The 2017 WFAN Annual Conference is just around the corner and we are busy preparing for three awesome and inspiring days of connecting and empowering women in food and sustainable agriculture. Our conference mugs (the giveaway item this year) arrived today—just in time for rainy fall weather!
We’re celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the organization this year. Since the founding meeting of our organization was in Iowa and many know of us as an Iowa-based organization, it might seem weird to have this anniversary celebration in Madison, Wisconsin. In reality, WFAN reaches well beyond Iowa. Our executive director is based in northern Minnesota, our Wisconsin sisters have been incredibly influential in the growth of the organization, and this year we’re excited to see women from California, New York, Arizona, Uruguay, and many other locations!
Our conference speakers are full of knowledge and we are thrilled to highlight some amazing Wisconsin women-owned farms, food businesses, and food justice activists through our tours and intensives. We feel like we should warn you… it’s going to be very hard to choose which workshops to attend this year because they are all excellent. See for yourself on the agenda here.
Check for important updates and registration info here.
Excited for the conference? We put together a reading and listening list for you! Scroll down for a list of articles and books about and by Wisconsin women in food and agriculture, book suggestions from women in our network, and updates on WFAN’s work over the past year.
Articles to Read
Judge Rules Wisconsin Home-Baked Goods Win Applies to All Bakers, Injustice for Justice
How I Lead: Sarah Lloyd for Congress, WFAN Blog
Wendy Allen covers Madison food, Edible Madison
Recruiting Women Farmers for the Campaign Trail, Civil Eats
Podcasts for the Road
The new In Her Boots podcast from the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) Rural Women’s Project features interviews with several Wisconsin women farmers, including Jane Hawley Stevens of Four Elements Organics Herbals who will be featured on the northern Wisconsin field tour (spots still available).
Conference keynote speaker LaDonna Redmond talks about how she came to the food justice movement and the harm of industrialization in the food system to communities of color.
Farm Enterprise: Bed & Breakfast at Circle M Farm podcast from Female Farmer Project
Female Farmer Project has several great interviews with female farmers. This one features Kriss Marion of Circle M Farm, which is a featured farm on our southwest Wisconsin farm field tour.
Visit this curated blog post for even more listening recommendations from women in our network!
Books to Read
Soil Sisters: A Toolkit for Women Farmers by Lisa Kivirist
FEMME TO FARM: For those seeking to connect with nature on a professional level, Lisa Kivirist’s SOIL SISTERS takes some guesswork out of forging a life from the land. In the spirit of nurturing community, she shares stories and bits of wisdom from a diverse mix of women with farming acumen while breaking down the basics, from funding to trends (specialty foods and agritourism, anyone?), livestock to licensing. Brief, useful resource lists and illuminating case studies pepper the main text, making Kivirist’s manual a thorough and fertile resource. —from Bookpage
Apples are so ordinary and so ubiquitous that we often take them for granted. Yet it is surprisingly challenging to grow and sell such a common fruit. In fact, producing diverse, tasty apples for the market requires almost as much ingenuity and interdependence as building and maintaining a vibrant democracy. Understanding the geographic, ecological, and economic forces shaping the choices of apple growers, apple pickers, and apple buyers illuminates what’s at stake in the way we organize our food system.
The Food Activist Handbook by Ali Berlow
Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, food has always been a passion of Ali’s. During her college days at the UW-Madison, Ali cooked for cash at fancy catered gigs and flipped burgers at Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry. Wanderlust and fluency in Swahili sent her abroad to Kenya and Somalia. Finding her way back to America, pit stops included her ancestral lands of Northern Germany and France, Italy and various Caribbean isles. Married, three boys, a rescue pup, some pigs and a few cats later — Ali is home and lives between the island of Martha’s Vineyard and Putney, Vermont. She cooks to nurture, to create. She writes passionately about food and all that it means — delving deep into our senses and our emotions.
Land Justice: Re-imagining Land, Food, and the Commons in the United States edited by Justine M. Williams and Eric Holtz-Giménez (Recently reviewed on our blog)
In recent decades, the various strands of the food movement have made enormous strides in calling attention the many shortcomings and injustices of our food and agricultural system. However, the movement for fairer, healthier, and more autonomous food is continually blocked by one obstacle: land access.
With prefaces from leaders in the food justice and family farming movements, the book opens with a look at the legacies of white-settler colonialism in the southwestern United States.
Visit this curated blog post for even more reading recommendations from women in our network!