January 2017 Conference

About the Conference

For over 25 years the Southern SAWG Annual Conference has been providing the practical tools and solutions you need at our annual conference. It is the must-attend event for those serious about sustainable and organic farming and creating more vibrant community food systems! This popular event drew over 1,400 farmers and local food advocates from across the nation last year. We offer outstanding “field-tested” presenters, a full slate of hot-topic conference sessions and pre-conference courses, several field trips, a poster display and a trade show.

Start planning now to join us in Lexington, Kentucky January 25-28, 2017 to learn, network and celebrate with us!

The popular pre-conference events begin on Wednesday and include a great line-up of one-and-a-half day intensive short courses, Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS), and then on Thursday, several exciting half-day field trips and mini courses. Each of these pre-conference activities requires separate registration. To learn more about the pre-conference offerings, click here.

Thursday evening we’ll have an informal meet and greet with music, seed swap, book signing, and cash bar. Plan to arrive in time for this Thursday evening gathering to catch up with old friend and meet new ones. This is your chance to learn what other conference participants are doing back in their communities and borrow some ideas!

The general conference is held on Friday and Saturday. The general conference, with a wide variety of program offerings and 90 expert presenters, gives you the opportunity to learn vast amounts in a short two days! 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 in fields and in high tunnels, grazing and sustainable livestock management, specialty crop production, unique marketing strategies, food hubs, scaling up, increasing profits, business and finance management, beginning farming, farm to cafeteria, community food systems work, federal farm programs, agriculture policy developments and more.

The general conference line-up includes 56 educational sessions, plus a state networking session for each of the 13 states in our region, and another 16 information exchange sessions where you get to exchange ideas and information with those who share your interests. Click here to learn more about the general conference offerings.

We are honored to have two nationally known figures as keynote presenters this year. Ricardo Salvador, Director of the Food & Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and K. Rashid Nuri, founder and CEO of The Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture will each give a keynote presentation and will each lead a regular conference session discussing their important work.

Also included in the cost of the general conference registration are a trade show, research posters, and the Taste of Kentucky dinner.

We’re sure you’ll find this conference to be an excellent investment of time and money.* We’re also sure you won’t get this value anywhere else!

Year after year, attendees at Southern SAWG’s Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference come for the practical information and go home with so much more. While over 90% of past attendees reported they learned something they would use immediately, even higher numbers say meeting so many folks doing so many great things around the South was a highlight.

Use the menu bar at left to learn all of the details and make your plans now to attend!

*Some financial support from a few friendly organizations and agencies helps us keep registration costs down, but as a non-profit organization, we do not have an institution that covers the cost of this event. So yes, registration fees are necessary!

Much of what we do on our farm, and even what enabled our move to farming, was seen and heard through SSAWG field trips, workshops and sessions.
— Richard Moyer (VA)
Southern SAWG does outstanding work. You have one of the finest conferences of its kind, and I appreciate the diversity it draws. I’ve been to a lot of other conferences, so I don’t say that lightly.
— Will Allen (WI)

See you in Lexington January 25-28, 2017!