SSAWG - Executive Director Position Description

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 increasing the collective power of the sustainable agriculture movement in 13 southern states by building knowledge, awareness, and community among farmers and their key partners.

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Amanda Hodges
Latest Meat Scare –Another Good Reason to Go with Local and Organic Producers

Did you read the latest scare about our meat supply from Consumer Reports?  It cites some USDA data about banned drugs in our meat supply and calls into question (once again) the safeguards we have in place to monitor that supply.  USDA has dismissed the report because the data shared was actually preliminary and not a truthful representation of the facts and claims that Consumer Reports real agenda is to get folks to reduce their meat consumption.

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Amanda Hodges
The Adventures in Coming Home...

After living out of state for many years, several years back I found myself moving back home where I grew up on a small tobacco farm in a rural agriculture based community. There my family had raised several acres of tobacco each season to help add to my parents’ ‘real job’ incomes.  Working in tobacco was something many in my family did…on Mom’s side and on Dad’s.  Most of the neighbors around, all grew tobacco too.

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Amanda Hodges
Rural Oklahoma Pushes Back On Big Chicken

I prefer promoting local, organic foods, but lately I’ve been working with Emily Oakley and Mike Appel from Three Springs organic farm in Oaks, Oklahoma on a chicken house threat to their farm. We led a huge citizen outcry, joined by many organizations and the Cherokee Nation and shut it down in 3 weeks. Maybe you read the news article published in our newsletter last month.

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Amanda Hodges
Sheep for the Small Southern Farms -- May I Help Ewe?

Sheep are an oft overlooked small farm livestock enterprise in the South where beef cattle seem to dominate the pasture landscape.   A couple of weeks ago I participated in the University of Kentucky’s Sheep Profit school and the keynote speaker of the evening, Warren Beeler,  noted in his presentation that sheep are really just like little beef cows.

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Amanda Hodges
Mission Impossible...or is it?

Spring is well underway and with it comes many opportunities across the region to participate in farm field days and other excellent educational opportunities available in the sustainable world .  As I strive to keep myself up to date on things being a relative newcomer to the space, I realize how fortunate the cause is to have such a vast selection of topics and venues from which to learn.  On any given day, there is some type (and often multiple options each day) of a learning opportunity to add to the calendar of learning.  It can be almost overwhelming unless we do something about it.

Therefore, there is a mission…should you choose to accept it…’   

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Amanda Hodges
Sustainable Agriculture Wins in FY2018 Omnibus

Early this morning, Congress passed a government spending package (the “omnibus appropriations bill”) to fund federal programs through the end of September, which is when the current fiscal year expires. The House passed the package 256-167 on Thursday, the Senate passed the bill 65-32 Friday morning, and the President signed the bill into law that same afternoon.

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Amanda Hodges
Drones: They're for Farming Too!

New drone invention to help farmers increase their yield, reduce fungicide use. A Bristol, Tennessee native and recent University of Tennessee graduate has invented a special kind of drone to help farmers. It's pivoted him to become a finalist in the American Farm Bureau's annual national competition, with tens of thousands of dollars at stake for his start-up business.

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Pam Kingfisher