women in agriculture
Urban Beekeeper Delivers Pollinators by Bike to Community Gardens Across ChicagoSeptember 6, 2016 | Karen Briner
Jana Kinsman never anticipated that as a beekeeper she’d be the focus of news trucks and cameras. But when honey bees swarmed on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago this past summer, she found herself capturing them before a crowd of curious onlookers and journalists. “It was a great intersection of city life and the natural experiences that are all around us. It was a wonderful education opportunity.” Educating Chicagoans about their pollinators is something close to her heart and something the founder of Bike a Bee would like to do more of.
Jana always had an interest in bugs and a strong desire to get involved in urban agriculture. She discovered that she wasn’t any good at growing things, so she thought she might be better at the livestock aspect of it. Since honey bees are the smallest type of livestock, she took a beekeeping class with the Chicago Honey Co-op in 2011. The following year, she worked with a beekeeper in Eugene, Oregon, getting hands-on experience. Read More
Women in Food: Camas Davis of Portland Meat Collective Preaches Virtues of Responsible Meat EatingAugust 4, 2016 | Vanessa Caceres
In her quest to educate others on how to prepare and enjoy meat, Camas Davis of Portland, Oregon, seeks to change eating habits and help people see, and taste, the benefits of the whole animal.
“We’ve lost our knowledge of how to cook meat, and many people don’t know that all of meat is edible. We want to shift the way that people think about what’s edible, and we want to change habits,” Davis says.
A former food writer and magazine editor, Davis now leads the Portland Meat Collective, which has offered classes in meat preparation since 2010.
“Our main goal is to inspire responsible meat production with experiential education,” she says. The collective advocates meat slaughter that’s humane and transparent—no mystery meat here. Use of the whole animal means less meat goes to waste, and informed eaters have a better understanding of what they’re eating. Read More
Women in Food: Shavel’le Olivier Uses Power of Connection to Engage Youth in Improving Food AccessJuly 20, 2016 | Stephanie Fenton
On the streets of a Boston, MA neighborhood where one grocery store was vastly outnumbered by fast-food venues, and health reports consistently revealed staggering numbers of chronic disease cases, 17-year-old Shavel’le Olivier sought to become a force for change.
Now, seven years later, Olivier leads the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition Vigorous Youth group, a thriving youth organization that is working to increase food access and improve health outcomes in the Boston neighborhood of Mattapan.
“Our mobile farmer’s market is totally youth-led, and we’ve brought our farm stand to the bus station, the local health center and senior residences,” says Olivier. “We started Mattapan on Wheels. We are about to begin Mattapan Flavors. We’re always asking, ‘What can we do now?’” Read More
Women in Food: ‘Kid Chef’ Cookbook Author Offers Food and Life Lessons for Chefs of All AgesJuly 6, 2016 | Annamarie Sysling
Photographer, food stylist, cook, and author Melina Hammer is on a mission to change the way people treat and think about food. In her debut cookbook, “Kid Chef: The Foodie Kids Cookbook: Healthy Recipes and Culinary Skills for the New Cook in the Kitchen,” aimed at aspiring eight to 13 year old chefs, Hammer offers more than 70 recipes, drool-worthy photographs, and helpful tips. Seedstock recently caught up with Hammer during a visit to her hometown of Detroit to discuss her inspirations, her strategies for changing the food system through teaching, and the challenge of eating healthily in an area with limited access to fresh food.
Seedstock: What is your goal with this cookbook?
Melina Hammer: The current landscape of seduction in food advertising makes it more important than ever to clarify what good eating really is. Creating a book with the skills to empower kids seemed like the perfect place to begin. My goal is to provide the tools and confidence for kids to take the reigns in the kitchen. I want to empower kids – and adults! – to make good food: from developing a discerning eye in sourcing quality ingredients, to refining and mastering various culinary skills. Read More
Innovative Farm Business Curriculum Propels New Generation of Female FarmersJune 29, 2016 | Abbie Stutzer
For generations, the face of farming in America has been the face of a sun-baked, hard-working man. Even with record growth in the number of female farmers, men still make up approximately 70 percent of primary and secondary farm operators, creating a collision course between entrenched gender biases and taboos and the realities of farming’s changing demographics.
Annie’s Project, founded in 2003 by University of Illinois Extension educator Ruth Hambleton, is one organization pushing to help the new generation of female farmers and ranchers over those hurdles to access the tools they need to be competent, successful growers, farm business managers, and business partners. The 18-hour curriculum combines an introduction to the five traditional risk areas of farming–farm risk management, production, marketing, legal, and financial and human resources–with lessons learned by Hambleton in more than two decades of field support.
“In my first 25 years of extension work, I listened to the many concerns and requests that farm women had,” Hambleton says. Read More