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Conference offers opportunities for minority farmers

Small, minority and/or limited resource farmers will have their choice of more than 50 practical sessions, six half-day field trips and opportunities to network, learn and share with other farmers at the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group conference in Louisville, Ky., Jan. 25-28.

“Small, minority and/or limited resource farmers or farming couples desiring to attend the SSWAG conference should not let lack of finances stand in their way of doing so,” says Henry English, Small Farm Program director at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Federal funds earmarked for scholarships are available for small, minority and limited resource farmers to attend the conference. Scholarships cover lodging, registration, transportation, one field trip and the Taste of Kentucky banquet. Recipients are responsible for other meals.

Scholarships are available on a first come, first serve basis. If both spouses are engaged in the farming operation, both are eligible.

Conference headquarters is the Galt House Hotel and Suites in downtown Louisville.

“Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms” is the theme of the 16th annual SSWAG conference, which attracts more than 900 farmers and advocates working toward sustainable farmers and advocates.

Practical sessions cover a wide range of topics — sustainable and organic livestock and horticulture production, direct marketing, community food systems, agriculture policies. There will also be exhibits by vendors whose products and services provide support for sustainable agriculture.

The deadline to signup is Dec. 31. To enable as many as possible to attend, transportation will be by bus departing from UAPB on Jan 25.

Interested farmers should contact Stephan Walker, UAPB Extension associate, at (870) 575-7237; fax: (870) 575-4682; e-mail: [email protected] or call Henry English at (870) 575-7246.

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