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Tweet Diary - PLOW Georgia Organics Conference

The Georgia Organics 2012 Annual Conference proved to be another great gathering of farmers providing sustainable agriculture, chefs and restauranteurs creating, home garden enthusiasts, urban farmers and gardeners and foodies. Because of this great convergence of so many different voices the conference is an eclectic melting pot of energy, enthusiasm, lots of information, vendors and oh did we mention food? The conference culminates with a dinner called FEAST. It's the best meal of the year and White Oak Pastures provided all the beef and chicken this year. So it was quite a feast for sure.


We divided this up by keynotes and sessions. To read on in particular click on one of the topic:

  1. Morning Keynote – Michel Nischan
  2. Zoning for Urban Gardens and Farming
  3. Pastured Poultry Policy Session
  4. Lobbying and Working within the Political Spectrum
  5. Evening Keynote Speaker – Will Allen

As usual read bottom to top to read in order.

  • Congratulations to Alice Rolls and the entire @GeorgiaOrganics staff for yet another fabulous #GOconf!
  • Build relationships that will build partnerships. #goconf
  • Everyone needs a livable wage and food should be the one number priority for cities on their sustainability lists not 10. #goconf
  • This is about social justice and food justice. #goconf
  • When Michelle #Obama started the White House Garden 10 million new gardens were started. #goconf
  • There are 3 pillars to nutrition - food, exercise and stress management. Food makes up 2/3 of that. #goconf
  • Always PLOW forward. Always be moving forward. #goconf
  • Will Allen is jealous of the South because of our growing seasons. #goconf
  • We have a farm in a cemetery. Historically, cemeteries had green houses. #goconf
  • We can grow anything! #goconf
  • Don't wait to get started. Don't wait to be perfect. Don't be afraid to ask for help. There is funding. Every corporation gets money frm gov
  • 75% percent of our fish will be farm raised in 3 yrs. #goconf
  • We want to PLOW forward. #goconf
  • Over 50% of the fish we eat are farm raised because we have killed our streams, lakes, bays and gulfs. #goconf
  • Infrastructure has to be built to support the Good Food Revolution. #goconf
  • To make things work everyone has to give a little bit. #goconf
  • There are jobs that don't require you to get dirty associated with the Good Food Revolution. #goconf
  • We need to prove we can make a living. They have 200 acres in cities in the midwest and have 100 employees. #goconf
  • The Good Food Revolution has composted 22 million pounds of food this year. #goconf
  • When you grow food sustainably you have to grow good soil. #goconf
  • Everyone has to be at the table - politicians, walmarts, sysco and other businesses. #goconf
  • In Milwaukee WI 99% of the food in the city comes from over 1500 miles away.
  • The sustainable food movement is a revolution. #goconf
  • Our soils today are 50% depleted from 1950s. #goconf
  • We take medicine three times a day. It's our food. #goconf
  • The one thing we all have in common is food. #goconf
  • The GO conference is one of the best conferences in the country. WOOT #goconf
  • If you are an urban farmer the first livestock you should have is worms - Rashid Nouri #goconf
  • Diversity is the top of Will Allen's priorities. #goconf
  • The last tweets of the day. Keynote speaker former NBA player Will Allen

