Farm to Market Alliance

Project Overview

Project Type: Sustainable Community Innovation
Funds awarded in 2010: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:
Christine McCauley
Madison-Morgan Conservancy

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: barley, corn, cotton, potatoes, sorghum (milo), soybeans, sunflower, wheat, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: melons, berries (other), berries (blueberries), figs, peaches
  • Nuts: pecans
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, artichokes, asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), leeks, lentils, onions, parsnips, peas (culinary), peppers, radishes (culinary), rutabagas, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips, brussel sprouts
  • Additional Plants: herbs, native plants, ornamentals
  • Animals: bovine, poultry, swine, sheep
  • Animal Products: dairy
  • Miscellaneous: mushrooms


  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Education and Training: workshop, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: e-commerce, farm-to-institution, agritourism
  • Sustainable Communities: community planning, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, urban/rural integration, community services, social networks

    Proposal abstract:

    In an effort to “Keep Farmers Farming,” the Madison- Morgan Conservancy has begun promoting the Farm to Market Alliance (F2MA) as a way to facilitate the marketing and transportation of local food fresh from farm to table. In order to accomplish this mission specific to Morgan County, we see that a regional educational program and marketing materials are the necessary first steps.
    Through F2MA, the Conservancy has mobilized a group of farmers involved in the sustainable farming movement to create a map and web presence of the agritourism ventures in Morgan County (local farms, farm lodging, and farm events) in an effort to illustrate, promote, and support a critical mass of agricultural ventures in Morgan County. Morgan County's largest industry is agriculture, followed by tourism, and the economic market for agritourism will thrive only with that critical mass. In turn, that critical mass (of farmland and community farm infrastructure) will secure farmland for future sustainable farming operations, many of which are already choosing to locate in Morgan County.
    Providing education on agricultural matters is another key to the success of sustainable farming. Through F2MA the Conservancy will host two educational forums within the grant's one year timeframe, much like the forums we hosted this year (Land Talks: The Future is Farming, and Farm Transition and Conservation Easement Workshop).
    We have budgeted a total of $20,000 for this project and request a total of $10,000 from SCIG. The Madison-Morgan Conservancy, through annual membership dues, will match the $10,000 to complete the budget.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1 - educational forums and materials The Conservancy will provide two forums designed to bring important information to farmers, residents, the markets (restaurants, foodies, grocers), and local elected officials that will be helpful in the marketing and transportation of local food fresh from farm to table. Two educational forums could consist of "Who can sell what to whom, when and where" and "Farmland Preservation and Conservation Easements." Additional informational sessions could include meeting with Morgan County Board of Commissioners and Planning Staff to create agricultural zoning ordinances and/or overlays (already involved per their request in this activity, but need to be able to sustain our involvement). Partners in this effort would include Morgan County Board of Commissioners and Planning Staff, The Center for Preservation and Planning (Covington), Smart Growth Newton County, Friends of Walton County, UGA Ag Economics, GA Organics, the Madison-Morgan Chamber of
    Commerce, the Farm Bureau, the NRCS, the GA Land Conservation Program, and the USDA, in addition to residents, restaurant owners, farmers, landowners, etc.
    2 - agritourism map and web presence The Conservancy has mobilized a group of sustainable farmers to compile a map and tour guide of farms, farm-stays, and farm events in Morgan County in order to promote agritourism in an effort to “Keep Farmers Farming.” Additionally, this group is working to create a web presence in a variety of forms (Chamber of Commerce website, Conservancy website, individual farm websites) for the many farms in Morgan County to promote and sustain that critical mass of agriculture that is needed for any individual farm to be successful. This project will require: coordinating farmers, collecting information about each farm, scheduling farm events, drafting text, creating graphics and map, printing maps and brochures, and marketing through other means the map and agritourism available in Morgan County. Partners involved in this project could include farmers, grocers, restaurateurs, GA Organics, local agribusinesses, Morgan County Board of Commissioners, Chambers of Commerce, Ga Department of Economic Development, as well as residents and the local Cooperative Extension Office.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.