News Release

Celebration Graphic.png


Georgia Farmers Market Association to Present a Q&A with Jon Jackson, Veteran, Farmer, and Comfort Farms Founder at the Celebration of Local Farmers and Food Producers

Locally produced food, prepared by local chefs will be featured On December 1, 2017
at the event hosted by the Hudgens Center for Art and Learning and the
Georgia Farmers Market Association

November 13, 2017, Atlanta, Georgia: Upon arrival, attendees will sample cocktails and local food. As they mingle among the artwork of Elizabeth Catlett, including her famous piece, “Sharecropper," they’ll hear music by local food producer and soul singer, Aja Ray. Rohit Malhotra, Executive Director and Founder of Atlanta's Center for Civic Innovation, will be the master of ceremonies and interview Jon Jackson about his military history, the program at Comfort Farms, and his passion for helping other veterans recover through Agrotherapy.

Roasted pork from heritage hogs, raised by Jackson and his team at Comfort Farms will be part of the menu of locally sourced food, along with delicious vegetarian and vegan small bites, local beer and cocktails served by local chefs.

Jackson, an Army veteran, served six deployments and fought with the Rangers in Afghanistan. He himself suffered a traumatic brain injury before returning to his own farm in Milledgeville, Georgia, where he began to heal. He founded the nonprofit, STAG Vets, a veterans acute crisis program which includes the healing farm for veterans, Comfort Farms.

This event is designed to acknowledge, celebrate and raise awareness of the important work of local farmers and producers. Proceeds will fund Georgia Farmers Market Association programs that strengthen farmers markets and support local producers. These programs impact individuals and entire communities by helping to grow healthier food systems and improving equitable food access.

The celebration will feature local food and beverages prepared by local chefs including:

Roasted pork from heritage hogs, raised on Comfort Farms
Prepared by Hector Santiago of El Super Pan Latino Sandwiches & Bar

Matthew Raiford- Strong Roots Provisions

Hilary White- Bistro Hilary

Jenn Robbins- Good Food Kitchen

Nick Leahy- Saltyard

Woolery Back- Table & Main | a southern tavern

Monday Night Brewing

 Signature kombucha and shrub cocktails crafted by Sage's Larder

Independent Distilling Co , LLC. spirits

The 2018 Farmer Fund Calendar will be released at this celebration.

Founded in 2015, The Farmer Fund produces an annual calendar that celebrates Georgia farmers to raise funds that help keep them farming through natural disasters. Jon Jackson and Matthew Raiford, chef and farmer of The Farmer and the Larder, appear on the cover of the 2018 calendar.

“Such beautiful and relevant art, delicious food, and wonderful people will make this a spectacular and memorable event,” said Sagdrina Jalal, Executive Director, Georgia Farmers Market Association. “We can’t wait to join these chefs, food producers and local food advocates to recognize the importance of their work. What could be better than celebrating those who feed Georgia?”


Ticket sales for the Celebration of Local Farmers and Food Producers are open to the public and may be purchased through the Georgia Farmers Market Association. Tickets are $60 for association members and $70 for non-members.

About the Food for Thought Conference

Additional information about the Food for Thought Conference, links to register and purchase tickets for the Celebration of Local Food Producers can be found on the GFMA website 

About Comfort Farms - STAG VETS INC

STAG VETS INC created the nations first Acute Veterans Crisis Agriculture center named (Comfort Farms), named in Honor of Army Ranger Captain Kyle A. Comfort, (KIA, May 8, 2010). Its location currently prepares veterans and students for careers in sustainable food production that integrates economic profitability, environmental stewardship, and healing through the use of Agri-therapy and time-tested natural approaches.

The facility will also serve veterans in acute situations where time and help are of the essence. Featuring a short-term stay lodge that can provide rooms for up to two veterans or one family Comfort Farms is building the resources to offer shelter and therapy that allows veterans to regain strength and re-boot for everyday life and a fulfilling future.

About the Hudgens Center for Art and Learning

The Hudgens Center for Art & Learning is a non-profit organization that has been focused on the arts since its establishment in 1981. The Hudgens’ mission is to bring art lovers, leaders and learners together through quality programs and exhibits. That mission is accomplished through visual arts initiatives, such as year round fine art exhibits and classes for all ages, and community arts initiatives, which reach out to underserved populations.

The Hudgens Center for the Arts is located at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Bldg. 300, in Duluth, in the Infinite Energy Center complex. For more information about art exhibitions, events and classes at The Hudgens, please visit the website at or call 770-623-6002.

About the Georgia Farmers Market Association (GFMA)

GFMA is an association of farmers markets, producers and farmers, community organizations, and local food advocates. Members believe that farmers markets can be vital community building, economy bolstering organizations that grow local, healthy food systems and improve equitable food access. The association hosts the annual Food for Thought Conference and works to promote and support community-based farmers markets through its membership, consulting and education programs.