Evening Keynote Speaker – Will Allen

  • CDC has a new program to support healthy food and healthy farms. They have some grants available. #GOconf
  • There is a state coalition for Food Policy in #GA forming. If you are interested contact Georgia Organics. #GOconf
  • Do not mail your congress people. Because of security it's takes about a month to arrive. #GOconf
  • You can go to to check if your rep or sen has co-signed on to the bill. #GOconf
  • If you have questions about lobbying for your C3, C4 check the site for more info. #GOconf
  • Hosting a coffee or meet and greet in your home during the election cycle. #GOconf
  • Also, more and more can be engaged on Twitter. #GOconf
  • Also, contacting the Congress member's staff and setting up a meeting with them is very helpful. #GOconf
  • It's important to let them know what you do and why you are interested. #GOconf
  • Don't be intimidated in calling your elected officials. Normally they are tracking yes or nos. #GOconf
  • There is a Seniors Nutrition Farmers Market program. #whoknew #GOconf
  • Most farmers markets or farmers have to pay for the machinery to run the EBT cards. Grocery Stores do not. New bill addresses this. #GOconf
  • The rural development section of the bill has a lot of "green" energy development in the Farm Bill. #GOconf
  • 67% of the Farm Bill go to Nutrition Programs. #GOconf
  • The Super Committee did not come to a resolution on anything but there were some great food security issues that got agreed upon. #GOconf
  • Environmental conservation programs in the farm bill will probably get defunded if they don't pass the bill. #GOconf
  • If bill does pass then we go into a supplemental funding mode but things will slip between the cracks. #GOconf
  • If we don't get the farm bill passed by Sept this yr then it will be a whole yr before we can focus on it again because of election #GOconf
  • It's important to let Senators and Congress members to let them know what is important to us. #GOconf
  • To reach success on farm and food issues coalition building is really critical. #GOconf
  • They should rename the Farm Bill to the Food and Farm Bill - Pam Roy, Farm to Table, NM #GOconf
  • If you go to you can track all the progress and testimony on the Farm Bill. #GOconf
  • The current Farm Bill runs out in the fall. #GOconf
  • 20% of #GA receives Food Stamps. 35% of #GAs pop are eligible. #whoknew #GOconf
  • #GA Sen Saxby Chambliss is the ranking Senator on the Fed Senator Ag committee. #GOconf
  • That's 150% increase in Farmers Markets since 2,000 nationwide. #GOconf
  • RT @loveislovefarm: “@slowfoodATL: Ga issues 251 million dollars a month on SNAP dollars. A MONTH! #goconf @WholesomeWaveGA
  • There are now more than 7,000 farmers markets in the US #GOconf

Lobbying and Working within the Political Spectrum

  • RT @loveislovefarm: Nasturtiums qualify as food according to USDA. #goconf
  • I am in the beginning #goat herder's session. I am not going to tweet everything but very good info. #goconf


  • You can only buy a whole chicken pastured poultry. Just so you know : ) #GOconf @wholefoods
  • If you want more pastured poultry in #GA. Contact Ag Commissioner Gary Black. Your voice counts! #GOconf
  • Pastured Poultry is the equivalent of range free beef. #GOconf
  • Whole Foods has pledged to sell #Georgia raised pastured poultry throughout the southeast. #GOconf @wholefoods
  • Campaign Pledge…
  • If you want pastured poultry you need to ask, ask, ask! Sign the pledge at #GOconf
  • Anyone who wants pastured poultry should have access to it. Currently Whole Foods has been major player but not other options #GOconf
  • Farmers Markets in #GA grew by 600% last year. National average was 14%. #GOconf
  • The coalition of GA Pastured Poultry Association started a couple of weeks ago. #GOconf
  • #GA has the most interesting laws in regards to water and the relationship to municipalities. #GOconf
  • One solution for poultry processing is a mobile unit where the processor comes to the poultry farm. #GOconf
  • Culturally poultry is very different from from red meat producers. #GOconf
  • There is a huge gray area for Poultry Producers who do under 20,000 birds. #GOconf
  • You need to communicate that you are a small business person with a farm. You create jobs and need support with some legislation. #GOconf
  • Having a voice from the farming community at the state legislature is critical. #GOconf
  • USDA has hired GA State inspectors to perform USDA inspections. #interesting #GOconf
  • If you want to process your chickens on your farm in GA it's almost impossible with current laws. #GOconf
  • Wow! They just polled the audience about how many folks want to raise chickens. About a thrid of the room raised their hands. #GOconf
  • RT @boxcargrocer: Hard to take food & businesses away a community in need of both. Our vendors work hard to provide healthy access. #GOconf
  • Okay the Pastured Poultry Policy Session has started. #GOconf

