Please send all editorial inquiries and information to:
P.O. Box 324
Elkins, AR 72727
501 -292-371 4
Interim Editor: Keith Richards
Southern Sustainable Farming is the voice of the Southern
Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. 47 member organizations
working for more sustainable agriculture in 13 Southern states.
The Southern SAWG assists family farmers and farm communities to
prosper in a healthy environment by helping to remove technical,
institutional and economic barriers to sustainability.
Michael Sligh, SSAWG Coordinator, PO Box 727, Mauldin, SC 29662.
This publication has been made possible through the help of the
Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation,
the Ford Foundation, the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, the Pew
Charitable Trust, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the James C.
Penney Foundation, and Farm Aid.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
SAWG Annual Conference
Conference Registraion Form
Appalachian Economic Development
Calendar of Events
COOPERATION CREATES MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES
by Keith Richards
If it wasn't for the cooperative, says Mississippi farmer and
cooperative marketing specialist Ben Burkett, "there is no way we
growers would be doing as well as we are."
The cooperative that Burkett speaks of, Indian Springs
Farmers Association, has been increasing the capacity of Southern
Mississippi black farmers to produce and market their products for
the past 16 years. With the rapid decline of black farmers since
1910, Burkett and his fellow growers believe cooperative marketing
is the key to their survival.
By pooling their products, the 44 members of Indian Springs
will sell approximately $250,000 worth of produce in 1994.
Watermelons and turnip greens have been their largest volume
crops, but a partial list of their other crops could be the
ingredients for a Southern feast: butter beans, okra, peas, yellow
squash, zucchini, cucumbers, onions, mustard greens, beets, corn,
tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cantaloupes, pears, and
Commercial chains such as Kroger, Winn-Dixie, Shoneys, and
Kraft Foods are the primary wholesale outlets for the cooperative.
Within these markets though, Burkett is always looking for new
niches to stay ahead of larger competitors and increase profits
for his fellow farmers. Last year, visiting a Kraft warehouse, he
saw snow peas coming in from Guatemala in early spring, and said
to himself, "We can grow those." The cooperative put in 2-1/2
acres, spreading the risk among several growers for the first
year. At $16 per ten pound box the risk paid off. In 1995 they
will grow five acres of snow peas for Kraft.
Market to Inner City Consumers
Secondary outlets for the cooperative include the innovative
Rural/Urban markets. With the help of the Federation of Southern
Cooperatives, based out of Georgia, and the Mississippi
Association of Cooperatives; Indian Springs markets approximately
15 percent of their products directly to inner city families. The
Federation identifies a church group or other community based
organization in low-income African American communities to work as
a partner with the farmers. These groups organize their
clientele, advertise the availability of produce from the
cooperative, and help market either by taking pre-orders or
setting up a farmers' market.
The Indian Springs farmers have been marketing through this
avenue in New Orleans, Chicago, and Jackson, MS for the past four
years. In Chicago they work with No Dope, Inc., a community based
organization originally composed of gangs. Once a week during the
heart of their growing season, Indian Springs farmers load up a
semi-trailer with seven to ten varieties of crops and drive to a
housing project on the south side of Chicago. Burkett says, "We
pull up the truck early in the morning: No Dope has tables set up
and they do the selling." The cooperative provides the produce at
wholesale prices with No Dope adding a small mark-up to cover
their costs. "It's a win-win situation" the Mississippi farmers
sell their products and the inner city residents receive fresh
produce at a reasonable price.
Will Pack for Value-Added Market
The latest project for Indian Springs is a new packing shed
financed through a combination of cooperative capital,
low-interest loans and grants. Growers currently field pack their
produce or rent space in a state-owned packing facility. Once
they have a packing shed of their own, the cooperative plans to go
after more value-added business. They will custom pack pre-sliced
vegetables in five- and ten-pound cooking bags for food service
industry customers. Burkett says cooperative members are
convinced these value-added products will be a big part of the
future for farmers who want to increase their competitiveness in
One of the guiding principles of cooperatives is that they
help other cooperatives. Nowhere is this more true than in the
relationship between the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, the
Mississippi Association of Cooperatives, and Indian Springs
Farmers Association. The Federation has assisted Indian Springs
in securing financing for their packing shed, made operating loans
to their members, and provided small grants to buy equipment like
planters, trailers and spray units. The Mississippi Association
recently trained many of the Indian Springs farmers in limited
organic production techniques.
