On May 30, 2012, the North Delta Produce Growers Association attended the 1st Annual Sustainable Ag Network Conference at University, MS. The two day conference focused on small farm development throughout the state of MS, with a specific emphasis on helping small farmers develop innovative ideas surrounding marketing, organization, networking, and capacity building.
Day one focused on workshops regarding capacity building. They even offered formal dining with local growers at the end of the presentation. On the second day, the conference provided attendees guided tours to Oxford Community Garden, Yokna Bottoms Farm in Oxford, MS and Native Son Farm in Tupelo, MS.
Throughout the conference, speakers stressed the importance of learning from each other and being a supportive network. Therefore, the conference not only offered attendees the opportunity to see what was happening within the state of MS, but also within other states, with speakers from Alabama, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.
Over 40 individuals from across the state attended the conference. Of the 40 individuals in attendance, 11 of them were members of NDPGSA. In this respect, NDPGA had more conference members in attendance than any other organization. Those in attendance who were affiliated with NDPGA included: Charles Houston, Mr. and Mrs. Brewer and grandson, Kerrex and Lisa Taylor, Durandie Hubbard, Tony Mason, Elizabeth Myles (Market Specialist for Alcorn State University), Hope Crenshaw, and Dietrich Johnson. Members commented on the wealth of knowledge gained from attending the conference, and look forward to developing deeper ties with the organization.