Organic vegetable farm in Decorah hosts “In Her Boots” workshop July 26 for women farmers

While the number of farms in the U.S. has been on the decline for many years, the number owned and operated by women is on the rise, according to the USDA Census of Agriculture. The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) supports these women farmers with on-farm “In Her Boots” workshops; the next workshop of the 2018 season is Thursday, July 26 at Humble Hands Harvest, an organic vegetable farm in Decorah, Iowa, run by Hannah Breckbill.

This day-long workshop, offered by MOSES in partnership with the Iowa Organic Association, offers an inspiring blend of practical information, skill-building, resource connections and networking to encourage this growing segment of women farmers, entrepreneurs, and agricultural leaders. This session in particular will also cover ergonomics and machinery use for women.

“I’m excited to host a workshop for women farmers about machinery because so often it’s intimidating to learn about machinery from men, who tend to just do things instead of allowing you to be capable and learn to do it yourself,” shared Breckbill, who now farms with a farm partner, Emily Fagan.  “I love to create a space of mutual learning, of figuring out what we need to know and then figuring out how to learn it together.”

“Hannah Breckbill is an inspiring example of this growing movement of women farmers committed to collaboratively supporting each other,” said Toby Cain, Educator Director at the Iowa Organic Association. “We’re excited that this ‘In Her Boots’ session will be in Decorah and will showcase this growing movement of women farmers creating new approaches to agriculture and how these innovative entrepreneurs positively impact our local communities and are committed to keeping our region’s agricultural heritage vibrant.”

Various resources will be available at the workshop from MOSES, the Iowa Organic Association and the National Farm Medicine Center and others.

The “In Her Boots” workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes lunch and a farm tour. Space is limited and pre-registration required. To register, see mosesorganic.org/July-26 or call the MOSES office at 715-778-5775. If you have questions about the workshop, contact Lisa Kivirist, project coordinator, at lisa@mosesorganic.org or 608-329-7056 (farm office).

One more “In Her Boots” workshops is scheduled for later this summer: Aug. 3 at Raleigh’s Hillside Farm, a market farm in Brodhead, Wis.

“In Her Boots workshops are based on the idea that women learn best from each other in a format where we can ask questions and mentor and inspire one another,” explained Lisa Kivirist, coordinator of the MOSES In Her Boots Project and author of Soil Sisters:  A Toolkit for Women Farmers. She and her family run Inn Serendipity Farm and B&B outside Monroe, Wis. “Whether you’re a seasoned female farmer or are just starting to bring your farm dream to life, this is a great opportunity to learn from and connect with other women who share a commitment to stewarding the land.”

MOSES is a nonprofit organization that promotes o­­­rganic and sustainable agriculture by providing the education, resources, and practical advice farmers need to succeed. The organization’s flagship event, the MOSES Organic Farming Conference, is the country’s largest educational event on organic agriculture. It takes place every February in the Midwest. For more information, see mosesorganic.org.

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