Southeastern African-American Farmers Organic Network (SAAFON), a 501(c)3 organization, is a network of farmers using sustainable growing methods. The Network is comprised of small and limited resource farmers that are either certified organic or growing organically. Currently SAAFON farmers are located in eight states and the U. S. Virgin Islands: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and St. Croix Island.
SAAFON is dedicated to helping farmers grow organically. We mean that literally and figuratively! Organic growing is important to preserving our land and our farmers’ financial future. Becoming a member of SAAFON gains you access to a powerful network of farmers who have a vested interest in your success.
To be considered for membership, you must:
- Attend 3 half-day organic training sessions held in Savannah, Georgia.
- Have a farm located in one of our eight states or the US Virgin Islands: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia and the US Virgin Islands.
- Commit 3 years to the program.
- Attend at least two 2 training sessions per year.
- Agree to participate in SAAFON’s Mentoring Program.
- Adhere to the organic principles as outline by the National Organic Program.
When you join SAAFON you join a network of more than 120 farmers with a vested interest in your success. Since 2006 we have created a powerful network that has built a solid reputation both nationwide and internationally. Our staff has over 60 years of combined expertise to help you with every facet of your business. When you join us, you join a legacy of successful farmers!
- Assistance with developing your farm plan.
- National Organic Program Certification Application guidance.
- Assistance with preparing your farm for organic certification.
- Assistance with emergency funding (subject to availability).
- Assistance with complying with the rules and regulations of the organic certification.
We appreciate your interest in joining our network. Below are our membership forms. Please download, fill out, sign and return to us so that we might process your membership.
Our membership is FREE. Yes you read that right! Membership is FREE to help reduce the barriers that prevent so many of our farmers from growing organically. We provide you with the information needed to help offset the costs of time and money in obtaining the organic certification. Our request of you, in lieu of payment, is that you grow organically and help expand our network.
Organic production is the fastest growing segment of the agriculture sector. Reasons for this include consumer demand, health and environmental concerns, and economic potential. However there have been several reasons African American are not certified organic farmers. Many agricultural professional in the South do not advocate organic production, and for some farmers the daunting and lengthy 19 page application process was a deterrent.
By investing in educating the current generation of farmers as well as providing trainings and opportunities for youth to expand their knowledge of organic farming, SAAFON works to grow sustainable farming throughout the Southeastern United States and Caribbean. Working directly with farmers ensures not only that each farm grows more financially sustainable, but also:
- Healthy soil maintenance yields more crops.
- Products fetch higher prices at market.
- Distribution opportunities expand for African American organic farmers.
- Farmers can keep up with latest in farm techonology