Agenda and Registration Form for the Annual Meeting

December 21st, 2011 @ 9:57 am by Cari Rincker

I’m excited to announce that you can now find the agenda and registration form for the Second Annual Meeting for New York Agri-Women online.  I hope that you can see the tremendous amount of effort from the NYAW Leadership Board in putting together a top-notch agenda.  Please do NYAW a favor and circulate information regarding the annual meeting to anyone who may be interested.

Congrats to Sheila Marshman & Kim Wagner!

December 17th, 2011 @ 8:17 pm by Cari Rincker

Congratulations to Prof. Sheila Marshman of Morrisville State College and Dr. Kim Wagner of Stoutridge Vineyards for being selected to participate in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women panel discussing food security.  We received several applications from talented females and it was a touch decision for the leadership board.  Thank you to everyone who applied.

Summary of Erica Leubner’s Trip to Tokyo Representing NYAW

December 13th, 2011 @ 10:05 am by Sheila Marshman

New York Agri-Women member Erica Leubner, co-owner of Tim’s Pumpkin Patch inspired Japanese women of all ages to find themselves and their success in agriculture, during her November presentation to The Rural Women Empowerment and Life Improvement (“WELI”) Association in Tokyo, Japan.  In addition to words of inspiration, Leubner served as an ambassador for American agriculture, the American family farm, and all women involved in agriculture.

Leubner was selected to represent New York Agri-Women because of her success as a female agricultural business owner.  The title of her presentation was:  Developing a Successful Agri-Business Using Your Strengths and Simplicity.  Leubner shared with the group her decisions and successes at achieving a higher education, marrying a dairy farmer, and raising three daughters all while growing Tim’s Pumpkins Patch, a full service agri-tourism operation attracting thousands of visitors annually. The heart of Leubner’s presentation focused on growing a business slowly, giving consumers what they ask for, keeping the farm authentic, and most importantly, how she created a niche for herself within the family business in which she married. Erica’s presentation was received with head nods, smiles, picture taking and insightful questions about her lifestyle and agri-business.

Setting the smiles and head nodding aside, Erica’s presentation took her beyond her own farm, as she found herself playing the role of an ambassador for U.S. agriculture. The inquisitive audience questioned the international focus of U.S. agricultural labor, farm subsidies, the U.S. debt, corporate agriculture, and President’s Obama’s plans for further expansion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) for agricultural products.  Setting emotion aside, and with great sincerity, Erica proudly defended the misconceptions of America.  Leuber proudly told the audience that she “like many other farm women around the world rise at 5:00am every morning to do my share to feed the world, and support the family unit.”  She also communicated that 98 percent of US farms are family farms.  Leuber noted that “the conference attendees soon realized that although, we lived on different continents, our roles and responsibilities as farm women were similar.”

The Japanese women also inspired Leubner herself.  In Japan, the women have traditionally been the major players in agriculture.  Although, this may come as a surprise, Japanese women are oftentimes left to manage the farm while the men sought higher paying jobs off the farm.  For decades Japanese farm women have thrived as farm business owners. They have created markets for their products in Tokyo grocery stores, established full service restaurants on their farms, and partnered with tourism agencies to develop agricultural tourism in Japan.

The success of Japanese women as farm business owners has caught the attention of the Japanese government.  The Japan Center for Regional Development (“JCRD”) was established in 1985 to assist in the regional revitalization by supporting town development and regional promotion.  The major effort of the JCRD is the creation and support of “antenna shops.”  These are facilities established on the initiative of local governments to increase interest and awareness about agricultural products and tourism in rural Japan.  In many cases, the management of the facilities is entrusted to the private sector.  Operations include selling local products, operating restaurants, holding events, providing tourism information and holding consultations with people who want to move to the region.

Leabner was amazed to see the bustling shops and restaurants located in busy shopping areas in Tokyo that were filled with local agricultural products made by Japanese woman.  Erica dined at one of the antenna restaurants, where everything from the place mats (artwork received from an artist) to the food, to the beautifully handcrafted shot glass were all produced by Japanese women.  The trip to Japan was truly a life changing experience stated Erica, “I was sent to Japan to share my knowledge with Japanese women. However, it was I, who was inspired and educated,” said Leubner.   The conference truly succeeded at bringing together and empowering women.

