‘Women in Agriculture’ Fall Lecture Series Encourages Lessons of Awareness and Inspiration

Paige Laboratory

The Stockbridge School of Agriculture’s Sustainable Food and Farming program presents “Women Entrepreneurs in the Food System,” a lecture series taking place on three Tuesdays: Sept. 26, Oct. 24 and Nov. 28 from 5:30-6:45 p.m. in 202 Paige Laboratory.

The series is intended to bring together community members to share inspiration around creating a better food system both locally and regionally. Each lecture will present different successes and challenges of these entrepreneurs’ journeys through the existing food systems.

Despite making up roughly 43 percent of the global agricultural workforce, women worldwide receive a fraction of the land, credit, inputs and training that men do.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has spotlighted the gender gap in agriculture as a key obstacle to sustainable development. “At the University of Massachusetts, it is our responsibility to make sure the next generation of women are educated, encouraged and empowered to take on the challenges of meeting the world's growing food system needs,” says organizer Angela Roell, an instructor in Continuing and Professional Education.

This lecture series focuses on women who are inspiring others and creating a better food system locally and regionally. Each month this fall, women entrepreneurs will share the successes and challenges of their journey.

On Sept. 26, UMass Amherst Student Farm’s Amanda Brown and Book & Plow Farm’s Maida Ives will share their stories of managing campus farms in the Pioneer Valley, providing food for the institutions in which they are housed, engaging with students, and conducting on-farm education and service learning while collaborating with the student body.

On Oct. 24, Annie Myer of Myer’s Produce and Susan Pincus of Sawmill Herb Farm will share creative solutions to regional food distribution. Myers Produce distributes produce from Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts to wholesale clients in Boston and New York. Sawmill Herb Farm, a partner of Myers Produce, delivers fresh medicinal herb CSAs to clients in Boston and New York.  Pincus also works to build local partnerships with educators and herbalist in the Pioneer Valley.

On Nov. 28 Anarchy Apiaries and French Hill Apiaries’ Tucka Saville and Mycoterra Farm’s Julia Coffey will discuss how they built their niche food system businesses. This talk will highlight the challenges and successes of building and sustaining apiaries along the varying climates of the East Coast and the expansion of a mushroom grow room from its roots in a garage-based operation selling at farmers’ markets to its new home in a large-scale facility providing wholesale operations in Deerfield.

Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP to individual events on the Stockbridge Facebook page. Metered parking is free on campus after 5 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information on this series or to find out more about the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, contact Allie Thorpe, abthorpe@umass.edu, 413/577-3102.

 

 

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