Louie Rivers, Project Manager for the Small Farmer Outreach Training and Technical Assistance Program at Kentucky State University (KY)


My first time to attend a Southern SAWG Conference was when it was held in Lexington, KY (1995). It was a very cold and snowy weekend. The most memorable event of the Conference was the information provided to the producers and the interaction between the producers and the few University personnel that were present. The various types of farms and enterprises produced on the farms were mind boggling to me, in that there was something for everyone. Our producers came back from the conference with a zeal to learn and they always stated that they wanted to go back year after year. Southern SAWG provides information in a format that makes learning easy and yet fun.

By attending Southern SAWG, it allowed my oldest son to complete his Ph. D from Ohio State University. He was able to do his dissertation research on the minority farmers from across the southern states.

The individuals that I met at Southern SAWG are friends for life and they have enriched me both on a professional level and on a social level. It is the one conference that I will not miss and I would pray that Southern SAWG would continue to prepare farmers for a sustainable future.

Shari Hawley