A couple of years ago, I encouraged Beth to submit a presentation proposal to the National Women in Agriculture Conference being held in Baltimore, Maryland (this annual conference is hosted by USDA's Extension Risk Management Education service which focuses mainly on conventional producers). Women are grossly under-represented in agriculture, and women in sustainable farming are virtually unknown in convential agriculture circles.
Fortunately, this is beginning to change as Beth and other innovative farm women are stepping into leadership roles and sharing their stories. One such woman is Lisa Kivirist, whom Beth met and bonded with while in Baltimore, and on a bus ride into Washington, D.C. for the Women on Working Lands seminar.
Lisa, her husband John Ivanhko, and their son Liam operate Inn Serendipity , a bed and breakfast in south-western Wisconsin. Lisa and John are eco-entrepreneurs running their inn completely off the grid with integrated solar and wind power system. They, also, produce vegetables for their guests in organic garden plots.
Needless to say, Beth and Lisa hit it off and became fast friends. For the past two years, the Osmund family has joined Lisa and family for a 4th of July reunion. This past month, Beth and Lisa traveled together for the 2012 Women in Agriculture Conference where they both presented. Beth was, also, on a panel that Lisa moderated.
Not only are they innkeepers, Lisa and John are writers and educators. Their latest writing project is the local foods cookbook, Farmstead Chef. (One of CVSF's favorite recipes - Italian Sausage Risotto is featured in it.) The Inn Serendipity team are frequent farm conference speakers, and Lisa has been involved in the Rural Women's Project for the past several years.
Here is Lisa at the RWP booth at the Upper Midwest Organic Conference.
While Jody was attending workshops at the MOSES conference in February, Duncan was hanging out with his good friend Liam.
One of the best things about being involved in the local food and community supported agriculture is the community, and our community continues to grow!