Des Moines, Iowa, Oct 31, 2013 -- The fourth National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture takes place in Des Moines next week, and a USDA partnership will be among the case studies highlighted during the three-day event.
The conference, hosted by Women Food and Ag Network (WFAN), runs Nov. 6 – Nov. 8 and features more than 40 workshops, along with 10 field tours and keynote addresses from Danielle Nierenberg, an expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues, Pakou Hang, a community organizer and strategic consultant and Kari Hamerschlag, senior food and agriculture analyst with the Environmental Working Group.
More information about the conference can be found online.
One of the event’s breakout sessions on Thursday, Nov. 7 will highlight the success of the Iowa’s Women, Land and Legacy program.
The program was established in 2004 and is currently active in 28 counties throughout Iowa. During the past nine years Women, Land and Legacy teams have listened to more than 1,000 women in nearly 40 counties across the state.
Last year, the organization benefited from a $50,000 USDA Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant to assist in the development of training materials for local Women, Land and Legacy teams in Iowa, Tama and Poweshiek Counties.
Representatives from USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Rural Development are on the Women, Land and Legacy state team and will be participating in Nov. 7 breakout session.
“The primary goal of Women, Land and Legacy is to develop a local network of agricultural women who will decide what programs, projects, and information they need to assist them in their landownership, conservation and farming decision making,” said Tanya Meyer-Dideriksen, member of the Women, Land and Legacy state team.
This use of USDA Rural Development funding is another reminder of the importance of USDA programs from rural America. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stresses that a comprehensive new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill would further expand the rural economy. He said that’s just one reason why Congress must get a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill done as soon as possible.
Contact USDA Rural Development
For more information about USDA Rural Development programs please call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,600 jobs, aided 2,400 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 60 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.
# # #