Melbah Smith, Mississippi Association project director, is a
great believer in cooperation. "What's important about
cooperatives," says Smith, "is people come together, they begin
talking about their problems, needs and solutions-they come
together as one. And the cooperative movement is broad. It can
address problems in virtually every sector of the society."
Ben Burkett and Melbah Smith will give a presentation entitled
"Marketing Opportunities Through Cooperation" at the Southern SAWG
Annual Conference & Trade Show on January 13, 1995.
FROM PEACHES TO ICE CREAM: BURRIS FARM MARKET
by Betsy Osborne
"Often the produce is out of the field and into the market
within one hour," Greg Burris says about his family
farming/marketing operation. "That's what we mean by fresh!"
The Burris family, headed by Greg and his wife Kay, farms 150
acres of land in south Alabama just off the coast from Mobile Bay.
They grow about 40 different varieties of fruits and vegetables,
selling them all at their market store in Loxley.
Fifteen years ago, Burris was in the house-building business
with his father. "Hurricane Frederic came in 1979 and really tore
up our yard," says Burris, "blew down 100 pine trees. To cheer my
wife up, I said I'd go to a nursery and get some azaleas.
Instead, I got 50 peach trees. Kay wasn't real happy with that,
so I said I'd take them back. I came back with 50 more, and that
was the start of all this," Greg Burris sweeps his arm to indicate
the thriving produce market.
Burris Farm Market is huge-15,000 square feet of bins and
counters heaped with fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables. Relishes,
salad dressings, flowing ferns and fresh flowers are included in
the market along with an assortment of baskets, ornamental
birdhouses and the Burris brand of honey. This year, the market
will introduce jellies and jams made with Burris fruits-a way to
deal with periodic overproduction.
Also new this year is The Bakery. Located at the back of the
market, this is the place to get ice cream as well as home-baked
pies. Surplus produce is used in the pies-strawberry, peach,
pumpkin and pecan in season. Fruit from the farm is used as
toppings on the ice cream.
Started Under An Oak Tree
During the first years, Burris sold peaches from his truck
under an oak tree in the neighboring town of Daphne. His brother,
Andy, an eleven-year-old eager to help, began sitting with him to
hawk the fruit. As soon as he was old enough to drive, Andy took
over the sales and Greg concentrated on production. Since then,
Andy has gotten a degree in marketing and now serves as manager of
Kay is chief executive officer and the driving force behind
the market. "Everything you see here, Kay planned and started,"
says Burris. Another family member, Doy Gardner, is the buyer.
He drives to the Mobile farmers' market every morning at three to
buy produce not grown on the Burris farm. His wife, Gail, Kay's
sister is the office manager.
Innovation & Diversification are Keys
Burris uses innovative farming techniques. He plants 480
trees to the acre and uses the single leader pruning method.
Because of this, he has production from his trees a year earlier
than traditional plantings.
"I have learned that of the 40 different crops we grow, the
peach crop is the most difficult, and that's what I started with,"
he says. "But there is just nothing like a good tree-ripe peach.
By 1986, Burris had increased his orchard to 7,000 trees, but
two bad years in succession led to financial problems. "Things
were so bad, I couldn't make my tractor payment. I went to the
bank to get an extension, and the man there said I was bankrupt.
I had a crop on my trees nearly ready to pick, and I told him I
could hold my breath that long. Not long after that, I was
picking peaches, and the bank was bankrupt!"
But there was a change of attitude at this point. "We
realized that we couldn't depend on one crop," he recalls. "We
had to diversify. We had our first fall tomatoes in 1988. I
guess you could say, first we learned to crawl, then we got up on
our hands and knees and crawled some more."
Currently, Burris' major crops are strawberries in the
spring, peaches through the summer, and tomatoes in the fall.
Several other crops add to their production each season. Even in
winter the Burris Farm is loaded with broccoli, cauliflower,
cabbage, lettuce, and green onions. By staggering plantings, some
fruit or vegetable is ready for harvesting every day of the year.
Burris Market and Farm will be the first stop on the January 15
Farm Tour at the Southern SAWG Annual Conference & Trade Show. [An
earlier version of this article first appeared in the July/August
1994 issue of the Baldwin County Current, Loxley, AL.]