The WELI Association was established in 1957 for the purpose of improving the life and status of rural women. Conference attendees included: Japanese farm women from all different areas of agriculture including dairy, apple, tomato, orange and tea farms to name just a few as well as Japanese government leaders, rural community workers, agri-business entrepreneurs owning farm restaurants, agri-tourism operations and processing facilities for value added products, representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (“MAFF”), and professors from various Universities of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  New York Agri-Women began its relationship with WELI at the First Annual Meeting held at Morrisville State College.  Two members of WELI who were participating in the United Nations Commission on Women activities in New York, New York attended the conference.

Leubner will be making a presentation about her trip to Tokyo at the second annual New York Agri-Women meeting to be held in Riverhead, New York on March 3, 2012.   New York Agri-Women will have two panelists next spring at the United Nations Commission on Women discussing food security.

Do You Want On New York Agri-Women’s Mailing List?

December 12th, 2011 @ 11:05 pm by Cari Rincker

New York Agri-Women will soon be mailing out information on the Second Annual Meeting and Agri-Tour.  If you are not a New York Agri-Women member but you want to make sure you receive information, please email your name and contact information to newyorkagriwomen@gmail.com.  Thanks!

Photos of Erica’s Trip to Tokyo Posted on Facebook

December 7th, 2011 @ 9:36 am by Cari Rincker

Photographs of Erica Leubner’s trip to Tokyo at the Rural Women Empowerment and Life Improvement Association (“WELI”) are posted our Facebook page.  When you get a moment, please check them out!

Seeking UN Panelists for Next Spring

December 3rd, 2011 @ 8:28 pm by Cari Rincker

Exciting news (again!).  New York Agri-Women has been selected to participated in a program next Spring at the United Nations (either March 1 or March 2) with the Rural Women Empowerment and Life Improvement Association (WELI) — the same group from Japan that sent Erica Leubner from Tim’s Pumpkin Patch to Tokyo.  The meeting will be held in conjunction with the UN Commission on the Status of Women (“CSW”).  It is looking for 1-2 NYAW to be panelists.  It is unknown whether travel expenses will be paid by WELI so applicants must be prepared to pay their own way.
Event title:  ”Women’ Role in Food Security and Sustainable Development: Partnership between Rural and Urban Women”
Event description:
During the year between 2007 and 2008, the world food prices reached their peaks and they are expected to remain at high levels for many years to come. Such high food prices were said to be one of the important causes of the political and social changes occurring in several countries in North Africa as well as Arab countries. The world population reached 7 billion at the end of October, 2011, and the issue of food security re-emerges as one of the most crucial global challenges. In many countries, especially in Asia and Africa, the majority of farmers are women and they are shouldering important responsibilities of providing foods for their families and the people.  According to the FAO White Paper, if women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase the yields by 20-30%, which would reduce the number of hungry people by 12-17%. The estimated numbers of malnutrition people in the world in 2010 is more than 920 million. Therefore, by increasing the women’s access to the productive resources, more than 100 million people would be able to free themselves from malnutrition. The roles women could play are very significant in reducing starvation. In addition, the availability of markets is crucial for sustainability of agriculture as well as securing income. Here, the role of urban women emerges as vital consumers and significant players. In this session, we will share issues that women have played a vital role in the rural and urban communities, such as 1) Promotion of initiatives to locally consume locally grown products, 2) Teaching children and consumers the importance of agriculture, foods and healthy diet, 3) Focusing on environmentally friendly rural life and preserving local foods and traditions. Related to these topics, different panelists, such as farm women, urban women, researchers from USA, Costa Rica and Japan will present various innovative and challenging programs.
If you are interested in applying, please email me at newyorkagriwomen@gmail.com along with a summary of (1) your background, (2) your commitment that you can travel to Manhattan on either March 1 or March 2, 2012, and (3) summary on your experience working on food security issues including local food, consumer education, sustainable agriculture.  The deadline for applications will be December 9, 2012.



New York Agri-Women is a state affiliate of American Agri-Women
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