Two groups are making leaps in the ag industry. While not mutually exclusive, they do seem to work together a lot: women farmers and organic. Lisa Kivirist chats with Bobbi Jo about the Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service, or MOSES, a leading organization in the industry. She talks about how it’s empowering women farmers.
The MOSES Conference held in Lacrosse every February is the largest gathering of organic farmers in the world. Their programming just starts there. The In Her Boots Project is a specific program designed for women farmers. They host workshops every summer to teach women new skills, help those just starting out, and provide a networking environment. They bring in women from different ag agencies and co-ops and work through the intricacies of the USDA that can often confuse newcomers.
Numerically, it seems like more and more women are entering agriculture, which Lisa finds funny. “It’s not like women just started growing food, right?” she muses. “We’ve been growing food and feeding our families and communities for forever, but really in the last twenty years, women across the country have finally achieved both political, policy, and economic recognition.”
The USDA classifies women as a socially disadvantaged farmer group because they had historically been discriminated against. Lisa sees that title fading away though as women work together to build each other up. Rights are finally equal. Now women are working their way into government seats and other positions of power to balance the scales. They’ve come a long way.