| realizing the
needs of its members, the western sawg will be addressing these
major issues over the next five years:
sustainable agriculture working group
statement: the western
sustainable agriculture working group is a non-profit 501(c3)
organization bringing together diverse individuals and groups
working in sustainable agriculture and food systems to share
successful models, realize our collective strengths, build regional
capacity and inform the agriculture policy debate.
areas of work
1. increase consumer awareness and demand for sustainably produced
2. increase farmers and ranchers share of the food dollar.
enact and support agricultural programs that promote sustainable
agricultural market development.
members aware of program changes; grant deadlines and other issues
that concern agricultural marketing/economic development programs.
and promote collaborative educational events that bring together
diverse communities to expand support for sustainably produced
also identified the following future work: national support for or
better information on programs that can provide computer training
that can aid in direct and cooperative marketing.
1. increase capacity of
member groups to understand the implications of the development of
2. facilitate and promote member activities that limit the
negative impacts of agriculture biotechnology on the further
development of sustainable agriculture.
1. continue western sawg gmo list serve.
2. organize responses to legislative proposals and bureaucratic rule
making that impact the biotech issue.
3. organize to enact national legislation that: supports funding of
public seed breeding and the preservation of national seed banks for
public use; establishes corporate liability for paying for damages
transgenic crop and animal environmental release may cause; requires
full public disclosure of where transgenic crop and animal testing
is taking place; develops a program of registration of all farmers
and ranchers producing transgenic crops and animals; requires
designation of transgenic crops as noxious weeds; tracks
transgenic food products through food system and repeal the
1. support policy, programs and individuals developing
sustainable livestock production and processing systems.
2. offer increased educational opportunities for farmers and
ranchers that demonstrate ways to promote environmental stewardship
and humane treatment of animals.
3. build coalitions supporting a new environmentalism that
recognizes the common ground between the environmental community and
1. maintain active
participation on national campaign for sustainable livestock
2. keep members informed of agricultural programs that support
sustainable production, processing, marketing and distribution of
3. inform potential grantees of opportunities for direct,
cooperative, and alternative marketing of sustainably produced
4. contribute to discussion about livestock grazing, water
quality, riparian area and stream preservation.
5. promote national legislation that will allow local control
of livestock processing inspections standards.
conservation policy, programs and implementation
1. build regional capacity and state-based sustainable agriculture
networks to impact the making and implementation of federal
conservation policies and programs.
1. initiate and help sponsor state-based listening sessions that bring
environmental and agricultural organizations together around issues
federal conservation policy implementation.
2. seek funding to help support state based sustainable
agriculture networks in the region.
members to take advantage of new and expanding federal conservation
programs rule making, appropriations and implementation.