JUSTICE, PEACE, AND SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY IN THE APPALACHIAS by
In southwest Virginia, small scale agriculture is still
practiced out of necessity-big machines won't stand up on the
mountainsides even if farmers have the money to buy them. Here,
in some of the poorest counties of the U.S., where tobacco and
beef farming have been the mainstays, making a living off the land
has become less and less profitable. For many, the temptation is
strong to sell farm land to the developers, city folks shopping
for vacation homes, timber companies, or others knocking on the
door hoping to find a tired old farmer ready to throw in the
In the midst of this depressing scene stands the Appalachian
Office of Justice and Peace (AOJP), working to organize and assist
farmers, coal miners, and other disenfranchised groups in the
region. AOJP, funded by the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, has
helped low income groups purchase and improve their housing,
brought low-cost food into the region through the SHARE program,
and helped find non-violent solutions to labor disputes in the
coal industry. The newest AOJP program is the Clinch Powell
Sustainable Development Forum.
According to AOJP Director Anthony Flaccavento, the Forum has
the goal of developing human-size, sustainable projects that allow
the continuation of a degree of self-direction among the strongly
independent residents of the area mountains. Sustainable
agriculture, sustainable wood products, and nature tourism are the
three areas of focus for their work.
Under the Forum this past year, six small scale farmers
joined in a marketing group to supply restaurants in the nearby
city of Bristol with fresh produce. In their pilot year, chefs at
eight restaurants bought produce regularly from the group, with
sales approaching $5000. Not big time, certainly, but it gave
growers a taste of success.
Members of the Clinch Powell group will attend a workshop in
Ohio this fall to study the possibilities of producing their own
value-added farm products. The specialty foods workshop will
include a kitchen incubator, with equipment and space to meet
government requirements, where they can try their food processing
ideas out at minimal risk.
Other projects of the Forum include horse logging and band
mill sawing for production of local wood products. This project
cuts out middlemen by taking the wood from tree to finished
product, and boasts enthusiastic participation by loggers,
sawyers, and cabinet makers. A solar kiln is being built to dry
the wood. Finally, the U.S. Forest Service has provided money to
help identify and assist "nature tourism" entrepreneurs, and to
develop a model forest and wood products enterprise.
For more information, write the Appalachian Office of Justice and
Peace at PO Box 660, St. Paul, VA 24283, or phone 703-762-5050.
Anthony Flaccavento will speak on "Creating Rural Economic
Development Through Sustainable Agriculture", January 14 at the
Southern SAWG Annual Conference.
SOUTHERN SAWG CONFERENCE AND TRADE SHOW TO BE HELD JAN. 13-15,
by Jean Mills & Keith Richards
The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's 4th
Annual Conference and Trade Show will be held January 13-15, 1995
at the Gulf State Park Resort Hotel and Conference Center in Gulf
Shores, Alabama. Weekend activities include 18 informative
workshops, meetings of sustainable agriculture interest groups, a
1995 Farm Bill field hearing, a trade show, a sustainable farm
tour, a farm product tasting & reception, an auction, an organic
cotton fashion show, and musical entertainment.
Conference rooms and hotel rooms at Gulf State Park overlook
the beautiful white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. The casual
environment of the conference facility provides a great setting
for learning and networking in the company of others who are
working to make Southern agriculture more sustainable. So make
plans to join us for this exciting weekend.
Workshops & Meetings
Conference workshops cover topics from "Managing Pests and
Diseases Organically" to "Connecting Farmers to Consumers: CSA's &
Beyond." There will be sessions on marketing, production, useful
research, and successful farmers' stories. The focus is on
field-tested information you can use; well over half of the
speakers are Southern farmers practicing what they preach.
In addition, a plenary session will give participants an
overview of the Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture leading to
the 1995 Farm Bill. Further Farm Bill sessions will cover
individual policy issues and lobbying tactics.
Sustainable agriculture interest group meetings will also be
scheduled throughout the conference. If you would like to schedule
a meeting for your group during this event, contact Keith Richards
1995 Farm Bill Field Hearing
A field hearing during the conference will give participants
an opportunity to tell Congress and the USDA what you want in the
next Farm Bill. Everyone is encouraged to give testimony about
your farm or community experience during this session.
