alert for step-by-step instructions, the updated Farmers’ Guide for comprehensive program details, and help spread the word!

Did you enroll in CSP in 2011?

If so, then this is the last year of your five-year CSP contract and thus you now have the opportunity to sign-up to renew your participation in the program for 2016-2020. You must apply to renew by March 31. Refer to the Information Alert for further information.

Another Successful Southern SAWG Conference!

We had so much fun and learned a lot at the 24th annual Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms conference.

Thank you to all who participated in this event, led sessions, hosted field trips, facilitated sessions, provided scholarship funds, contributed food, donated milk, displayed posters and exhibited. Thank you, also, to those who coordinated these activities!

Audio Recordings

We are really thrilled to provide this year, for the first time, audio recordings of the general conference sessions! We partnered with Rhino Technologies to capture the audio. Click here to purchase mp3 downloads. If you prefer to order a CD, click here for an order form or contact Rhino Technologies: 222 Temple Hill Dr., Almo, KY 42020, 270-753-0717. Email is services@rhino-technologies.com.

Evaluation Forms

Don't forget to fill out your evaluation form for a chance to win a fee waiver to the 25th anniversary conference!

We've posted a few slideshows from our presenters and have compiled a collection of posts, tweets and photos of the weekend event from social media on the 2015 conference's home page. Catch a glimpse of some of the conference in our Facebook photo album or on our newly created Instagram account

Next year, join us in Lexington Kentucky for our 25th annual conference, January 27-30, 2016!

This is our chance to celebrate all the work that we’ve done together and prepare the ground for the next 25 years!  

Please help us sow the seeds for our biggest gathering ever: Invite everyone you know who is involved in growing sustainable local food systems in the South. We’ve all got some celebrating to do!

Carlos Robles Appointed Ag Commissioner of Virgin Islands

Carlos Robles (left), recently appointed Ag Commissioner for the Virgin Islands, is recognized at the 2015 Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms conference by Southern SAWG's Executive Director Steve Muntz.

Carlos Robles (left), recently appointed Ag Commissioner for the Virgin Islands, is recognized at the 2015 Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms conference by Southern SAWG's Executive Director Steve Muntz.

While attending the Southern SAWG conference this year, Carlos Robles received notification that he had been appointed the Ag Commissioner for the Virgin Islands. Robles is a long-time attendee of the Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms conference. He holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture science from Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University and a master's degree in horticultural science from the University of Florida.

Robles has worked at the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service since 1981 and is the state coordinator for sustainable agriculture. He was the first certified arborist in the Virgin Islands, and regularly teaches the public about the care of plants and trees in the territory through workshops and seminars.

The new administration seeks innovation in the agriculture system and believes Robles will be very instrumental in growing the farm to school effort, as well as linking farms to other institutions. Governor Mapp envisions making the island more sustainable by coordinating with farms and supplying a widely varied fresh food source to the population and proposes an Agriculture Revolving Fund to help farmers acquire the equipment they need. 

Southern SAWG is delighted and honored that one of our own has been appointed to such an influential position in the Virgin Islands cabinet. We wish Carlos Robles all the best with his new position. 

Warmer Weather Awaits You in Mobile!

Did you miss this week's pre-registration deadline? No worries! You don't have to miss the conference. Register right at the door in Mobile.

If you aren’t registered yet, come on down and register at the Mobile Convention Center. Save some time by filling in a registration form and bringing it with you. We accept checks made payable to Southern SAWG, VISA, Master Card, American Express and Discover credit cards.

There is still room in our pre-conference short courses, field trips and mini courses. 

Attention Conference Attendees:

If you are already registered for the conference, get ready to have a great time. We’ve got a big crowd coming, giving you lots of cool and interesting folks to meet and learn from. Remember we’ve added a mixer on Thursday evening with live music and cash bar. So come on over to the convention center Thursday night for the mixer, the film and the seed swap. 

We got more vendors this year, so don’t forget to visit the Trade Show in the ballroom on Friday and Saturday. Plan to purchase your farm supplies for the season and avoid shipping fees! 

If you decide you’d like to add a short course, mini course or field trip to your conference registration, come on down early and we’ll get you set up. 

Click here to see the full description of general conference sessions 
and all the pre-conference options in this year's program.

Let's Connect!

While you are onsite, don’t forget to connect with us via social media! Join our Facebook and Twitter pages and share the highlights of your experience. Please add #SSAWG to your posts so everyone can connect. 

Hurry Up If You Want to Be Pre-registered for Our Annual Conference! (or you’ll need to register onsite)

Pre-registration Ends on January 7th

You don't want to miss this year's incredible program. Go to ssawgconference.org to pre-register by the end of the day on January 7th. If you are mailing in your form, don't delay! Get your registration form in the mail TODAY so we will receive it by the 7th.

Plus, Sign Up for Pre-conference Courses and Field Trips 

There is still room in most of our pre-conference short courses, field trips and mini courses. It is always better to pre-register for these options to be sure to get your first choice. Click here for a list of the special courses and events happening before the general conference. 

Just Can't Make This Week's Pre-reg Deadline?

After the 7th, please come register on-site at the Mobile Convention Center. Save some time by filling in a registration form and bringing it with you. Walk-ins are always welcome.

Pre-conference Short Courses are LONG on Value

These intense short courses are high-value learning experiences that provide you comprehensive, and in-depth information on the topic most important to you right now. 

Add extra value to your conference by attending one of these short courses beginning on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and continues the next morning on Thursday, January 15, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The presenters’ instructions are based on their own practical experience and lessons they have learned over the years through study and collaboration with others around the region. In addition to excellent classroom instruction, participants will get a collection of useful take-home materials that you can use for continued learning and to share. Be sure to pre-register, as space is limited.

Learn more about these pre-conference short courses here.