Women, Food And Agriculture Network Announces Upcoming Events

Women, Food And Agriculture Network Announces Upcoming Events

WFAN and other groups are providing trainings, meetings and opportunities for Iowa women interested in sustainable agriculture.

Aspiring women farmers in Iowa who are exploring the idea of a farm or rural business as a career but are not yet farming are invited to a half-day "farm dreams" workshop on March 22 at Guthrie Center. "Farm Dreams: Mapping Your Success" will help you create and write a vision for your small farm business, inventory your resources and evaluate your next step in becoming a successful farmer. An experienced woman farmer will be available to share her stories and dreams, offer suggestions and answer questions.

This is one of several upcoming meetings and events for Iowa farm women sponsored by the Women, Food and Agriculture Network, or WFAN, and other groups.

IOWA FARM WOMEN: The Women, Food and Agriculture Network and other organizations are sponsoring some unique upcoming events. There are value-added food processing trainings and workshops for women interested in farming, beginning a rural business and more.

Value-added food processing trainings Feb. 14 and 20
The Iowa Food Systems Council is organizing trainings in southwest and central Iowa for small-scale produce farmers who want to incorporate value-added processing into their businesses and for managers and owners of licensed commercial kitchens interested in opening up their spaces for these farmers to rent and use. If you fit into either of these categories or are simply interested in learning more about this, please join us at one of the trainings!

The training in southwest Iowa will be on Friday, February 14, and the central Iowa training will take place on Thursday, February 20. A representative of the Department of Inspections and Appeals will be there to discuss general licensing requirements as well as to address attendees' specific questions about licensing and regulations, and we will share a lot of other information and resources as well. If you are interested in attending one of the trainings or would like more information, please contact Jess Soulis [email protected] or call her at 515-867-8095.

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Workshop on beginning your own ecological restoration business Feb. 22.
On Saturday, Feb. 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Boone County Extension Office, 603 Story Street in Boone, Iowa, WFAN is sponsoring a free business planning workshop for women interested in starting their own ecological restoration businesses. Funding is provided by a grant from the Iowa Women's Foundation. Learn from experienced women entrepreneurs in the field. To register, send an email to WFAN [email protected] by 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. 

Value-added Annie's Project course begins March 7
Beginning women farmers are invited to participate in a special value-added Annie's Project course offered by Iowa State University in partnership with WFAN's Harvesting Our Potential program. The course will take place over four Fridays in March (7, 14, 21 and 28) at the Ames Hunziker Center of DMACC, 1420 South Bell Avenue, Ames, IA, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost is $75 and includes lunches and all materials. Learn from small-scale agriculture business professionals what you will need to know to begin or expand your own market farm, and complete a personalized business plan. Register ASAP; class size is capped at 20. 

"Farm Dreams" workshop in Guthrie Center March 22
Curious about what it would take to start your own market farm, but don't know where to start? This half-day workshop is for you! Aspiring women farmers in Iowa are invited to a workshop called "Farm Dreams: Mapping Your Success" on Saturday, March 22, at the Guthrie County Extension Office, 212 State Street, Guthrie Center, IA, from 9:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Facilitator Regina Lloyd will guide you through the steps to define your values, envision your farm enterprise, identify your assets and map out next steps. Cost is $20 and includes lunch and materials. Size is capped at 15.

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Become a pesticide drift monitor! Iowa trainings begin in March
Several years ago scientists at the Pesticide Action Network invented Drift Catcher to address a gap in the science around pesticide exposure using on-the-ground data. In the past, rural communities could describe being subject to pesticide drift, but had no real evidence that they were breathing pesticides in the air. The Drift Catcher provides this evidence.

About the tool: PAN's Drift Catcher is a simple and scientifically robust device that collects air samples which can then be analyzed for pesticides. It empowers community members to document and draw attention to otherwise invisible chemical exposures.

About the training: WFAN is inviting rural residents to join a statewide effort to document pesticide drift near homes and farms. We're specifically looking for individuals who can commit to attending a day-long training and monitor for one week during the summer. Monitoring is a time commitment of about one hour a day. Our training dates for Iowa this Spring are March 22, 23 and 24. Apply today as there is limited space and equipment for each training, so if you're interested, please apply ASAP! Fill out this short online questionnaire about why you're interested in being a Pesticide Monitor, and WFAN get back to you soon.

Farm apprenticeships available with Wallace Centers of Iowa.
The Wallace Centers of Iowa will offer four farm apprenticeships in 2014: three at the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center near Orient, IA, and one at Danamere Farm near Carlisle, IA. Apprenticeships last eight to 15 weeks, and offer hands-on experience in all aspects of operating a medium-sized organic vegetable and fruit production garden. They include a stipend, housing and assistance developing a business plan. Learn more at the Center's website, or [email protected]for details and to apply.

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