A trade show featuring products and information to help make
farming more sustainable will be held in conjunction with the
conference. If you have a product or information that you would
like to feature in the trade show, contact Linda Meyer, 916
Pineview Drive, Alexander City, AL 35010.
We have arranged a farm tour of three nearby South Alabama
farms-Burris Farm & Market, Archipelago Farm, and Sweet Home Farm-
on Sunday morning. You'll see a thriving farm stand selling
value-added products, a high-density peach orchard, a farmstead
cheese-making operation, a Border Collie herding demonstration,
and much more.
There is no additional charge for the farm tour, but you must
indicate on your registration form if you plan to attend the tour
so we can arrange transportation for you. For those with their own
transportation, we encourage car-pooling to keep the number of
vehicles at a minimum.
Auction & Organic Cotton Fashion Show
Your conference registration fee includes an auction and organic
cotton fashion show. If you have a farm related product you would
like to donate to the auction, please contact Alyce Birchenough
(205-986-5663). Auction proceeds will be used to provide
scholarships for limited resource farmers to attend this
conference. If you have organic cotton clothing that you would
like featured in the fashion show, please contact Lorna McMahon
Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, the surrounding Gulf State
Park, with its beautiful white beaches, pier on the Gulf,
recreational lake, birds, and nature trails, offers incredible
natural entertainment. In addition, there are deep sea fishing
charters, outlet malls, golf courses, pubs, historical forts, and
much more in the neighborhood of the conference center.
The $15 conference registration fee includes all workshops,
Farm Bill field hearing, trade show, farm tour, auction, organic
cotton fashion show, food tasting, and entertainment. Lodging
Lodging is not included in your conference registration fee, but
may be reserved through Southern SAWG. We have reserved all 144
rooms at the Gulf State Park Resort Hotel (GSPRH) for conference
participants. All rooms have two double beds, with sliding glass
doors that open out onto the beach. Because of the expected
attendance, we encourage conference participants to stay two or
more to a room. Rooms are $44 for single or double occupancy per
night, $48 for triple occupancy, and $54 for quadruple occupancy,
Please indicate on your registration form if you would like
lodging at GSPRH. For registration forms received BEFORE DECEMBER
13, 1994, we will reserve you a room and pair you up with a
roommate, unless you specify a roommate.
Rooms will be filled on a first come first served basis. Once
the GSPRH is full, conference participants will need to make their
own lodging arrangements with one of the other hotels nearby. The
closest, Hampton Inn (205-981-6242), has offered a special rate
for conference participants of $40 per night (plus tax), 1-4
Gulf State Park also has over 400 camping sites and 16 cabins
across a small lake from the conference center in a secluded,
wooded setting. For cabin reservations, call 205-948-4853. For
camping reservations, call 205-948-6353. This is a perfect place
for those wanting to extend their vacation.
After December 13, 1994, all lodging arrangements must be
made directly with the facilities.
Your conference fee includes a free farm product tasting from
6:00-9:00 p.m. on Friday evening in the Trade Show exhibit area.
If you have a farm product you would like to feature at the
tasting, be sure to check the line on your registration form so
our tasting coordinator can contact you.
All other food and meals will be on your own. The GSPRH
restaurant offers full service meals and a daily buffet. There are
also a large variety of restaurants nearby for those who have
A few of the hotel rooms have kitchenettes. If you would
prefer to prepare your own meals, request a kitchenette on your
registration form. Although there is no extra charge for
kitchenettes, they will be issued on a first come first served
Gulf Shores, AL is a comfortable road trip from much of the
Southeastern United States. Southern SAWG state conference
contacts are helping to coordinate carpools for those wishing to
travel together. Contact the state conference contact from your
state to be included.
For those who wish to travel by air, Woodside Travel
(800-626-2717) is offering discounts on Delta Airlines for
conference participants. Woodside will arrange your air travel at
this special rate or other low cost air travel rates if you
identify yourself as being with the Southern SAWG group and ask
for Team 2 when you call.
Those wishing to have help in making Amtrak train
reservations or van and car rental arrangements may contact Aaron
Travel (919-542-1062). If you identify yourself as being with the
Southern SAWG group, they will accept collect calls for this
The nearest airport and train station are in Pensacola, FL,
1-1/4 hours east. We will provide shuttle service between the
conference center and these terminals. Shuttles will depart
approximately every two hours to the airport, and as needed to the
train station. A $10 shuttle fee will provide you a ride to the
conference center and back to the terminal for your departure.
