2018 WFAN Annual Conference — Stepping Into Action
2018 WFAN Annual Conference
Stepping Into Action: Changing foodscapes through individual and community power
friday – Saturday, Nov. 2 – 3, 2018
Sheraton Madison Hotel, Des Moines, IA
More than 180 women and men attended advocacy, community organizing, and agriculture focused field tours, intensives, and workshops at the 2018 WFAN Annual Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. The conference featured Farm Tales, a farm-to-table dinner and art and story gallery at the Des Moines Art Center.
Keynote speaker: Aleya Fraser
Aleya Fraser is a returning generation farmer from Baltimore, MD. She has been farming for the last 5 years on the ancestral lands of Harriet Tubman on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where she grew a variety of fruits and vegetables for market and saved seeds for future generations on the farm that she co founded named Black Dirt Farm.
She came to farming through her ancestral background and through years of work in the outpatient, inpatient and research aspects of hospitals. It was through her education and these personal experiences that she began to understand food as medicine and also food as a tool of social change.
She is also a lifelong student and educator with a teaching certificate in biology and she has taught and mentored youth in urban and rural environments. Farming and feeding people’s physical and mental health through land stewardship is the crux of all of her passions. Since she started farming and organizing around food sovereignty, Aleya has taken courses in Agroecology at UC Santa Cruz (California,USA), Permaculture at Rowe Institute (Massachusetts,USA) and Wa Samaki Farm (Trinidad), Farmer to Farmer Methodology at ANAP institute in Cuba, Beginning Farmer Program (Maryland,USA) as well as presented at conferences ranging from new economies to farmland trusts to agroecology.
Throughout the years she has also worked in the ground on multiple farms, organized many land based gatherings of activists at her farm and around the region, created youth gardening programs, organized church gardening programs and worked in other levels of the food system as the Regional Program Manager for a sustainable agriculture organization and more recently as a consultant.