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Workshop Geared Toward Wisconsin's Women Farmers

PHOTO: Jane Hawley Stevens, an herb-growing sustainable agriculture entrepreneur, hosts a July 25 workshop in North Freedom, Wis., for women in agriculture. Photo courtesy Four Elements Herbals.
PHOTO: Jane Hawley Stevens, an herb-growing sustainable agriculture entrepreneur, hosts a July 25 workshop in North Freedom, Wis., for women in agriculture. Photo courtesy Four Elements Herbals.
July 14, 2014

BROWNTOWN, Wis. – While the number of farms in Wisconsin has been declining for years, the number owned and operated by women has been steadily rising.

Lisa Kivirist is coordinator of the Rural Women's Project, which is sponsoring an on-farm workshop on July 25 at Four Elements Organic Herbals in North Freedom.

It's part of the series called In Her Boots: Sustainable Farming for Women.

Kivirist says it's a great chance to meet other women in the business.

"Particularly women from their area who are interested in the same topics of growing food, of sustainability, of organic agriculture,” she points out. “So, while our Boots workshops have certain themes based on the farms they're at, they're really for any women interested in agriculture."

Jane Hawley Stevens, who raises herbs on her 130-acre farm, will host the workshop.

Kivirist says women entrepreneurs are really making a mark on sustainable agriculture.

"Four Elements, for example, just started a processing facility in town, in North Freedom, where they are making tea bags from the herbs that they grow, their dried herbs,” she explains. “And at Stoney Acres, they've started a pizza farm operation, so they have an on-farm commercial kitchen, where they do pizzas one night a week."

The workshop costs $50 and includes lunch. Kivirist says some scholarships to help cover the cost of the workshop are available.

People can register by calling 715-778-5775.

According to Kivirist, part of the growth in sustainable agriculture can be attributed to the growing number of people who care where their food comes from.

"Definitely, definitely,” she says. “We're seeing that ‘who's my farmer?' connection grow all the time.

“And it's a great opportunity for beginning farmers of all genders to think about following their dreams and pursuing a new career chapter in agriculture."


Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI