SSAWG Conference January 23-26, 2019 Little Rock AR

      Posted On: January 18, 2019

The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) conference is coming up next week and by all accounts, a wide diversity of farmers and advocates are heading to Little Rock for it. The field trips are all sold out, but short courses, mini courses, and the full conference is still open for registration.

The variety of workshops and session is impressive, here are a few examples;

Self Care Practices for Farmers — The truth is, being a farmer means you are constantly giving your energy with little time to recharge and recenter. It’s hard to find time for yourself, which can lead to a downward spiral of burnout, depression and even death. The more responsibilities you have, the more essential it is that you take care of yourself. Learn how three farmers implement self-care in their work, how to identify your emotional needs and communication style, and walk away with a few key tools that you can implement into your daily farm routine in just 10 minutes a day. Marlena Nip, Edible Schoolyard New Orleans (LA), Felicia Bell, RD & S Farm (MS), and Mark Cain, Dripping Springs Garden

Black Land, Liberation and Power — Land-based resistance work is both the root of the Civil Rights movement and the future of the Food Justice movement. Join this dynamic session and commit to a deeper practice around racial justice as we explore why the reclamation of land is the first step towards freedom, food security and reparations for black people. Find out about the work of the National Black Food and Justice Alliance and the Land Loss Prevention Project and how you can be part of the movement to revive and strengthen black agrarian identity and power. Savi Horne, Land Loss Prevention Project (NC) and Dara Cooper, National Black Food and Justice Alliance (GA)

Growing and Marketing Industrial Hemp — The Farm Bill of 2014 created the opportunity for hemp research programs on farms across the United States. Though each state has its own laws and political climate, the industry is growing at a rapid pace. Join our group of growers, buyers, engineers, and academics to have an open discussion about how small scale farmers can access the market. We will also discuss some of the challenges that exist to entering the industrial hemp market and what types of products are being created from the crop.

Vegetable Crops — What are your favorite vegetable crops for management and profit? Join this discussion to share your experience about crops and varieties that have been successful for you. Share tips and techniques for finding crops that are a good fit for your farm ecosystem, markets, and farmer personality.

Pest and Disease Management — A difficult problem can have multiple solutions! Join this session to share and learn from others on some of the most challenging problems with pests and diseases. Share what works as well as strategies that have failed.

Lean Farming — What are some aspects of your farm work that eat up too much time or don’t go smoothly? In this session, participants will share ideas on ways they’ve eliminated steps or created more efficiency to increase the joy and profitability in day-to-day farming.

How Resilient Is Your Farm and Community? — We are experiencing an increasing number of destabilizing forces in our lives, on our farms, and in our communities. From climate change to market volatility to debilitating injuries, these challenges can knock us off our feet at any time. In this session you’ll learn about the eight qualities of resiliency that can help you survive disturbances. We’ll do some interactive exercises to help you think more broadly about what creates a more resilient community, and show where your county stands compared to our region overall on a resiliency map. Jim Worstell, The Resilience Project (AR) and Anne Cafer, University of Mississippi (MS)

General Conference


FRIDAY, 7:30 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.