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  • How I Lead: Julia McGuire on Making Room for Backyard Bees in the City – WFAN
    garden had a waiting list within one week of a very soft opening that March Oct 2014 After beginning the beekeeping season in his urban backyard a neighbor asked city staff multiple times about changing code to allow bees in the city over the summer I originally didn t want him approach the city for fear that his questions would lead to a stricter prohibition of bees In October I asked my councilman for his opinion on getting urban bees as a permitted use in residential areas I learned that beeks bee geeks talk amongst themselves annually about municipal code but had never approached the council Nov 2014 I met with Linda a neighbor at the community garden to talk about legalizing bees in the city She introduced me via email to our new city manager We both attend the WFAN conference in Fairfield IA Dec 2014 City staff educated me on the code amendment process 30 45 days is normal and I introduced the city s attorney and development staff to the idea of bees in the city Jan 2015 I was invited to attend a Development and Planning Subcommittee meeting My neighbor was on the agenda I gave him details from the advocacy planning I did at the VRL workshop The state apiarist and I attended to support him and while we are waiting our turn I end up assigning topics and setting the order for us to speak The use of effective storytelling was made clear to me during 2012 and is emphasized in VRL webinars After the meeting I started reaching out to the West Des Moines bee keeping community to let them know that changes affecting them might be coming in the days ahead At this time zoning code allowed beekeeping only in West Des Moines very few lots in the Open Space Agriculture and Residential Estate lots over 1A in size zoning districts Feb 2015 I found city staff very open to backyard bees I wrote to my fellow beeks staff need to do three things weed out negligent keepers allay any fears that neighbors might bring up to the city and protect beekeepers and the City I asked the beekeeping community for support via letters to the Development and Planning Subcommittee a combo of council and staff I supplied a template and or to attend D and P or council meetings where a public forum is always available at the start of the meeting March 2015 Staff researched and wrote new urban beekeeping code and presented it to the D and P Subcommittee They used a model ordinance from Louisiana After the meeting I proposed we substitute with a model from Minnesota that matches our Iowa climate better This time period was our local funnel week the deadline for approval of a new code to allow bees before the season started We met again for Q and A The subcommittee wanted a public comment and education phase to gauge citizen readiness One councilman

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/how-i-lead-julia-mcguire-on-making-room-for-backyard-bees-in-the-city/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Book Review: Soil Sisters – a Toolkit for Women Farmers, by Lisa Kivirist – WFAN
    credentials to create a useful toolkit for women farmers she s Senior Fellow Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems at the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture and a national advocate for women in sustainable agriculture She founded and directs the Rural Women s Project of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service an award winning initiative championing female farmers and food based entrepreneurs She and her husband John Ivanko are authors of four prior books about farm based businesses And most relevant she and her husband and son operate a successful farmstay B B Inn Serendipity in southwest Wisconsin after leaving behind the cubicle life in Chicago more than 20 years ago After working with women engaged in healthy food and farming for many years I find that we are all starving for two things information and community Luckily for us as Lisa so elegantly illustrates in Soil Sisters these two things are natural partners Women learn best from one another and through this networking we build our tribes Author Lisa Kivirist A publication of the fabulous New Society Publishers check out their other fare including Lisa s earlier books at this link the book is composed of four sections Understanding Our Roots origins and polyculture dreams Gleaning Knowledge farm smarts Plowing Ahead supplying the bank account and sustaining the soul and Cultivating Quality of Life nurturing your body mind and spirit Each section is written in Lisa s trademark positive conversational style and draws on the wisdom of dozens of successful women farmers and advocates through sidebar features and quotes At 227 pages it s a manageable but satisfying meal that you can consume in one long or several short sittings Reflecting our dual need for information and inspiration Lisa provides nuts and bolts details about finding land building a

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/book-review-soil-sisters-a-toolkit-for-women-farmers-by-lisa-kivirist/ (2016-04-30)
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  • WCL Helps Resource Pros Reach Women Landowners – WFAN
    to get up to date conservation information into the hands of landowners in this case non operator female landowners Since its inception in 2009 more than 2 000 women have attended at least one WCL meeting in eight upper Midwestern states Sarah Szachnieski is a resource conservationist for four eastern Missouri counties and federal women s program manager for NRCS in Missouri She partnered with WFAN to host a women landowner learning circle last fall in Montgomery City The Women Caring for the Land meeting model gives women the chance to have a conversation with each other about conservation without being in a presentation she says Several women attended our meeting who weren t familiar with NRCS or our programs before The WCL model relies on peer to peer sharing adhering to the philosophy that all women have something to teach and something to learn Many women who attend meetings have inherited family farmland and have not been involved in farm management decisions in the past They have strong conservation values but need support and information from one another and the resource professionals in the room in order to turn those values into reality Sarah said One lady who came had been born and raised on farm but moved away and when her parents died she chose to retire early and move back to the farm She was brought by her operator to the meeting who is also a woman Sarah said the operator was interested in trying cover crops to control soil erosion but the landowner didn t have the information she needed to make the decision By the time she left the landowner was not only interested in cover crops but was interested in getting a couple of sheep and trying some grazing as well said Sarah Another

