Opportunities for Women Farmers
Introducing new opportunities for aspiring, beginning, and established women farmers!
The Center for Rural Affairs is partnering with Women, Food, and Agriculture Network (WFAN) to help aspiring and beginning women farmers turn their farming dreams into reality through training and mentorships with established women farmers.
WFAN, a community of women in sustainable agriculture, is leading a 3-year project (2013-2016) to support beginning and aspiring women farmers in Iowa and Nebraska. Through the project, aspiring and beginning women farmers will receive business planning assistance, networking opportunities with other beginners, and mentorships with established women farmers in the region. Experienced mentor farmers will receive training in risk management and best practices in educating mentees. CFRA is working with WFAN to run these programs in Nebraska.
Are you a woman exploring the idea of a farm or rural business as a career, but not yet farming? Check out our free Farm Dreams workshop. Farm Dreams is a half-day course that can help you get started in farming.
At the workshop, you will:
- Design a vision for your small farm business
- Inventory your resources
- Evaluate your next steps
- Learn from an experienced woman farmer on-site
Are you a woman who has been farming in Iowa or Nebraska for 10 years or less? Our intensive business planning course is available free of charge. Learn from experts at a series of workshops, and work on a business plan to help your farm business grow and succeed.
A limited number of mentorships are available for committed women aspiring beginning farmers to work with established women farmers and learn from their experience.
Aspiring Women Farmers can participate in on-farm mentorships, working closely with successful women farmers to learn the ropes. Download the aspiring farmer on-farm mentorship application here.
Beginning Women Farmers can learn from off-farm mentorships. For more information, contact Kathie Starkweather.
For additional information about all available mentorship opportunities, contact Kathie Starkweather, firstname.lastname@example.org, 402-617-7946. More information of Iowa's mentorship activities is available via WFAN.
Mentor - Charuth Loth, ShadowBrook Farm and Dutch Girl Creamery
"We own a total of 34 acres. About 10 acres are devoted to growing certified organic specialty vegetables and herbs. We also plan about an acre of cut flowers. We are committed to using grass-based beef cows as part of our rotation. We have a herd of dairy goats that are not only part of the rotation, but also provide milk for our Dutch Girl Creamery Artisan cheese production. We are currently using four hoop houses to extend our growing season."
-- Charuth Loth, ShadowBrook Farm, 2201 West Denton Rd, Lincoln, NE 68523
Mentor - Ruth Chantry, Common Good Farm
Common Good Farm is a small, sustainable, certified organic and Biodynamic family farm. We've been growing good food for 17 years in southeast Nebraska. We provide delicious, healthful food for our community and neighbors, tend the soil, grow the food, and love the land. We grow over 45 different kinds of produce on 4 acres of veggies and herbs. We also sell plants, raise pastured pork and grass-fed beef, and keep a pasture-based laying flock for gorgeous organic eggs."
--Ruth Chantry, Common Good Farm, 17201 NW 40th St, Raymond, NE 68428
Photos by Community CROPS
Funded by a 2012 USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Grant