To help us provide efficient service, you must indicate on
your registration form if you need this shuttle service, indicate
your arrival and departure time, and include $10 payment with your
registration form. Shuttle reservations MUST BE MADE PRIOR TO
DECEMBER 30, 1994.
Child care may be available if there is enough demand. A
professional sitter will provide services for $25 per child per
day. Please indicate your child care needs on the registration
form. Deadline for registering for child-care is also December 30,
The Southern SAWG has travel and lodging scholarships
available for limited resource farmers to attend this conference.
If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, contact your
state conference contact as soon as possible.
We also have some child care scholarships available for
limited resource participants. If you need a child care
scholarship for this conference, contact Kim Switzer
To help keep the costs of this conference reasonable, many
people are offering to volunteer for a couple hours while
attending. Volunteers will help with jobs like registration
check-in, trade show set-up, modeling organic cotton clothing,
hosting the farm product tasting, and driving the shuttle. If you
would like to join them and be a volunteer, mark the appropriate
line on your registration form.
Send In Your Registration Now!
To attend the Southern SAWG 4th Annual Conference and Trade
Show, please complete the enclosed registration form and send it
along with your payment to: Southern SAWG Conference, c/o Squealy
Mason, #3 Office Park Circle, Suite 225, Birmingham, AL 35223.
Phone 205-879-7070 or contact your state conference contact for
For your convenience, we will mail a postcard confirming your
conference registration, airport shuttle reservation, and lodging
reservation upon receipt.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 1995
1:00-2:15 pm Principles of Organic Production. Ken
Dawson, Organic Farmer, Cedar Grove, NC.
How To Reach Consumers: Marketing Research
for Farmers. Sal Valdez, Austin, TX.
Farmers* Stories: Greenhouse and Specialty
Crops for Sustainability. Betty O'Toole,
Organic Farmer, Madison, FL and Tom Dodd III,
Dodd & Dodd Nursery, Semmes, AL.
2:30-3:45 pm Research You Can Use On Your Farm: SARE
Research on Mulches & Using Wastes for
Fertility. Mark Schonbeck, Organic Farmer,
Check, VA and Tina Gray Teague, Farm Advisor,
Arkansas State University.
Marketing Opportunities Through Cooperation.
Ben Burkett, Farmer & Marketing Specialist,
Mississippi Assoc. of Cooperatives and Melbah
Smith, Project Director, Mississippi Assoc.
Farmers* Stories: Natural Beef, Sheep and
Poultry Production. Luane Schroeder,
Ledgerock Farm, Dogpatch, AR and David
Wilson, Wilson Farms, Auburn, KY.
4:00-6:00 pm Southern SAWG Business Meeting.
5:00-9:00 pm Sustainable Agriculture Trade Show
6:00-9:00 pm Southern Sustainable Farm Food Tasting and
7:00-9:00 pm Southern Sustainable Farm Product Auction
SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 1995
8:00 am-8:00 pm Sustainable Agriculture Trade Show
8:00-9:30 am Campaign For Sustainable Agriculture Plenary
Session: Strategies for the 1995 Farm Bill.
Amy Little, National Campaign Coordinator
(and other speakers to be announced)
9:45-10:45 am Building Soil Fertility Organically. Alex
Hitt, Organic Farmer, Graham, NC and Mark
Schonbeck, Organic Farmer, Check, VA.
What Do Buyers Want? A Buyers* Panel. Gary
Brownd, Arrowhead Mills, Hereford, TX; Dennis
Jolly, Corganics, Statesville, NC; and Pamela
Boyar, Texas Health Distributors.
Research and Extension Reform in the 1995
Farm Bill. Kathleen Merrigan, Wallace
Institute For Alternative Agriculture,
11:00 am-Noon Managing Pests and Diseases Organically.
Mike Linker, IPM Specialist, North Carolina
State University and Alex Hitt, Organic
Farmer, Graham, NC.
