We are fast approaching the end of 2016 and looking forward into next year. The Kerr Center will be moving to incorporate more plasticulture at the horticulture farm in 2017. While we will continue to…
For over 25 years the Southern SAWG Annual Conference has been providing practical tools and solutions at its annual conference, for those serious about sustainable and organic farming and creating more vibrant community food systems. This popular event drew over 1,400 farmers and local food advocates from across the nation last year. It offers outstanding “field-tested” presenters, a full slate of hot-topic conference sessions and pre-conference courses, several field trips, a poster display and a trade show.
The popular pre-conference events begin on Wednesday and include a great line-up of one-and-a-half day intensive short courses, Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS), and then on Thursday, several exciting half-day field trips and mini courses. Each of these pre-conference activities requires separate registration.
Thursday evening offers an informal meet and greet with music, seed swap, book signing, and cash bar. Plan to arrive in time for this Thursday evening gathering to catch up with old friend and meet new ones. This is your chance to learn what other conference participants are doing back in their communities and borrow some ideas!
The general conference is held on Friday and Saturday. The general conference, with a wide variety of program offerings and 90 expert presenters, gives you the opportunity to learn vast amounts in a short two days! It has sessions for those with years of experience and for those who are new to the field. The session topics include organic and sustainable vegetable in fields and in high tunnels, grazing and sustainable livestock management, specialty crop production, unique marketing strategies, food hubs, scaling up, increasing profits, business and finance management, beginning farming, farm to cafeteria, community food systems work, federal farm programs, agriculture policy developments and more.
The general conference line-up includes 56 educational sessions, plus a state networking session for each of the 13 states in our region, and another 16 information exchange sessions where you get to exchange ideas and information with those who share your interests.
Two nationally known figures are keynote presenters this year. Ricardo Salvador, Director of the Food & Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and K. Rashid Nuri, founder and CEO of The Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture, will each give a keynote presentation and will each lead a regular conference session discussing their important work.
Also included in the cost of the general conference registration are a trade show, research posters, and the Taste of Kentucky dinner.
Tentative Schedule of Events
8:30-9:30 am – Registration Check-In and Tour Exhibitors9:30-9:40 am – Welcome by Joe Roberts, ONPS President
9:40-10:30 am – Gardening with Oklahoma Native Plants by Steve Owens, Bustani Plant Farm
10:30-11:20 am – Native Plants for Attracting Wildlife by Mark Howery, OK Dept. of Wildlife Conservation
11:20 – 12:30 pm – Lunch and Tour Exhibits
12:30-12:45 pm – Drawing for Door Prizes
12:45-1:35 pm – Gardening for the Survival of Pollinators by Marilyn Stewart, Wild Things Nursery
1:35-2:25 pm – Planning a Successful Landscape Design by Ben Stallings, Interdependent Web
2:25-2:45 pm – Example of a Wildlife Habitat – The Jenks Flycatcher Trail Outdoor Classroom & Demonstration Garden by Alyne Eiland, ONPS
2:45-4:00 – Making It All Work
Guided tours are available one day each month, on the second Tuesday of the month.
During these tours, Kerr Center staff show visitors our current horticulture and livestock projects.
Tours go from 9-11 or 1-3 (approximate length), and cost $10 per person.
Advance registration is required. Contact us a week in advance to let us know you are coming and whether you want to see horticulture or livestock projects or both.
Keep in mind that what is available to see varies according to season. When you call, we can let you know what is available to see. We want you to have the best possible experience!
Pay at the door. Tours begin at the Kerr Center office.
Click here for directions and map.
All other visits must be requested at least two weeks in advance. Groups are welcome.
Call the Kerr Center at 918.647.9123 or email email@example.com with “tour request” in the subject line to arrange a visit.