Growing Sustainable Growers
Georgia Organics places significant focus on providing continuing education opportunities, mentorship programs, and creating support systems for Georgia farmers to strengthen and expand the number of organic and sustainable farms in the state.
Here’s how we do it:
- Annual Conference – Georgia’s largest educational event on sustainable agriculture featuring workshops, farm tours, exhibits and a Farmers Feast.
- Sustainable Agriculture Mentorship Program – A program to for farmers and ranchers to receive technical, planning and marketing support from experienced farmers and professionals.
- Organic growing curriculum available to educators.
- Farmer Services Coordinator as a resource to members.
- Local Food Guide to connect farmers with consumers and businesses.
- Workshops and field days to teach farmers and gardeners sustainable growing methods.
- Coordinate training opportunities for agricultural professionals such as extension agents and the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
Farm to School
Childhood obesity rates and nutrition-related diseases are rapidly rising. Farm to School programs are emerging as thoughtful solutions.
- On-staff Farm to School Coordinator.
- Farm to School e-Bite newsletter.
- Comprehensive Farm to School programs which include cross-curricular lessons, student gardening, hands-on cooking demonstrations, farm tours and local food procurement into school meals.
- Key partners with Atlanta Public Schools Wellness Council & City of Decatur Schools to help integrate district-wide Farm to School initiatives.
- Consults with schools on school gardens and Farm to School activities.
- Advocates for policy on the local, state and national level.
- Initiating the Georgia Farm to School Alliance to collaborate and partner with key education and policy stakeholders.
Community Food Projects
- We’ve partnered with the Atlanta Local Food Initiative to create a visionary platform, The Plan for Atlanta’s Sustainable Food Future;
- Initiated demographic research on the economic benefits of building a stronger local food and farm community;
- Begun an urban farming mentoring program to cultivate new growers and produce good food within the city;
- Initiated the Georgia Wholesome Wave project to empower food stamp recipients to double their benefits at local markets; and
- Presented to community leaders, planners and elected officials at meetings and conferences throughout the year.
Public Education and Outreach
In 2009, Georgia Organics reached over 429,000 individuals through various ongoing educational outreach mechanisms.
- Distributing 60,000+ copies of our popular Local Food Guide.
- Reaching 7,000+ people with our monthly e-Dirt and 52,000+ annually through our quarterly newsletter, The Dirt.
- Receiving 6.5 million hits annually and an average of 552 daily visits to www.georgiaorganics.org
In addition, Georgia Organics is currently working on:
Converting Southern Commodities to reduce pesticide use by increasing organic production of three commodities – Vidalia onions, blueberries and peanuts. To do this, Georgia Organics has helped form three working groups of researchers, educators, commodity groups and others to address challenges and opportunities in each commodity. We will also be leading workshops and field demonstrations to educate growers and educators in the next year.
Join the Georgia Organics community today