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/wcl-helps-resource-pros-reach-women-landowners/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Women Attending WCL Meetings Are Taking Conservation Action! – WFAN
    MO IL and IN A USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant funded 40 of these meetings the Iowa Department of Land Stewardship Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality funded 12 in Iowa and a USDA SARE Professional Development grant funded 9 in Missouri Wisconsin and Minnesota Female non operator farmland owners spent six hours together at each meeting beginning with a learning circle discussion on the basics of soil health and soil testing facilitated by female resource professionals The group then took a guided field tour At the end of the day women were asked to fill out an evaluation form to measure their increase in confidence and knowledge as a result of the program and provide some basic demographic data A few highlights are listed below for the full report click this link Total of 762 women landowner attendees 735 forms returned Total of 194 632 acres owned by 635 participants 100 participants didn t own land directly Average of 307 acres among women landowner participants across all 7 states Measure of expectations met 1 5 point scale 4 6 Satisfaction with content 1 5 point scale 4 6 Between 92 and 98 percent of the repondents were very

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/women-attending-wcl-meetings-are-taking-conservation-action/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Leading Permaculture Educator to Keynote WFAN Conference – WFAN
    and Permaculture Making a Living in Harmony with the Land Permaculture is defined in several ways Karryn s definition is this An ethical design system for meeting human needs while regenerating the ecosystems in which we are embedded Karryn began studying permaculture in 1997 and is a lead permaculture teacher and founding board member for the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute She also teaches sustainability related courses at Ithaca College Conference coordinator Leigh Adcock said We re excited to welcome Karryn as our keynote speaker because of her combination of deep knowledge of permaculture principles and passion for empowering women as leaders in the movement Karryn wrote this article in 2013 for Permaculture Activist Magazine A Pattern Language for Women in Permaculture Here is a blog post from her website Women Rocking Permaculture Karryn has designed home permaculture systems and public use permaculture gardens that serve as demonstration sites working both with individuals and multiple stakeholders A proponent of developing the business case for permaculture she incorporates strategic planning into the design process aiming to obtain a financial yield from aesthetic ecological designs Karryn lived and worked in Europe Africa and India before settling with her multi cultural family in an

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/leader-in-permaculture-and-womens-leadership-to-keynote-wfan-conference/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Leading at the County Level: Interview with Crystal McIntyre – WFAN
    basically promote myself which was a hurdle I had not considered before took on the hours of a full time job But once I was committed to running I did not even glance back Crystal on the site of a bridge replacement project in Warren County IA 4 What were your biggest challenges in running for election Where to start What to do first when there were 10 different things you could focus on that day and do all of it on a very limited budget I think running a household a farm or your own business you face the same challenges only now you have primaries and general elections as deadlines Do you feel any of them are specific to women Women in any field have to prove themselves like everyone else I experienced this in the Army in working and even at home on the farm I may be tiny but I m strong I d say when someone doubted I could drive the equipment or lift something heavy The district in my county that I ran for was ¾ of our county area and mostly rural consequently door knocking was a real test of endurance Instead of walking to each door I had to drive and these were gravel roads mostly which had not been maintained very well at that point Being a woman driving these back roads some that I was not familiar with knocking on a door in the middle of nowhere not knowing who or what would answer being invited in and taken on tours of their barns and other prized possessions was a treat at the time but looking back I can see the risks I had a wonderful girlfriend who became my driver so I did not have to go it alone most of the time I would highly recommend always having a buddy 5 How did you overcome these challenges and what did that teach you My biggest challenge came from those who were already in office Our county has a three member board of supervisors and the person I would eventually replace was not running again That previous board however had made some serious mistakes which made the news and resulted in a lawsuit against them During the primary I found out that my opponent had been handed picked by the other board members So I made my campaign about how he would definitely keep things status quo which would be a problem What was I to do after I beat him Well I actually liked my opponent in the general election so I made the campaign from that point about the current remaining members It worked beautifully until I won the election and realized now I have to work with these guys They really made it tough on me at first as my preference is to be inclusive and kind What was a girl to do Well patience paid off because about four months in I caught them up

