Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group        |         May 2019
According to a newly released census, Georgia saw a slight increase in the total number of farms from 2012 to 2017.  Photo by Curtis Compton .
Women and Beginning Farmers Emerge in U.S. and State Agriculture
By Nedra Rhone, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In Georgia, beginning farmers are helping to change the face of the industry, and the use of renewable energy on farms is taking off.
That’s according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This report offers a range of information about the 2.04 million farms and ranches in America and includes new data on farm decision-making, better reflecting the role of women.

Founders and owners of High Hog Farm, Keisha and Warren Cameron and their sons, Zach (far left) and Abraham (far right). Photo courtesy of Caleb Jones / Food Well Alliance.
These Farmers Are Sowing Seeds of Diversity in the U.S. Food System (and Have Been for Quite Some Time)
By Natural Resources Defense Council

Winter is waning at High Hog Farms, which sits on five acres about 40 miles northeast of Atlanta. Selling High Hog's herbs, fruits, vegetables, poultry and pork at a local farmers' market is how Keisha Cameron nourishes her family and neighbors.

“For me, part of farming is about reimagining and re-envisioning what it means to be a black person on the land in the South, and learning to be self-reliant,” said Cameron, who came to farming five years ago after a career in marketing.

University of Alabama Researchers Look to Extend Shelf Life of Nutritious Vegetables
While helping small farms in Alabama, researchers at The University of Alabama and the University of West Alabama hope to provide agricultural solutions that assist a class of nutritious vegetables to last longer in supermarkets and kitchens.

The project aims to help microgreens, young and tender vegetables packed with flavor and nutrition, extend their freshness after harvesting, along the way improving their value as both a food and agricultural product.

John Boyd Jr takes his new Kubota cab tractor for a spin to see how well it prepares his land for planting soybeans. Photograph: Greg Kahn, The Guardian.
There Were Nearly a Million Black Farmers in 1920. Why Have They Disappeared?
Today there are just 45,000 African American farmers. One man is fighting to save them.

By  Summer Sewell, The Guardian

John Boyd Jr’s grandfather Thomas, the son of a slave, slept with the deed to his farm under his mattress. He worried constantly that his land would be taken away.
Twenty miles away and three generations later, Boyd feels more secure on his plot of land than Thomas did. But Boyd is an aberration.

Today, of the country’s 3.4 million total farmers, only   1.3%, or 45,508, are black, according to  new figures  from the U.S. Department of Agriculture released this month. They own a mere 0.52% of America’s farmland. By comparison, 95% of US farmers are white.

By Nick Meyer,  AltHealthWORKS

Even as the United States government continues to push for the use of more chemically-intensive and corporate-dominated farming methods such as GMOs and monoculture-based crops, the United Nations is once against sounding the alarm about the urgent need to return to (and develop) a more sustainable, natural and organic system.

That was the key point of a new publication from the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) titled “ Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before It’s Too Late ,” which included contributions from more than 60 experts around the world.

PCAN Call for Agenda Topics
Do you have a pressing policy topic you'd like to see discussed on the PCAN quarterly conference call? If so, please email us at  policy@ssawg.org . We look forward to hearing from you!
Take the FairShare Farm Network 5-Minute Survey for Beginning and Aspiring CSA Farmers
Fairshare, a group of six CSA farmers, is creating an educational video series for current and aspiring CSA farmers through a SARE grant. They seek your feedback on the most important questions CSA farmers should ask themselves before getting started, or in their early years of production.

Congratulations to Our 2019 Conference Evaluation Winner: Jose Ayala!
Thanks to everyone who participated in our 28th annual Southern SAWG conference and survey. We have a winner of the drawing for ONE FREE 2020 general conference registration. Congrats to Jose Ayala! He was a first-time conference attendee from Louisiana.
Mark Your Calendars!
Southern SAWG's popular conference will be in Little Rock again: January 22–25, 2020. Program planning is underway and we start making our selections in May–July. Click here if you would like suggest a session .
Our Mission
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Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's mission is to empower and inspire farmers, individuals, and communities in the South to create an agricultural system that is ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just, and humane. Because sustainable solutions depend on the involvement of the entire community, Southern SAWG is committed to including all persons in the South without bias. 
Do you have something you would like to share in  Seeds of Sustainability
If so, please send it to  pam@ssawg.org .
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