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  • Our Team – WFAN
    Schutte Women Caring for the Land Coordinator Carol Schutte joined us shortly after her retirement from 25 years as an instructor in Biological Sciences at North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City Read more While at NIACC Carol co led many extended field courses to destinations that included Belize the Pacific Northwest Costa Rica and 25 camping trips to northern Minnesota She has been an active member of the Iowa Association of Community College Biology Teachers since its inception in the 1990s She received the Outstanding Teaching Award for Two Year Teachers Section of NABT as well as NIACC s outstanding teaching award Carol chaired the 2000 North American Prairie Conference hosting 570 attendees and the 2005 Midwest Environmental Education Conference In 2004 she spent six weeks volunteering for the Nature Conservancy in the jungles of Belize collecting butterflies She is a member of her county REAP board and active in community environmental issues and events Growing up on an acreage north of Omaha Carol attributes her love of the country life to that home and numerous family camping trips Today she lives on a small much loved acreage outside of Clear Lake IA where she delights in sharing the country life with her two sons and their families whenever they can make it home Life is GOOD in the country Though she knows she will miss her students Carol looks forward to her new role serving WFAN and people everywhere who treasure the land Email Carol Wren Almitra Women Land and Legacy Coordinator Wren Almitra coordinates the Women Land and Legacy program A life long resident of Iowa she took a leave of absence for a few years to get her Environmental Studies degree from Prescott College in Prescott AZ Read more Prior to working with Women Food and Ag Network she worked with the Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation District as a watershed project coordinator She also served as a team member for the Johnson Co Women Land and Legacy chapter for two years a role that ultimately led her to a passion for connecting women in the fields with resources and one another locally and state wide She lives in Iowa City with her partner dog chickens and bees striving to live well and lightly while subsistence farming on an urban scale Email Wren expand Becky Thorson Office Manager Becky is the WFAN Office Manager and enjoys being the behind the scenes person who makes the office run smoothly She has a background in bookkeeping for businesses and learned much from her father who was an accountant Read more Becky proudly says that family is her 1 priority and she is a mother of four and a grandmother of six In addition to spending time with her family she loves gardening especially flowers Email Becky Liz Johnson Collaborator Plate to Politics Liz Johnson is a co founder of VoteRunLead a national organization that supports the aspirations of women who want to transform our country and

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/about/our-staff/?full-site=false (2016-04-30)
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  • Our Board – WFAN
    part of such a powerful community I grew up in rural Iowa during the Farm Crisis of the 1980s These experiences shape my activism and my scholarship today as well as my belief in the transformative power of our collective efforts in the face of hard and uncertain times I am also the 8 th generation of my family to call Iowa home and feel tremendous responsibility to ensuring the healthy future of our state Iowa is ground zero for the increasing problems posed by our extractive agricultural system How we work together to heal the land and create alternative agrifood systems in Iowa can be a model for agricultural transformation well beyond our state I earned a PhD in Sociology and Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and today live and teach sociology in the Quad Cities Currently I am facilitating a participatory research project in Iowa s Raccoon River Watershed with funding from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture In my research I have collaborated with Women Food and Agriculture Network Raccoon River Watershed Association and other community groups I know that a more ecologically environmentally and socially just food system is not only possible it is a necessity if we are to survive the realities of climate change We must change from an agricultural system that exploits land and people to one that reflects our values of community health and public good The creativity and courage I see among taking risks to try new things push our conceptualizations of the possible and lead change in our food system at local national and global levels gives me great hope Patti Edwardson Growing up on an Iowa farm with her loving hard working family set the direction of Patti s life She learned to value wholesome food grown prepared and preserved locally neighbors working together and rural communities where people could strive for a common good After graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in Home Economics Education she worked and lived in several other states It was while living in Florida that she discovered the Women Food and Agriculture Network organization Read more She now lives on a farm in Iowa where she and her partner are transitioning a corn soybean farm to organic production They are exploring the possibilities with rotations of small grains and hay They also have planted 200 apple trees Patti tends a large garden with intentions to sell at a local farmers market Concerns about our modern agricultural system and the health of Iowa s environment have led Patti to become active in ways that seek solutions WFAN an organization that brings together women with strength passion and vision is a perfect place to work for change Ashley Hand Vice Chair Ashley hobby farms in northeast Iowa with her partner Brian on a 6th generation family farm She also serves as the Workforce Development Coordinator for the Red Earth Gardens of the Meskwaki Nation in Tama IA She received her M S

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/about/our-board/?full-site=false (2016-04-30)
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  • The Program – WFAN
    a supportive network Women in our program benefit from all three On farm experience We pair women who want to farm with women who are already successful farmers for on farm mentorships Participants are matched with mentors who are involved in the type of farming that they are interested in embarking upon and get hands on experience Our successful women farmers who act as mentors first receive training on being effective mentors and this training also helps them take on other employees and expand their farm businesses Mentors often stay in touch with their mentees continuing to offer advice and support as their mentees become farmers Business Planning To help our participants create farm businesses that are financially sustainable we offer them intensive business training The goal of our business training is for participants to create a draft plan for their farm addressing cash flow marketing legal requirements employees and future expansion Supportive network To show women aspiring to farm that they can become farmers and that there are many women just like them we hold Beginning Farmer Learning Circles Learning Circles offer women an opportunity to learn and ask questions in a supportive environment share their dreams about farming

