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regional issues

     realizing the needs of its members, the western sawg will be addressing these major issues over the next five years:

western sustainable agriculture working group

 strategic plan    2002 

  mission 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

marketing systems


1. increase consumer awareness and demand for sustainably produced agriculture products.

2. increase farmers and ranchers share of the food dollar.


1. initiate, enact and support agricultural programs that promote sustainable agricultural market development.  

2. keep members aware of program changes; grant deadlines and other issues that concern agricultural marketing/economic development programs.  

3. facilitate and promote collaborative educational events that bring together diverse communities to expand support for sustainably produced products.  

4. members 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 agricultural biotechnology.

 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 bayh/dole act.    

 sustainable livestock


 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 livestock producers.


 1. maintain active western sawg participation on national campaign for sustainable livestock committee.

 2. keep members informed of agricultural programs that support sustainable production, processing, marketing and distribution of livestock products.

 3. inform potential grantees of opportunities for direct, cooperative, and alternative marketing of sustainably produced livestock products.

 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.  

federal 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.

 3. empower western sawg members to take advantage of new and expanding federal conservation programs rule making, appropriations and implementation.