The number of farms run by women in America has increased; women are listed as the principal operators of 14 percent of the nation’s farms. As the number of women farming increases, so does their need to connect.
In Wisconsin, women farmers are breaking bread together at potlucks. These potlucks provide valuable opportunities for networking, and have inspired a national movement. The potlucks have led to friendships, business partnerships…and they are leading more women to take part in farm (and food) politics.
The Wisconsin gatherings began about five years ago, when farmer, innkeeper, and author Lisa Kivirist of Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast and Farm in Monroe, Wisconsin, held an informal gathering of local women. The event resonated. Today, the potlucks – now held in other parts of the state and beyond – draw dozens.
Fueled by the very food they raise and grow—crisp salads, pulled pork, homemade cheese—the potlucks have become a forum for women to share information: where to buy tractors and hay, who might have a farm for sale, the name of good plumber. Some have found home for an abundance of farm cats, while others donate older vegetables as feed for piglets.