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  • Retracing the Steps – WFAN
    Nebraska Tim and I were going to church in Utica where I grew up However after I met Deb helping her do cattle one day the conversation we had in the field made Tim and me decide to starting going to their church said Stephanie So it s really become more of a friendship than just a mentorship We see them on Sunday they re part of our life We talk to them about things other than the farm Learning to Farm Deb and Dave keep twelve cattle on the Bertagnoli s pasture and have been teaching Stephanie and Tim about raising cattle and broiler chickens When the young couple first moved to Nebraska they hoped to focus on raising animals which is what West Blue Farm specializes in but after their daughter Mabel was born they realized livestock would limit their mobility The young couple has decided to start a fruit orchard on their property and have plans to do broiler chickens in the future which the couple will only have to care for during part of the year rather than year round Deb said she and Dave learned a lot from their relationships with other farmers especially through the Organic Crop Improvement Association She said that while Stephanie and Tim are taking a different approach to their farm there is still a lot of support they can provide as mentors There are several resources they ve been able to connect the Bertagnoli s to both in the community and on the farm The networking and the amount of resources that we found through Deb and Dave CFRA and WFAN we had no idea a lot of these things existed said Stephanie And there s something about a women s perspective especially when you re a young mother that makes it more approachable WFAN s Program Coordinator Lynn Heuss said that s exactly what the organization strives to provide One of the primary parts of the WFAN mission is to create and foster relationships that can help educate and empower women in farming and other agricultural enterprises she said This is a big task that is much more likely to be accomplished through good partnerships like the one we have with the Center Both organizations want to be available to create opportunities for women to get information and make connections in order to pursue their dreams with all the resources they need for success Motherhood and Farming It was starting their own family that changed the way Deb and Dave farmed We were somewhat conventional until we started having kids she said At that point my husband didn t want to handle the chemicals so we decided organic would be the way to go Stephanie said having Deb s support has been valuable as she and Tim have tried to figure out how they could start a farm and a family It s just been nice to have someone to bounce those ideas off of she said Last year

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/retracing-the-steps/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Training new women farmers at Mustard Seed Community Farm – WFAN
    t know as much as I do said Elena That s even happened on the farm a little bit The guys not intentionally assumed a position of authority Milli and I brought it up to them and they apologized They didn t realize it was happening Now we make sure we are more assertive Milli and Elena agreed they felt more comfortable speaking up on the farm since they have a woman as a mentor Milli said she felt it was especially important for young women to work on their assertiveness and that the skill bleeds into all aspects of her life You learn what kind of problems you can just let go of and what kind of problems you need to work through and you really learn how to do that here said Milli A Supportive Community I wouldn t have been able to become a farmer if other farmers hadn t taught me what they knew Alice said It s important for me to be able to mentor beginning women farmers I just want to encourage women in any way I can to be leaders and entrepreneurs whether they re farming or not When she was starting out Alice looked for a formal internship with Gary Guthrie who has managed Growing Harmony Farm near Nevada IA since 1997 She took it upon herself to be part of every aspect of the farming process from planning to planting It was through his encouragement as a mentor that she started her own farm She emphasized how important it is to have community as a farmer Elena said while she attends Iowa State University one of the nation s largest ag schools there aren t very many women ag professors and not very many people working in non conventional ag It s hard to find that support It s hard to be a woman farming in Iowa hard to be doing non conventional and hard to be a beginner who doesn t come from a farm family Alice said I think these things need extra support She said in her experience farming in Iowa is a very male dominated culture and while the men she interacts with are respectful she doesn t always feel they think of her as intelligent competent or a decision maker The supportive community at Mustard Seed helps these young women on and off the farm Alice isn t just a boss she s also a friend said Elena During the school year she called me just to check in and see how I was doing She really cares about us and gets to know us personally said Elena There s constantly people coming and going here she continued You have to interact with people and build relationships that s really helped me She explained that prior to coming to the farm she had undergone some personal struggles and the farm helped her build positive and supportive relationships Gains for the Future Alice has been involved with

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/training-new-women-farmers-at-mustard-seed-community-farm/ (2016-04-30)
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  • A Broken Hand, a Future Woman Farmer, and a Dream – WFAN
    didn t have a broken hand but they had their own obstacles on the road to becoming farm hers Before the agenda even began I was already feeling excited and inspired about my future farming in Iowa The conversations continued in our larger group as we informally shared our goals dreams and fears These conversations happened throughout the day as I heard like minded women talk about how they tackled pest control using organic methods how they dealt with landowners or disgruntled family members or how they were creating a profitable business plan As much as I love pursuing a career as a single woman farmer it can be a lonely pursuit The learning circle provided a welcoming community for each of us to dream big and say our scary goals out loud I think we learned as much from each other as we did from the resource professionals in the circle To assist us in achieving our goals WFAN brought in several resource providers to discuss business planning farm education conservation planning legal considerations farm succession planning funding for beginning farmers and cost share opportunities I left the workshop with several things to follow up on such as Start my own business plan with resources such Paul Dietmann s Fearless Farm Finances book which was recommended multiple times throughout the learning circle I hope to create my own business plan this fall before enrolling a business planning course this winter Start early with a separate bank account and record keeping system for the business Have the staff of the USDA s Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS come look at my property to advise me on conservation practices Subscribe to the Acreage Living Newsletter through ISU Extension s Value Added Ag program and check out their new podcast series as

