Beginning and Aspiring Women Farmer Learning Circle in Southwest Iowa Sept. 18

by Ash Bruxvoort

The Women, Food and Agriculture Network’s Harvesting Our Potential program is providing its second Learning Circle and Farm Tour event of 2017 for aspiring and beginning women farmers. If you’re dreaming of farming one day or are actively working to start your farm, this is one you shouldn’t miss! The all-day event on September 18th includes farm tours and discussion time with beginning and seasoned women farmers, including Jayme Fowler, Wild Furrow Farm; Amber Mohr, Fork Tail Farm; and Denise O’Brien, Rolling Acres Farm.

“Harvesting Our Potential Learning Circles offer women an opportunity to learn and ask questions in a supportive environment, share their dreams about farming, meet women just like them, and learn about the next steps to take to make their dreams a reality,” said Wren Almitra, WFAN’s Women, Land and Legacy coordinator who is orchestrating the event. “Our May HOP meeting saw 25 women come together with an array of backgrounds and experiences and all with one big thing in common—a shared passion for food grown sustainably and justly.”

The morning networking and resource sharing portion of the day will include representatives from Practical Farmers of Iowa, ISU Extension & Outreach, WFAN, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, and others. These groups will speak on topics pertinent to starting a farm business and how their programs benefit beginning farmers.

The afternoon farm tour will visit unique small-scale farms, providing a first-hand look at successful farms where women at the helm and an opportunity to ask these farmers how they got to where they are and how they operate day to day.

Register for the Learning Circle

This FREE event will be held Monday, September 18th from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration begins at 8:30 with a light breakfast. We’ll start and end at the Olsen Lodge at Botna Bend Park, 42926 Mahogany Road, Hancock, IA. Lunch will be provided by Milk and Honey in Harlan.

Testimonials from previous Harvesting Our Potential Learning Circles:

“It was really nice to hear successful farmers speak about the fact that they do not have a family background in farming. It makes farming feel much more attainable.”

“I loved the small group atmosphere. It made it easier to talk about future plans and ask questions. Great workshop! I will be coming back if you hold more.”

“This workshop helped me hear a variety of stories of journeys of beginning farmers and what resources are available and what expenditures might be made out of pocket. I have a better expectation of what it will take to get into farming now.”

“Hearing other women’s questions challenged me to think about aspects of my dream that I hadn’t thought about.”

This event is made possible through generous support from the Iowa Women's Foundation.