Resources / Links
As the number of women-owned businesses and farms continues to grow, opportunity abounds for women of all backgrounds, ages and interests to craft a livelihood that blends meaning with stewarding the planet and transforming our food system.
Fact Sheet on the Growth of Women in Sustainable Agriculture
Building on our nation’s long-standing agricultural roots, women today are plowing new farming and food-based business ventures, blending entrepreneurial start-ups with their passion for bringing healthy, fresh, local food to our communities. From launching new farms to cheese-making operations to pizza businesses, this growing trend of women “ecopreneurs” creatively build successful businesses around their passion for conservation, community and leaving this world a better place. Some of these women traded urban roots for the rural lifestyle while others are recrafting the family farm lifestyle they grew up with. Yet they all share a passion to help educate others about the importance of healthy land, food and community connections.
Women launching more businesses:
Wisconsin women operate smaller, diversified farms and dairy operations:
Wisconsin women work cooperatively:
Wisconsin leads organic agriculture:
If you have any questions related to the Rural Women's Project, please contact Lisa Kivirist.
Websites for Case Studies
Grants & Resources for Beginning Women Farmers
While there are many different resources out there for beginning farmers, this list uniquely provides a “getting started” synthesis specifically for women in organic and sustainable agriculture, with a focus on beginning farmers in the Midwest.Federal Farm Bill Programs Part I
Programs with money prioritized for women/socially disadvantaged farmers. First point of contact would be your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) or local USDA office:
Grant programs that typically are the best “points of entry” for beginning farmers and first time grant writers.
For a complete listing of federal programs for sustainable agriculture, forestry, entrepreneurship, conservation and community development visit:
SARE is a USDA program separate from Farm Bill funding. For a full listing of SARE funding opportunities go to www.sare.org/grants/.
While both of these do not have a specific sustainable agriculture focus, many of the participants and much of the information conveyed incorporates this perspective. Typically have a reasonable registration fee – but still don’t forget to inquire about scholarships.
Organized by the Learning Center at Angelic Organics, members ($30) can attend a variety of on-farm field days and workshops (April – Oct) for free. Primarily southern/central WI & northern IL.
Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) www.wfan.org
National network for women in sustainable agriculture. Free quarterly newsletter, listserve (sign-up on website). Organizes annual conference & retreat. Various programs.
Key National Organizations & Resources
These organizations offer free support for beginning farmers and ecopreneur start-ups. Often advocate for sustainable agriculture policy and funding priorities in Washington D.C. Most of these groups have free newsletters and Facebook pages. Sign up on-line.
"See Jane Grow" Workshop