The Impossible Pasture: Making Meat from Plants while Creating Positive Environmental Impacts

If I told you that I invented a solar powered, water lubricated machine that harvests and converts plants not suitable for human consumption (grasses and weeds) into highly digestible protein all while fertilizing the field, you would say that’s impossible. Then I would tell you that the machine is also self-replicating. You might think I was crazy, and you would probably scoff.

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Shari Hawley
Add Your Voice to the 2019 National Food Hub Survey

The National Food Hub Survey is a collaborative research effort of Michigan State University's Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) and the Wallace Center at Winrock International. It is the only source for national longitudinal data about food hubs and the South could use more representation.

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Shari Hawley
National Farmers Market Week 2019

Watch this video interview of Elizabeth Young, Director of MAD Farm and Sustainable Initiatives Murphy Arts Distrct, El Dorado, AR, AND Southern SAWG’s board chairperson, speaks about the importance of farmers markets. Help celebrate National Farmers Market Week, August 4–10, and visit your local market.

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Shari Hawley
Sustainable Agriculture’s Values Help Us in Times of Cultural Crisis

Farming, like most occupations, can’t happen in a social vacuum. Perhaps more so than other occupations, being a successful farmer requires a large number and variety of supporting relationships among people with expertise in a wide array of specialties. Successful farming also requires the emotional and psychological support of family, friends, neighbors and an appreciative nation. Unfortunately, mental health among experienced farmers and traditional farming communities is succumbing to economic stressors and the effects of loss and isolation.

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Shari Hawley
Meet Our New Executive Director, Carol Williams

Dear Friends and Supporters of Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, I’m thrilled to be joining SSAWG as the new Executive Director and thankful for the opportunity to work with outstanding leaders and contributors in the essential work of supporting and promoting sustainable agriculture in the South. It is my honor to become part of this long-standing backbone organization. I want to thank the Search Committee for a thoroughly gratifying application and interview process, one that in my view was mutually empowering. From this foundation I look forward to deepening bonds with the Board, staff, volunteers, conference attendees, financial sponsors, program partners and ally organizations across the South and beyond.

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Shari Hawley
Policy Collaborate Network (PCAN) Releases Survey Results

The SSAWG Policy Collaborate Network (PCAN) issued a survey at the annual conference in January. From the survey, we learned a great deal about how farmers in the Southern states view and approach policy areas key to their enterprises. This information helps us better align our work with the priorities of the farmers in the South. 

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Shari Hawley
Southern SAWG is Hiring!  

The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (Southern SAWG) is seeking to hire an entrepreneurial, visionary leader and fundraiser to serve as Executive Director.  The Executive Director will be responsible for leading the organization in its work of empowering and inspiring farmers, individuals, and communities throughout the South to create a sustainable agriculture and food system.

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Amanda Hodges
Farmers Hope for Hemp Riches Despite Risks

Michael Calebs begins feeling nostalgic standing in the airy barn on his rolling, 400-acre farm. He recalls the hard labor of his youth: climbing up to horizontal beams to hang floppy tobacco leaves to air cure so the leaves could develop a sweet taste.

Calebs places a small amount of Kodiak snuff between his cheek and gum on a recent afternoon while walking about the barn in dirty work boots over blue dress pants and an argyle sweater, having just come from his day job as an engineer with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

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Amanda Hodges