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Social, Political, Community

Gender, Race and Farming: An Interactive Discussion for Farmers and Researchers

  • Katherine Dentzman, University of Idaho; Deepa Iyer, Ayeko Farm; Ryanne Pilgeram, University of Idaho; Gabrielle Roesch-McNally, American Farmland Trust; Dorcas Young, Lesedi Farm
  • This session, focused on the unique struggles and contributions of women farmers, is loosely divided into three sections. The first reports on how the Census of Agriculture counts women farmers, including findings from an analysis of micro-level 2017 data looking at how farmer and farm characteristics vary between white, Black, Indigenous, and Pacific Islander/Asian women farmers. The second section takes attendees into the applied realm with American Farmland Trust’s work to advance the farming success of women and building on efforts to address the needs of women of color. Dr. Roesch-McNally will give a short introduction and will welcome our two farmer panelists, Dorcas Young and Deepa Iyer to share their experiences, particularly as they relate to challenges with women in agriculture. Questions could include: Does your experience reflect the wider trends found in Census of Agriculture data? How have you engaged—or plan to engage—with organizations that lift up women farmers of color and/or contest whiteness in women in agricultural networks? We hope you join us for an energetic and timely discussion of these topics.

Imagining a Just Food System

  • Hannah Wilson, Black Farmers Collective
  • Our current food system is unjust and serves only the most privileged in this country. Generations of land loss, stolen resources, and oppressive policies have led to BIPOC communities carrying the burden of a food system under capitalism. What would it look like to heal our relationship with food, land, and our ancestors? Let's map out what our food systems would look like if they served our communities equitably and sustainably. I will be discussing the difference between food security, food justice, and food sovereignty, and how reparations, abolition, and sovereignty are all related to our food system. How can we directly support farmers better? How can we make sure farmworkers are treated fairly? How do we get more BIPOC farmers who own land? We will discuss what short, medium, and long-term goals we can strive for in order to not just imagine, but establish a just food system.

Excessive Stress in Agriculture

  • Kate Seymour, WSU Skagit Extension; Allison Browne, Washington State Department of Health
  • Due to high national suicide rates in the agriculture industry, in 2018 the Washington State legislature passed Substitute House Bill 2671, directing the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to initiate a suicide prevention program for the industry. The DOH task force chose Washington State University (WSU) Skagit County Extension as the contracting entity for a pilot project providing education on the farmer health crisis, suicide risk factors and warning signs, and evidence-based suicide prevention approaches. The Agricultural Suicide Prevention Pilot Program has created and distributed model marketing materials addressing agriculture-related stress including PSAs and coordinated efforts with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Pilot Program has also leveraged Extension platforms to provide suicide prevention training and messaging at presentations, agricultural events, and Extension programs, targeting farmers, farm workers and rural communities. This workshop will address the unique stressors faced by farmers and farm workers, identify suicide risk factors and warning signs and equip participants with the tools to have meaningful, potentially lifesaving, conversations with those experiencing excessive stress.

Engaging your Land Grant University for the next 50 years of research, teaching, and extension in organic and sustainable agriculture and food systems

  • Chad Kruger, WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources; André-Denis Wright, Dean, WSU College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS); Vicki McCracken, Associate Dean CAHNRS and Director, WSU Extension; Scot Hulbert, Associate Dean and Director, CAHNRS Office of Research; Rich Zack, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, CAHNRS
  • Historically, Land Grant Universities were institutions where farmers and ranchers engaged with researchers and extension to develop and apply knowledge to solve challenges in the farm and food system. WSU has a unique history amongst land grants due to its long-standing partnerships with sustainable and organic producers going back to the early 1970’s. This relationship has contributed to broad and deep support for organic and sustainable agriculture in Washington. Effective activism and advocacy from the Tilth community and the broader network of organic and sustainable ag and food partners in Washington has been essential to driving the strategic directions and investments at WSU throughout the past 50 years. It’s time to re-energize this partnership by engaging the next generation of Tilth members to help WSU continue to respond effectively to the changing needs of the organic and sustainable ag and food community for the next 50 years. This session will be a facilitated dialogue between Tilth membership and the leadership, faculty, staff, and students from the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences and WSU Extension. The goal will be to initiate an ongoing dialogue.
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