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Workshops at 2018 Annual Symposium

Posted: November 30, 2018

Here are the sessions and speaker information for this year's symposium.

This year's symposium, "Women Growing Justice," will be keynoted by Erika Allen. Her talk will focus on her work with the Urban Growers Collective in Chicago.

Urban Growers Collective (UGC) was founded  by Laurell Sims and Erika Allen in the fall of 2017. Our approach is to demonstrate and support development of community-based food systems where produce is grown, prepared, and distributed within neighborhoods. In this way, communities help themselves by learning how to provide for their own needs in a sustainable manner.

In addition to farming on 11-acres in Chicago, Urban Growers Collective focuses on two key areas: food access and education. To address food access, we operate the Fresh Moves Mobile Markets, a program that transformed three buses into farmers’ markets on wheels and sells fresh, culturally appropriate food on the West and Southside of Chicago. Our eduction programs include youth employment, farmer incubation and training, job-readiness for hard-to-employ adults, a head-start preschool farm, as well as urban agriculture and equity building workshops and events. To learn more about our story and programs, visit the ‘About Us’ section of their website.

Their core values as an organization honor shared leadership and collective decision making; racial, economic, gender and LGBTQ equity; as well as employee well being: we have witnessed how these values lead to thoughtful, holistic programming and yield environments that nourish and create prosperity.

Erika's talk will be followed by an interactive session by Caitie Whelan on "The Art of Risk Taking.' This is a workshop packed full of great stories and concrete tools to help participants: 

  • Take smart risks consistent with their values

  • Develop resiliency through strategies for handling fear, failure, rejection, and criticism

  • Establish practices to reduce stress and burnout

The movie, 'Seed: The Untold Story' will be shown before the keynote while other break out sessions are in progress.

Breakout sessions are: Girl Power, Rose Hartschuh. What does it mean to be a woman in agriculture? It could mean connecting with consumers, running a multi-million dollar business, or working behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly. Or maybe, you are still figuring it out. No matter what your role is, as a female, you play an important part in the success of our industry. The presentation will celebrate the unique roles we play as women in agriculture, while also taking time to laugh about the predicaments we some times find ourselves in.

Agvocates, Rose Hartschuh and Maren Cooke. If you don’t tell your story, then someone else will. In agriculture, are we comfortable with our non-farm neighbors creating the dialogue about what it is we do? If not, then it is time to agvocate. This program will share some examples of the most recognized agvocates out there, discuss qualities that make a good agvocate, explore the importance of sharing your story, and encourage your group to get involved in crafting a positive message about today’s agriculture.

Pennsylvania Culinary Trails, Mary Miller and Alice Julier. During this session, participants will learn about a current collaboration between the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PA DCED) and The Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation (CRAFT) at Chatham University. The project’s main purpose is to increase the economic opportunities of residents of Pennsylvania’s Appalachian counties through the development, marketing and promotion of culinary trails that will feature the unique and authentic restaurants, breweries, wineries, farms, orchards, farmers’ markets, and locally produced craft pottery and cookware businesses throughout the state’s designated Appalachian region. CRAFT, in conjunction with DCED staff and local tourism and business officials in the ARC counties, are currently working to identify specific trail routes and the specific businesses to be included for four culinary trails. The first two trails to be completed by the end of 2019 are an Apple Trail and a Bread Trail.

Record-keeping for Business and Farm Taxes Simplified, Shelly Oswald. Don't get tangled up in the debit/credit web - keep your accounting and tax prep simple using the guidelines in this presentation. Your accounting method does not matter as much as understanding the basic principles of what records to keep for farm accounting and where to find guidance. Good business decisions are made with good information - the better your records, the better your decisions will be.

Heritage Breeds: More than a Hot Food Trend, Shelly Oswald. People hear the term "heritage breeds" and are not really sure what they mean or their relevance to agriculture and local food. I will cover what heritage breeds are, how they support 100% locally sustainable agriculture and the benefits they offer for food security now and in the future.

The Right to Farm Law, Marlene van Es. The Right to Farm Law: How are you protected? This talk will cover the basics of the Pennsylvania Right to Farm law, who and what it covers, what farmers have to do to benefit from it, and past cases and current issues. We'll also touch on the ACRE law and how farmers can look to the PA Attorney General for help when local ordinances violate Right to Farm.

Diversity: Ten Ways to Make "Thrive" Your Mantra, Annie Warmke and Carie Starr. Join women farm producers Carie Starr and Annie Warmke, Co-founders of Women Grow Ohio, to learn how to use some basic mind-altering concepts to diversify how you make a living at what you love to do. They will use real-life examples to underscore their points, and they're not afraid to share what's worked and what hasn't.

Intentionally Intergenerational: A panel of rural and urban women growers sharing agricultural knowledge across generations, Nykisha Madison-Kieta, Karyn Hopkins, Gay Rodgers, Anya Frazier. During this dynamic panel, you will hear from mother-daughter farming duo Nykisha Madison-Keita and Karyn Hopkins, and farmer and camper team Gay Rodgers and Anya Frazier, about their agricultural experiences across generations. Digging deep into their practice farming in the City of Philadelphia and in rural Mifflin county, each pair will highlight the role of intergenerational exchange, education, and mentorship in their work. Facilitated by Raqueeb Bey, founder of the Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Coop, the panel and will include Q+A and discussion with panelists about the importance of preserving agricultural knowledge for generations to come and encouraging the next generation of growers to innovate and lead.

Race, Gender & Agriculture: Trace Your Timeline, Marian Dalke. Participate in an interactive exercise to trace the intersections of race, gender and agriculture in the United States. Participants are invited to add their own dates and stories to the timeline as a way to illustrate their relationship to and impact on this history. Join Marian Dalke in a debrief conversation to further understand how these past trends affect our present day food system.

Ouch! Arthritis or injury is impacting my involvement in agriculture!, Abbie Spackman. Women are tough and rarely let injury or illness slow them down. However, our involvement in agriculture can be greatly impacted following an injury. Arthritis also impacts many women in agriculture and can limit and slow down daily tasks. This session will highlight best practices for managing Arthritis and joint pain, back health, tools and workspace modifications following injury, and information on injury prevention. Stories from several females successfully farming with Arthritis or other injuries will be shared. Information will also be share on AgrAbility and how this program provides resources and education to growers to experience disability, Arthritis or other long-term medical conditions.

Developing Regional Brand and Product, Emeran Irby and Nicolette Spudic. This session will explore the process of developing regional brands and products, focusing specifically on the work the Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation (CRAFT) at Chatham University has done around regional grains production and processing and product development. Session participants will be introduced to CRAFT’s Western Pennsylvania Foodways Collection and a few of the forty oral history interviews the center conducted with regional grains farmers, millers, and bakers. We’ll discuss relevant findings from this research, and how this information has been used to support programming around regional product development-- specifically, a “hyper-local” pizza that was developed in collaboration with local grains farms and Tomanetti’s Food Inc.

InterPlay is an active creative approach to unlocking the wisdom of our bodies. Practiced in 50 cities in the US and on 5 continents, InterPlay tools are similar to the birthright practices of our ancestors and give us access to our stories, the ability to embody our values, and connect with one another.