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
Getting to the Root of Racism in Agriculture: An Equity Imperative

Ed note: In a desire to further our 2018 discussion on racism in agriculture, we have added a two-day track on the subject at our 2019 conference. And we have an optional pre-conference mini course on the topic as well: Mini Course #2 Cracking The Code: Dismantling the Dynamics of Oppression (Racism).

It does not take much digging to unearth the racism embedded in the current agricultural system, infecting the very soil from which the industry has grown, preventing entire communities from thriving. “There are many people that have been struggling for generations and we are in a time where transformation is possible, when we can harness the collective force for change,” emphasizes Dr. Tameka L. McGlawn.

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Shari Hawley
Finding Peace in the Chaos of Farming

“The truth is over the years you realize that the work never goes away. You do your best and at the end of the day you try to find satisfaction with what you accomplished,” reflects Mark Cain on the demands of farm life. After 33 years invested in Dripping Springs Garden, Mark Cain and his partner Michael Crane understand the reality of working sunup to sundown to realize their farm dream, a process that literally started from the ground up.

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Shari Hawley
Ode to the Flower Farmer

By Libby Outlaw

In honor of 35 years as a flower farmer, Libby created four beautiful art installations from last year's blooms. This is dedicated to all of today’s flower farmers and all of the flower farmers to come. 

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Shari Hawley