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/our-programs/harvesting-our-potentialsm/hopprogram/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Get Involved – WFAN
    Get Involved Get Involved Interested in learning more about Harvesting Our Potential or participating in our mentorship program or our Beginning Farmer Learning Circles Check out Harvesting Our Potential news for upcoming events or sign up for our email list so you ll receive all Harvesting Our Potential announcements in the future While we get requests from women all over the country to bring Harvesting Our Potential to their areas

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/our-programs/harvesting-our-potentialsm/hop-get-involved/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Resources – WFAN
    Resource page We heard from past participants that they would like a place to share resources that have been valuable to them as something to offer women exploring a career in farming Please remember that it is and probably always will be a work in progress If you have resources you d like us to add please send them to us for review If you need resources and you don

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/our-programs/harvesting-our-potentialsm/hop-resources/ (2016-04-30)
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  • 2016 Mentoring Program Accepting Applications; Deadline is Feb 19 – WFAN
    to launch our 2016 application process for the Harvesting Our Potential program in Iowa This is a program that helps train women to become farmers by giving them the opportunity to work with women who are already successful farmers Women entering farming are more likely than their male counterparts to first ask how their farms can support their families and their communities This perspective leads to women having farms that are more diverse more likely to grow produce and more likely to raise small animals By supporting women farmers we are not only helping to create entrepreneurs we are helping build community food security bringing more diversity to the landscape and protecting farmland into the future If you re interested in being a part of the 2016 program as either a mentor or a mentee please fill out an application form Women from anywhere in the US may apply to be a mentee but all training will take place in Iowa including work on the mentors farms in Iowa Mentee Application Mentor Application You will receive acknowledgement of receipt when we ve received your application and we will be contacting you in February with potential matches We have the ability

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/2016-mentoring-program-accepting-applications-deadline-is-jan-31/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Improving Conservation Through Agriculture: A Tale of a Farmer and a Landowner – WFAN
    resource management class he turned everything into a perennial grass based rotational grazing system Deb had always envisioned her CRP land becoming a vegetable farm but she said her thinking was limited by her vegetarian diet and lack of farm experience Her parents purchased her land in Winneshiek County IA when she was growing up as place where if the world goes to hell at least the family will have a place they can go and feed themselves She said her parents remembered the Great Depression and believed land was the greatest asset I want to steward the land in a way that reflected my family s values Deb said But she didn t grow up on a farm her work experience is in dental public health and policy She didn t really know what farm management would entail My dad spent any recreation time he had here His love of the land and wildlife really influenced my conservation ethic She said she knew she wanted to steward the land in a way that would give back to nature but it wasn t until she heard Kayla talk about her plan that things clicked Kayla and her partner Landon Corlett had moved to Decorah IA with a plan to rent expiring CRP land for rotational grazing While waiting for an opportunity to rent land they are both working off farm and saving to build a tiny house that will allow them to move to wherever they end up They re the dream partners because they ve done a lot of things to get them in the place to make this happen They ve developed skills It s like everything has brought them to this said Deb Kayla never really left farm life behind She attended Grinnell College and studied international agriculture and rural development a major she designed herself that consisted of biology anthropology and political science courses She traveled extensively in college spending time on Vandana Shiva s farm in northern India and studying abroad in Mongolia to learn about grazing systems and pastoralism After school she did an AmeriCorps project teaching kids in Clayton County schools about food and nutrition Following that she and Landon went to New Zealand to work on farms for several months After returning to Iowa they moved to Decorah to figure out what they were going to do with themselves The whole contract grazing idea has come about because that s what I ve done and that s what I know said Kayla but also from a deep concern for land stewardship and human nutrition The possibility that the Omega 3 s in grass fed beef can help fight obesity can be anti carcinogenic and are extremely nutrient dense those are things I think are really important For some people they want to farm and they pick an enterprise For me I m interested in this facet of land stewardship and this facet of human nutrition she said She feels that part of

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/improving-conservation-through-agriculture-a-tale-of-two-landowners/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Phyllis McCain Restoring Her Farm from Soil Up – WFAN
    as they are mature and need to be thinned New shelterbelts will be planted in the future Meanwhile she and Wyman have also restored all the buildings The farmhouse built in the 1890s was in bad shape With the help of good carpenters they have replaced windows lowered ceilings insulated put on siding and added a deck They also built a new garage and restored two other outbuildings Restoring depleted farmland isn t new to the McCains They own a ranch 50 miles away in Knox County where they first kept a small herd of stock cows and dairy cows because that s all the land would support Over the years they have seeded that ground to grass and can now take in 130 cow calf pairs each spring rotationally grazing them through a series of 20 paddocks The cattle s owner lives nearby and watches over the property while Wyman helps Phyllis with the work on her family homestead One of the most challenging things about managing my family land is doing something in a man s world Phyllis says Some men tend to not listen or pay attention You really have to say I m the boss This is my place I m paying for this you will do as I say Phyllis says she has a good relationship with her current renter who manages and harvests the hay As soon as the grass is well established she wants to rent her land as pasture to bring cattle onto the farm My land was farmed out she says and I know it s not going to get any better until I get cattle back on the land to put some organic matter back into the soil Other plans for the farm s future Phyllis would like to build

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/phyllis-mccain-restoring-her-farm-from-soil-up/ (2016-04-30)
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