Our dream is to transform our little corner of southern Appalachia into a place where farmers and food producers can all thrive–a place where people enjoy what’s on their plates even more because they know where it came from.

Southern Appalachian Family Farms(SAFF) is a group of like minded, committed, and enthusiastic farmers, beekeepers, beef ranchers, poultry producers, professional bakers, and gardeners who are dedicated to building and sustaining strong and economically successful food and agriculture economies in four counties located in the beautiful North Carolina mountains; Clay, Cherokee, Graham, and Macon. Local foods is their passion and any entity that celebrates fresh, local, community foods in this region is a way to support and celebrate the mission of SAFF! SAFF’s efforts seek to preserve the unique mountain agricultural heritage that exists while supporting “agripreneurs”of all sorts in this part of the state.

SAFF serves to be a strategic marketing platform for farmers in these four far western counties and to educate local communities on the economic and social benefits of living in a diverse agriculture mecca as is the state of North  Carolina and connecting consumers to locally grown products through many outreach platforms and projects. Celebrating this diversity and the beautiful natural resources that make up our agricultural environment is the primary purpose that drives the efforts of SAFF. SAFF strives to increase economic opportunities, educational opportunities to farmers and community members, training's, and resources that will aid in local farmers and growers success and in return continue to spur economic development in the region.


Type of Organization




Primary Contact

Charlie Kissling- Board of Directors

[email protected]

Social Media

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SouthernAppalachianFamilyFarms?fref=ts



Issues of Focus

  • Local food

  • Agritourism

  • Local Foods

  • Buying local

  • Agricultural heritage

  • Economic Development

  • Appalachia

  • Agriculture preservation

History of Organization

SAFF has existed since 2010, originally as a farmer-led marketing organization. The vision of SAFF was and still remains to provide local foods and farm related community education while emphasizing the benefits of local foods and goods in terms of local economic development. Working through farmers markets, produce outlets, farmer convenings and farm tours, and local food marketing such as local food guides, in order to increase opportunities for local farmers and growers. SAFF re-organized in 2015 to be an official North Carolina Non-Profit and is now known as the SAFF Ag Initiative. SAFF is managed by a five member leadership team who are all growers at local markets and actively participate in SAFF initiatives.

Programs and Projects

  • The Far West Farm Tour: Visit and meet with 15 local farms and food producers in Cherokee, Clay, and Graham Counties through a self-guided tour. Meet and greet with your local food growers and see what life is like on the farm. Take home fresh local goods, try samples of delicious locally inspired food items, and enjoy a day learning about the beautiful agricultural community in Western North Carolina.
  • Hayesville Evening Market, on the square in Hayesville, NC. Every Thursday from 4-8 PM. Wonderful community event for those who live in or around Clay County.

  • Cedar Valley Farmers Market in downtown Murphy, every Saturday from 8-1 pm.

  • Andrews Farmers Market on First Street in Andrews every Saturday from 8-1 pm.

  • Cowee Farmers Market at the Historic Cowee School in Franklin, NC

  • Brasstown Farmers Market on Old Highway 64 in Brasstown NC every Wednesday from 9-1 pm

  • Franklin Farmers Market on 200 Block of East Palmer Street in Franklin, every Saturday from 8-1

Partners and Frequent Collaborators

  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension

  • USDA

  • ASAP

  • Cherokee County North Carolina

  • Western North Carolina Food Policy Council

  • Clay County North Carolina

  • MountainWise

  • Clay County Health Department

  • Macon County North Carolina

  • Graham County North Carolina

  • G.R.E.A.T

  • Macon County Public Health

  • SouthWestern Regional Commission