Pastured Poultry Policy Session

  • Business Licenses is a disaster for everyone nationwide in regards to individual vendors for farmers markets. #GOconf
  • One of the biggest reasons you see conflict over chickens and gardens is because of neighbor complaints. #GOconf
  • Composting gets very complicated. There are a lot of rules on a fed, state and local in regards to waste. #GOconf
  • When it comes to rain water harvesting things to consider are structure used for collection. #GOconf
  • Issues with urban agriculture - water, leasing vs owning land, start-up costs #GOconf
  • #DeKalb County is doing a lot of great work reworking their codes on community gardens. #GOconf
  • RT @boxcargrocer: Why do we need 2 revise zoning codes 2 address urban ag? To open up more doors-expand access ro fresh food 4 all. #GOconf
  • So the room is SRO and there's lots of really thoughtful intelligent discussion here. #GOconf
  • Only two studies have been done on these positive urban farm results. #GOconf
  • There are studies that have now come out showing urban farms help property values and decreases crime. #GOconf
  • #ATL is working with Georgia Organics to craft the new code. #GOconf
  • Currently Urban farmers can't get business licenses because of the existing zoning in #ATL#GOconf
  • Currently all urban gardens in #ATL are operating illegally. Wait! It's because of old zoning laws. #GOconf
  • Zoning allows protection and promotion for farmers markets. #GOconf
  • There is a lot of disagreement about what should be in code. This is healthy debate. #GOconf
  • This bill while possibly contentious it would prevent local gov. preventing from home owners having gardens, bees and chickens. #GOconf
  • HB 843 in #GA Legislature is the right to grow act. It's a back yard issue re what you can do with own yard. #GOconf
  • There is a bill moving through the #GA Legislature that addresses land banks and land trusts. Could be positive if passes. #GOconf
  • School/farm partnerships have been very effective programs across the country. It's not as easy as it sounds but can be really good. #GOconf
  • Urban Ag can not be seen as just a short term solution. So make sure when negotiating it's not a short term solution. #GOconf
  • In #GA there is a lack federal and state regulations regarding urban farming. So each Municipal gov gets to pick how they handle it. #GOconf
  • Zoning issues are hyper localized be pragmatic. You can't expect Seattle zoning to be welcomed in rural south. #GOconf
  • If you need help for your city to see current zoning issues go to >> Site where you can research all codes #GOconf
  • #ATL already has a very liberal stance on animals in the city. #GOconf
  • Revising the amendment to address the growing ag side instead of dealing with animals at the same time. #GOconf
  • In the Zoning Food Policy seminar. Current state of #ATL is they are working with the city to redraft the Zoning Amendment #GOconf

Zoning for Urban Gardens and Farming

  • Good Food for all! #goconf
  • It was so successful that they turned around and upped it to 15% #goconf
  • Walmart has now committed to buying 10% of all their produce from 150 mile radius from each distribution center #goconf
  • There is more energy, more forward motion for organic and local farm support than ever before. #goconf
  • The American tax payer will spend half a billion dollars in health care this year.>> That's not Obamacare spending. #goconf
  • Access to fresh produce is a right for everyone not just a privilege for the rich. #goconf
  • Wholesome Wave has worked very hard to streamline process for farmer's market to accept EBT #goconf
  • Wholesome Wave GA is in the top 8 branches in the country out of 27 States. #goconf
  • No. 1 reason WIC shopper's shop farmer's markets? Quality of produce! WOOT! #goconf
  • Wholesome Wave matches the WIC money so people who spend double the spending capacity
  • Wholesome Wave is the pioneer of using WIC money in farmers market. #goconf
  • Wholesome Wave is a non-profit dedicated to promoting local farmers and policy. #goconf
  • Michel has a great back story on the evolution of farm to table #GOconf
  • Listening to Michel Nischan - keynote at #goconf

Morning Keynote – Michel Nischan

Tweet Diary - First Public Natural Gas Fueling Station in GA in 20 years

DeKalb County became the proud recipient of the first public Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fueling station in the state in 20 years. A bevy of state and local politicians attended the ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate Georgia's efforts to reduce it's dependency on foreign oil. To read in order start at the bottom and work your way up. To see the photos you can visit our Facebook page.


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