Creating Rural Economic Development Through
Sustainable Agriculture: Two Stories. Laura
Freeman, Laura's Lean Beef, Lexington, KY and
Anthony Flaccavento, Community Organizer,
Expanding Minority Farmers and Farmworkers*
Rights in the 1995 Farm Bill. John Zippert,
Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Epes, AL
and Renee Price, Agricultural Resources
Center, Carrboro, NC.
12:45-1:15 pm Organic Cotton Fashion Show.
1:30-2:30 pm Farmers* Stories: Organic Production of
Soybeans, Cotton & Spelt. M.R. Fulks,
Fredricksburg, VA and Steve McKaskle,
Understanding the New National Organic
Standards. Michael Sligh, Chairman of
National Organic Standards Board, Mauldin,
Marketing and Rural Development in the 1995
Farm Bill. David Harris, Land Loss
Prevention Project, Durham, NC and Hal
Hamilton, Community Farm Alliance, Berea, KY.
Farmers* Stories: Producing Fruit &
Vegetables Sustainably. Stuart & Ann
Campbell, Citronelle, AL and Kenny Haines,
Connecting Farmers to Consumers: CSA's and
Beyond. Kathy Aman, Farmer & Director,
Kentucky Department of Agriculture Organic
Program and Martin Richards, Farmer &
Steering Committee member of Kentucky
Connecting To Your Congressperson: How To Do
Grass-Roots Lobbying. Julie Burns, Campaign
For Sustainable Agriculture, Asheville, NC.
4:00-6:30 pm Farm Bill Field Hearing
8:00-11:00 pm Entertainment by a Local Band.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 15, 1995
8:00 am-1:00 pm Farm Tour of Burris Farm & Market, Archipelago
Farm, and Sweet Home Farm.
* Please note: All workshops and events are subject to change.
REGISTRATION FORM (please print or type)
Please reserve a room for me at Gulf State Park Resort Hotel for:
Thursday, Jan. 12:______ Friday, Jan. 13:_______
Saturday, Jan. 14:______Sunday, Jan. 15:_______
(after December 13, 1994, you must make your own lodging
Please assign me to room with:
(Or) Please assign a roommate: Male ____ Female ____
smoking _____ non-smoking _____
(Or) I want a private room: ______
I would prefer a kitchenette if available: ______
I need train station shuttle service: _______ (please include $10
I need airport shuttle service: ______ (please include $10
(after December 30, 1994, you must arrange your own ground
Arrival date and time ____________________________
Airline ________ Departure date and time_____________________
I will be attending the Farm Tour:________
I need transportation for the farm tour (free):_______
I need childcare service for ____ (no. of) children on Friday,
Jan. 13:_______ Saturday, Jan. 14:_______
(Reservations must be made prior to December 30, 1994. Services
are $25 per day per child, payable at time of service.)
VOLUNTEERS & DONATIONS:
I would also like to volunteer to help for a couple hours during
the conference to help keep the costs reasonable:_______ (Our
volunteer coordinator will contact you.)
I would like to make a donation of a product or service
appropriate for farmers for the auction:________ (Our auction
coordinator will contact you.)
I would like to feature a product from my farm in the
tasting:_________ (Our food tasting coordinator will contact you.)
CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FEE: $15 _______
LODGING (2 per room = $22 per person per night):
___ nights X $22 _______
(1 per room = $44 per person per night):
___ nights x $44 _______
AIRPORT OR TRAIN SHUTTLE FEE: $10 _______
TOTAL AMOUNT ENCLOSED: _______
For further information, call Squealy Mason at 205-879-7070, or
your state Southern SAWG steering committee member.
Make checks payable to SOUTHERN SAWG and mail to: Southern SAWG
Conference, c/o Squealy Mason, #3 Office Park Circle, Suite 225,
Birmingham, AL 35223.
Southern SAWG State Contacts for the Annual Conference:
Alabama: Jean Mills, 14430 Jackson Trace Rd, Coker, AL 35452.
Arkansas: Janet Bachmann, 5149 S. Shaeffer Rd, Fayetteville, AR
Florida: Lynn Steward, RR 2, Box 786, Arcadia, FL 33824.
Georgia: Deborah Pelham, 1185 Bend Creek, Suwanee, GA 30174.
Kentucky: Kim Switzer, Rt. 1, Box 18, Cynthiana, KY 41031.
Louisiana: Helen Vinton, 5002 Old Jeanerette Rd, New Iberia, LA
Mississippi: Hollis Watkins, PO Box 10433, Jackson, MS 39289.