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/leading-at-the-county-level-interview-with-crystal-mcintyre/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Harvesting Our Potential Mentees: Where Are They Now? – WFAN
    hoping to bridge my agricultural passions with my educational interests perhaps as an academic advisor for the agriculture school here who knows Thank you again for the opportunity with WFAN I still remain in contact with Carmen and Laura and miss Iowa dearly Skylar Falter 2014 Mentor Ruth Chantry Common Good Farm Raymond NE I currently work at an organic certification agency called OneCert Inc that certifies farms and food businesses as USDA organic This year I also launched an urban farming business in Lincoln NE With my farming partner I am leasing urban land from a hospital in Lincoln to grow vegetables for the hospital cafeteria and the community Samantha Christiansen 2012 Mentor Charuth Loth ShadowBrook Farm Dutch Girl Creamery Lincoln NE Hi I appreciated the chance to intern on a dairy farm it was a valuable experience My daughter enjoyed the experience as well I am now working as a Engine Room Operator at a refrigeration facility Again I cannot thank you and WFAN for the valuable experiences I gained during my internship Laura Kington 2015 Mentor Susan Jutz Local Harvest CSA Solon IA Since my mentorship program I have been working as a program assistant for the Ohio farm to school program through Ohio State Extension I also work as a field organizer with Real Food Challenge Caithlin Palmer 2015 Mentor Shanen Ebersole Ebersole Cattle Company Kellerton IA I m still farming with my husband We re expanding our beef and sheep herds this year Maja Black 2014 Mentor Susan Jutz Local Harvest CSA Solon IA I am still going to school at Carleton College where I will graduate this June with a B A in American Studies Following graduation I plan on joining my sister Carmen on her farm and eventually pursuing a career in an environmental or educational related field Milli Zonarich 2015 Mentor Alice McGary Mustard Seed Community Farm Ames IA Since ending my internship with Alice at Mustard Seed I haven t really done anything related to agriculture aside from helping my family buy seeds for a backyard garden The goal is to get them set up with some perennial crops and I wouldn t have really considered trying that with them if it weren t for my experiences with MSCF so that s something I wish I were doing something more with plants right now because since coming off the farm I ve really missed it Kathleen Thompson 2015 Mentor Julie Slocum Lacewing Acres Ames IA I am still studying at a graduate student at Iowa State University in the Department of Ecology Evolution and Organismal Biology studying lichenizing fungi After spending a season working on a farm I plan to make sustainable and local agriculture much more of a priority in my life whether that be through my time work words or dollar Bonnie Barnett 2014 Mentor Julie Donaghy Broadhorn Farm Truro IA As of right now I am still a student in school majoring in web development I have added

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/harvesting-our-potential-mentees-where-are-they-now/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Walking the Path Together, When It Matters Most – WFAN
    1981 before desktop computers even existed She graduated in spring of 1982 and worked at two part time well paying jobs one with Minnegasco now Excel Energy and the second with Thrift Trading Company both in downtown Minneapolis However after nearly two years Mairi was tired of staring at a green screen all day and not even knowing what the weather was like outside When her uncle who was a semi retired crop farmer near Hamel MN offered her the chance to care take his farm while he needed to be away for six months Mairi jumped at the opportunity During that time I read the book Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton and that really sparked my feelings of Why am I not living on the land pursuing the things I really love to do She scraped together her savings and a s During that time I read the book Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton and that really sparked my feelings of Why am I not living on the land pursuing the things I really love to do Mairi had recently made friends with a woman on a recent Everglades canoe trip who shared a similar farm dream So together they decided to pool their resources and make their dream come true After all Mairi was now 31 years old and ready to put down some roots So began a search for fertile farmland in Minnesota Mairi had enough savings plus a small inheritance from her mother to contribute to this project Her friend was counting on proceeds from the sale of a home in Florida They acted on some good advice from Mairi s uncle and made up separate lists of what was priority to each of them in a piece of land This was before the days of real estate being listed on the Internet The two beginning farmers logged many miles on the road together and six months of searching Then Mairi s uncle told them to look at 40 farms first He said Even if you think you find the right place on the first try DON T BUY IT The more places you look at the more your vision will gain clarity and your priorities may have to adjust But pretty soon he said when you see the right place you ll know it It was a useful process because we both had a few differing priorities but still a similar vision Mairi said When we realized any farmland available on water let alone a canoe able river was way out of our reach monetarily we lowered that priority A lake or rivers nearby would have to suffice Other criteria included soil type useable buildings and a home they could move into right away The search led them finally to the 20 acre homestead near Kenyon that became Dancing Winds They loved the high quality soil on the 10 tillable acres the windbreak the proximity to a small farming community It

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/walking-the-path-together-when-it-matters-most/ (2016-04-30)
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