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/a-broken-hand-a-future-woman-farmer-and-a-dream/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Event for Women Who Want to Farm: June 25 in Story City, Iowa – WFAN
    Annual Conference WFAN Annual Conferences WISA National Conferences News Event for Women Who Want to Farm June 25 in Story City Iowa Are you secretly interested in farming If you re a woman who has been thinking about farming we have a great opportunity for you to explore that possibility There are so many different things to think about business plans financing land purchase legal responsibilities what to grow who to sell it to marketing food safety regulations and the list goes on Have I got a deal for you On June 25 there will be an informal but highly informational gathering at the Fairview Lodge in Story City We ll start the day getting to know each other and then we ll listen to resource people share information about many of the topics mentioned above Finally we ll head off on a short trip to two farms with women in leadership positions Mustard Seed Farm and Lacewing Acres Registration and a light breakfast begin at 8 30 We ll begin promptly at 9 with a break for a delicious box lunch served by Story County Locker and we won t let you go home without something for your sweet

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/event-for-women-who-want-to-farm-june-25-in-story-city-iowa/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Our Beginning Women Farmer Program, Harvesting Our Potential, Kicks Off for the Season – WFAN
    were meeting for the first time while others were reconnecting after having participated in the program during its first two years One of the comments about the best part of the gathering was The networking was great and the presentations were extremely education Loved the food and the location When you re at Whiterock Conservancy with a host like Liz Garst you can t help but have a great experience This program is an opportunity for women who are interested in or just beginning their own farm enterprises to work side by side with women farmers who are not only successful farmers but are also successful business entrepreneurs These pairs of women will work together for several weeks during the growing season Despite some claims to the contrary it is still important to get your hands in the dirt But it is also about getting your head in the books Farming is a way of life AND a business Thankfully we were also able to hear Ed Cox an attorney share information about many of the legal issues that do not need to be overwhelming but must be considered in order to have a successful operation There was not a

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/our-beginning-women-farmer-program-harvesting-our-potential-kicks-off-for-the-season-2/ (2016-04-30)
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  • January 30 Deadline to Sign Up for our Beginning Women Farmer Program – WFAN
    Annual Conference WFAN Annual Conferences WISA National Conferences News January 30 Deadline to Sign Up for our Beginning Women Farmer Program By Lynn Heuss Calling all Women Farmers aspiring beginning experienced WFAN has supported women in sustainable agriculture since the late 90s One of our most important programs is Harvesting Our Potential a mentorship program that connects women considering or beginning their farming career with experienced women farmers This is our last call reminder to you to let us know if you d like to participate as we ll be making decisions about matching mentees and farmers in the next few weeks And believe it or not Spring will be here before we know it and the farming season will move from planning to trans planting livestock births and all the other myriad chores and activities of farming that occur once the weather gets warmer If you d like to be a mentor and have at least five years farming experience please fill out an application If you are an aspiring farmer and you d like to be a mentee with an experienced farmer this season please apply here WFAN provides small stipends to mentors and mentees thanks to the

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/january-15-deadline-to-signup-for-our-beginning-women-farmer-program/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Harvesting Our Potential – Page 2 – WFAN
    s Egg Scholarship Fund Calendar Conferences 2016 Annual Conference WFAN Annual Conferences WISA National Conferences News Harvesting Our Potential We train women to be farmers And sometimes we are the first place that women are told they can follow their dream to become a farmer and there are women across the country just like them Women entering farming are more likely than their male counterparts to first ask how their

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/category/harvesting/page/2/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Harvesting Our Potential – WFAN
    Like most of us she had good intentions but life almost got in the way I was on my way home from Continue Reading Phyllis McCain Restoring Her Farm from Soil Up Phyllis McCain is the fourth generation to live on her mother s family homestead near Norfolk NE She never expected to live there but when her mother died in 1990 she felt pulled to purchase 40 acres of the property from the estate and preserve it for her descendants Now she and Wyman her husband of Continue Reading Retracing the Steps by Ash Bruxvoort Stephanie Bertagnoli once said she would never move back to Nebraska After growing up on a conventional farm in Utica she left for Colorado Christian University near Denver where she met her husband Tim a city boy She thought that s where they would stay until one day when she was driving home to Continue Reading Training new women farmers at Mustard Seed Community Farm By Ash Bruxvoort Mustard Seed Community Farm a few miles north of Ames IA has a lot going on The diverse 11 acre farm runs a CSA community supported agriculture program provides food to the hungry and is restoring prairie habitat We joke that we try to grow anything you can in Iowa said farmer Alice Continue Reading A Broken Hand a Future Woman Farmer and a Dream By Ash Bruxvoort I ve traveled across the country and attended farm workshops in five states but I ve never been able to sit with a group of women who shared my big crazy dream of starting a farm Luckily within a week of moving back home to Iowa WFAN held their Harvesting Our Potential Learning Circle Continue Reading Event for Women Who Want to Farm June 25 in Story City

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/category/harvesting/?full-site=false (2016-04-30)
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