North Carolina: Betty Bailey, PO Box 655, Pittsboro, NC 27312.
Oklahoma: Shawn Gralla, PO Box 538, Lexington, OK 73051.
South Carolina: Michael Sligh, PO Box 727, Mauldin, SC 29662.
Tennessee: Bob Shine, 450 Davidson Chapel Ln, Bloomington Springs,
TN 38545. 615-653-4402.
Texas: Gus Townes, 7010 Beckett Rd, Austin, TX 78749.
Virginia: Archer Christian, PO Box 178, Belspring, VA 24058.
FREE HOW-TO MANUAL FOR FARMERS' MARKETS
Farmers' Market Workbook: How To Start a Farmers' Market in
Your Community is available for free through the Sustainable Food
Center, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to food and
agriculture policy issues. The 11-page workbook covers topics
such as start-up costs, raising money, site, attracting the
community, publicity, structure, and operation. This book goes
beyond theory; the folks at the Sustainable Food Center helped
organize and operate a farmers* market in Austin's Eastside
community, a low-income, minority area of the city.
To order a copy of Farmers' Market Workbook, write to Erik
Peterson, Sustainable Food Center, 1715 E. 6th St, Ste 200,
Austin, TX 78702, or phone 512-472-2073.
FREE CREDITOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND CASH FLOW SERVICES
Farm Plan Advocates offers free creditor conflict resolution
services to farmers throughout the country. If a farmer is having
difficulty in meeting obligations to the Farmers' Home
Administration, Soil Conservation Service, or another creditor,
Farm Plan Advocates can help appeal decisions and restructure
debt. "We have extensive experience with federal lending
institutions, often knowing the regulations better than the local
lending personnel," according to Director David Waller.
As another service, Farm Plan Advocates provides cash flow
comparisons between sustainable and conventional operations on
individual farms. "Our staff is establishing a database that can
be used for advocacy with lenders to demonstrate that
environmentally sustainable farming is also economically
sustainable," explains Waller. They also assist in preparing
applications for operating and capital loans.
If you or someone you know needs this service, phone Benny
Bunting at 800-327-6752, Jean Wyont at 800-633-4833, or contact
Farm Plan Advocates, 1373 E. Morehead, Suite 250, Charlotte, NC
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
November 18-20: Carolina Farm Stewardship Assoc. Annual
Conference, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC. Phone
November 18-19: Georgia Organic Growers Assoc. Annual Meeting,
Georgia Experiment Station, Griffin, GA. Phone 404-621-4642.
November 29: Monthly meeting of NC SAWG, Pittsboro Ag Building,
12-2 pm. Phone 919-542-1396.
November 30: Deadline for applications for Natural Resources
Leadership Institute. Phone 919-515-2607.
December 2: Deadline for Southern Region SARE producer-initiated
grant proposals. Phone 404-412-4787.
December 9: "The Farm Bill Affects You, Are You Ready For the
Debate." Third Annual Sustainable Ag Forum, McKimmon Center,
Raleigh, NC.Phone 919-515-5644.
January 9-10: Vegetable Expo, Raleigh, NC. Phone 919-515-1208 or
e-mail to email@example.com.
January 12-14: Virginia Agri-Celebration '95, Virginia State
Fairgrounds, Richmond, VA. Phone 804-228-3251.
January 13-15: Southern SAWG Annual Conference & Trade Show, Gulf
State Park Resort, Gulf Shores, AL. Phone 205-879-7070.
February 2-4: North American Farmers* Direct Marketing Conference,
Holiday Inn World*s Fair, Knoxville, TN. Phone 615-522-0039.
February 4: Florida Organic Growers Annual Meeting and farm tour,
Highlands Hammock State Park, Sebring, FL. Phone 813-494-1095.
February 4: "Local Food Systems/Production & Marketing Networks."
VABF New River/Southwest Grower-To-Grower Conference, Wytheville
Community College, Wytheville, VA. Phone 703-651-3412.
February 24-26: Independent Organic Inspectors Association
training course, Glen Agape Retreat Center, Guilford Co., NC.
March 17-19: Virginia Sustainable Agriculture Conference, Camp
Blue Ridge, Montebello, VA. Phone 804-263-8668.