Cultivating the Cumberland Seed Commons ArticleAg Mag Spring 2024 – see p. 10-13

…in addition, our Convening is also featured on the Berea Tourism website:




April 20 – 23, 2024

The CUMBERLAND SEED COMMONS (CSC) will be holding its 2024 Spring Convening designed for farmers, seed savers, members, partners, researchers, and supporters during four grand days April 20-23, 2024 in Madison County Kentucky. Everyone is welcome to attend regardless of county, state, or country of residence.

The 2024 Cumberland Seed Commons Spring Convening is an educational gathering of farmers, primarily from the Southeast region, with the focus on seeds and their foundational role in thesustainable agriculture movement. Participants will learn about: seed history in the USA, USDA seed vaults, seed farming, seed saving, seed sovereignty, seed research, seed rematriation, Indigenous and African American cosmology of seeds as well as seed diversity and seed adaptation as a necessary pathway of building community resilience as we are challenged by decreasing biodiversity, environmental degradation and climate change. 

Our bioregional approach is meant to ensure community resilience with the development of an intimately connected community of seed farmers, seed savers, seed researchers, seed hubs, seed companies into a network that we call a SEED COMMONS. The bioregion that we have elected to use is based upon the Cumberland River watershed which begins in the mountains of southeast Kentucky, flows across northern Tennessee, and returns to western Kentucky before joining the Ohio river near Paducah, KY.  So, thus we call our network the Cumberland Seed Commons and our long-range vision is to develop a network of 1,000 seed farmers, educators, researchers and 50 seed hubs in this bioregion.

We began this effort back in October 2022 during the Fall Convening of the Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance held in Accokeek, MD. We continued our efforts at the April 2023 Spring Convening of UCFA in Berea, KY. Our efforts continued at our 1st winter convening of the Cumberland Seed Commons in Lebanon, TN at Cumberland University held December 1-3, 2023, as part of the Tennessee Local Food Summit.

And now our work continues with our Spring Convening held at Berea College April 21-23, 2024.

Our Spring Convening will include: three days of workshops, speakers, hands-on-training of seed cleaning along with farm tours of local seed farmers, seed savers and seed researchers. In addition to numerous local resource people, our speakers will include representatives from the Cherokee tribal nations, USDA Seed Liaison Office, TVA and seed stewards from Belize, Trinidad and Tobago’s,  and Puerto Rico. 


Fees are $50 per day at the Registration link above, with payment of registration fees below with:

SEND QUESTIONS TO: embryjim@gmail.com or call (859)270-3699