Women Farmer Program at Upper Midwest Organic Conference

Women Farmer Programming: MOSES Organic Farming Conference

Women Farmers OrganicCalling all women farmers, landowners and food entrepreneurs, educators and activists -- look forward to seeing you at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference, Feb. 26-28 in beautiful LaCrosse, WI.   Full conference info here.
For those who haven't yet attended, the MOSES Conference is the largest event in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming with 3,000+ kindred spirits passionate about changing our food system and all with a healthy dose of spring fever.  Inspiring to say the least!
Below (click "Read More") is a summary of our  MOSES Rural Women’s Project programming at the conference, providing resources, networking and collaborative opportunities for women farmers, educators, activists and entrepreneurs.  A special warm welcome to beginning women farmers.
Note a couple of deadlines:
•  Early registration deadline (with some cost savings):  Jan. 18.
•  Scholarship deadline Dec. 21; more info here.
•  Volunteer opportunities info here; (limited and scheduled in the order they are received; apply soon!)

Rural Women’s Project sessions at the MOSES Conference:A)  Organic University
In Her Boots:  Resources to Empower Farmers
Thurs. Feb. 26; 9:30 – 5:00 
•  Full day, in-depth course; pre-registration & separate fee requiredThis session uniquely addresses start-up issues for beginning women farmers, one of the fastest-growing segments of new farmers. Learn from seasoned growers how to develop a diversified farm-business plan with livestock, produce, value-added products and agritourism, and where to find funding for your new enterprise.

Five experienced women who farm will cover both business pragmatics and topics pertinent to women, such as running a solo business, caring for children and family and self, starting a farm mid-life, and working with tools that fit women’s bodies.

Lisa Kivirist, Inn Serendipity & MOSES Rural Women’s Project
Kate Stout, North Creek Community Farm
Lindsey Morris Carpenter, Grassroots Farm LLC
Dela Ends, Scotch Hill Farm
Clare Hintz, Elsewhere Farm

B)  At the MOSES Conference
•  Anyone registered for the Conference can attend any of these; no pre-registration needed.

1. Networking Session:  Women in Sustainable & Organic Agriculture
Fri.  2/27; 5:15 – 6:00 pm (Location:  Room B next to the Dining Hall)

Are you a woman farmer in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota or Michigan or plan to be?  Or work in other ways to champion sustainable agriculture in these states?   Come meet other women from your state.  Whether you’re a seasoned grower or just starting to plot your own business, come for ideas, connections and perhaps the spark that starts a network in your community. Hosted by the MOSES Rural Women’s Project and the Women, Food & Agriculture Network.

2.  Film Screening:  Terra Firma:  A Film about Women, War & Healing
Thurs. Feb. 26; 6:00 pm

A film by Christine Anthony and Owen Masterson; terrafirmafilm.comSince 2001 over 280,000 women have been sent to the Middle East to serve in the War on Terror.  Often traumatized by their experiences, many return home with PTSD, unable to cope with the daily rigors of life.  Terra Firma weaves together the stories of three women veterans who were among the first to deploy, serving in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq.  After years of struggling, each has found ways to heal the hidden wounds of war through farming.   The film follows the women as they go about their daily lives, reflecting on their time spent in the military, the impact of war on their lives and their newfound peace of mind, finding that farming gives them purpose and a new way to serve their country by growing food for their communities.The MOSES Rural Women’s Project and the Women, Food & Agriculture Network (WFAN) will host a Q&A session with Sonia Kendrick, one of the women veterans and Iowa farmer featured in the film, after the screening.

3.  Farmer Roundtables
•  These are informal discussions on a variety of topics.  RWP will be hosting three specific ones for women farmers (below), but there will be opportunity to sign-up yourself and suggest and host any other topic.Fri. Feb. 27:  12:30-1:15
Plate to Politics: Women Farmers Leading Change
•  How can women farmers increase our leadership in transforming our food systems?  What opportunities are there for us to get started on our local level to advocate for change?
Facilitated by Lisa Kivirist, MOSES Rural Women’s Project & Bridget Holcomb, Women, Food & Agriculture Network (WFAN)Fri. Feb. 27:  1:30-2:15
Farming & Family: Integrating Kids
•  How can one blend raising a family with farming?  Share ideas and experiences and learn from experiences of various women farmer moms such as homeschooling, integrating kids into the business and developing support networks.
Facilitated by Dela Ends, Scotch Hill FarmSat., Feb. 28:  1-1:45
Women Farming Solo
•  Share tips and ideas and explore the unique challenges and opportunities that women farmers face when running farm operations on their own.
Facilitated by Clare Hintz, Elsewhere Farm4. FarmHer
•  Meet founder and photographer, Marji-Guyler-Alaniz right outside the Dining Hall during lunch on Fri. Feb. 27 and Sat. Feb. 28 and during the State Networking Session. Learn more about FarmHer, her inspiring project photographing women farmers.  Check out the FarmHer T-shirts, calendars and more.

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