Save the Date: New York City NYAW Conference on October 23, 2012

August 27th, 2012 @ 3:36 pm by Cari Rincker

American Agri-Women touring Eagle Street Rooftop Farm

I’m super excited to announce that the first-ever New York Agri-Women New York City Meet-up will be held on October 23, 2012.  With the help of Melissa Danielle and Mary Callanan, New York Agri-Women will be offering outstanding educational and networking opportunities to attendees.  Tentatively, the day will start with a farm tour of Brooklyn Grange.  The afternoon will be full of exciting educational presentations and panels discussing issues such as (1) value-added food products for increased profitability, (2) how urban and rural farmers can work together, (3) trends with CSA’s, and (4) various challenges and roadblocks to rooftop gardening.  The day will close with a tour of Eagle Street Rooftop Farm and Anarchy in a Jar’s Jam Facility both in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Please save the date!  More information to come.  To make sure you get a registration flyer, please email cari@rinckerlaw.com with your email and/or mailing address.

NYAW Event June 13, 2012 Erica Leubner Host Marietta, NY

June 25th, 2012 @ 10:11 am by Julie Patterson

NYAW “Ladies Night Out” at Erica Leubner’s barn in Marietta, NY on June 13 was a huge success! About 45 people were in attendance from the Central NY area. Katie Carpenter, Secretary for NYAW, traveled 2 ¾ hours from Western NY to attend…thanks so much for your support Katie!
Erica and her family decorated their beautiful old barn warmly and welcoming. Many attendees brought a NY product to share….wonderful spirits and foods were plentiful! Conversation and laughs carried throughout the evening, all seemed to enjoy the laid back atmosphere and were able to chat with friends new and old. Erica spoke to the group about what it meant to her to be “New York Agri-Woman” and her trip to Japan last fall, made possible by NYAW. And being the Membership Chair I spoke to the group about why I became involved with the group, NYAW’s roots and American Agri-women’s roots.
Attendees ranged from women in production agriculture, women in business related to agriculture, women interested in agriculture and family who support agriculture. That is what is so terrific about this group…all are welcomed! I’d also like to thank my sister Mary Walter, my cousin Debbie Delaney and Erica’s sister Rachel Lewis for helping with the set up and clean up and their support!
This is the first of many events being held in the area that will rotate around to introduce NYAW to interested people. Please check the website and local publications for dates.

AAW Syngenta Leadership At Its Best Program

April 17th, 2012 @ 2:01 pm by rebecca_snyder

Excitement is building at the 2012 AAW Syngenta Leadership At Its Best program (LAIB). This year’s program will take place April 16th through the 19th in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Sheila Marshman, a Professor at Morrisville State College and President-elect of New York Agri-Women is one of the 15 participants selected for the program. The week long program is packed with activities allowing participants to experience leadership development and relationship building.

The LAIB program focuses on the policy process, media training, communication styles, public speaking and leadership skills. Program speakers include Dr. Rob Moorman, a nationally recognized scholar and presenter on Transformational Leadership. Rick Roundtree, the founder and President of Rick Rountree Communications, Inc. will speak on media relations. Global expectations in agriculture, social media, a tour and demonstrations of Syngenta’s Stanton Minnesota facility, and public speaking for advocacy will round out the program.


In 2010, Cari Rincker, the founder of New York Agri-Women and an attorney from NYC participated in the LAIB program. According to Rincker, “the program was excellent. I gave my first mock television interview and learned all about personality styles. Syngenta rolled out the red carpet for us and were amazing hosts.” Rincker still maintains contact with many of the participants in the class of 2010.

Please look for pictures and blog updates throughout the week from Sheila Marshman.

2012 NYAW Leadership Board & County Leader Elections

February 24th, 2012 @ 8:30 pm by Cari Rincker

I have received several emails from folks asking about whether it is too late to run for a leadership position.  No, it’s not.. but it may soon be.  Elections will take place on March 3, 2012 at the Annual Meeting.  I’m working on the program materials this weekend and early next week.  If you are interested in running for a leadership position, please complete this form and send it my way ASAP.

The Road to the UN: Draft 1

January 31st, 2012 @ 9:25 am by Sheila Marshman

The below post is a first draft of my presentation that I will give at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.  I would love your feedback!

Women in U.S. Agriculture

The role women play in U.S. Agriculture is as diverse as the industry itself. We are educators, entrepreneurs, executives, board members, and stewards of the land.  As diverse as we are, we are united by our unique ability to nurture, as well as our common desire to preserve our agricultural heritage, protect the environment, educate consumers, and ensure a safe and prosperous food supply.

The global food system has many consumers demanding to know more about the origin of their food, and women are rising to the occasion to meet those demands.  The 2007 USDA Agricultural census reported that 14 percent of our nation’s 2.2 million farms are owned by women and more than 30 percent of U.S. farm operators are women.  The total number of women operators increased 19 percent and the total number of farms owned by women increased by 5 percent from the 2002 census.  Those numbers are expected to double in the 2012 agricultural census.

Here in America we have witnessed unprecedented growth in local food and marketing opportunities. The number of farmers’ markets rose to 5,274 in 2009, up from 2,756 in 1998 and 1,755 in 1994 (USDA).  In 2005, there were 1,144 community-supported agriculture organizations (CSAs) in operation, up from 400 in 2001 and 2 in 1986. The greatest success stories of farmers markets and CSAs originates here in NYC with the GreenMarkets.  What started 30 years ago with 12 has grown into 54 markets, 230 farm families and 30,000 acres of farmland protected from development.


The GreenMarket Farmers Markets have helped change regional agriculture and the regional food system; it has revitalized rural communities and urban spaces, improved consumer health, provided fresh and nutritious food to those most in need through EBT/Food Stamps and  Youthmarket  programs, supported immigrant farmers,  encouraged crop diversity, educated  school children and city residents about the importance of regional agriculture, provided a wholesale opportunity for medium sized farms, inspired new culinary trends, and influenced chefs and eaters in one of the culinary capitals in the world (growncy.org).

American farm women are also stepping forward in many leadership capacities, in administration, public affairs, public relations and education, just to name a few areas. Our current NY Agri-women President and founder Cari Rincker is a farm owner, NYC Food and Agriculture attorney, as well as a leadership board member for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Young Producers’ Council. Member Judi Whittaker, a farm owner from Whitney Point, NY spends countless hours advocating for food and agriculture both at the local and national levels through her work with the American Farm Bureau. Advances made in all fields by the feminist movement have helped women make a difference in agriculture.

We are united by our passion to educate the consumer. We bring consumers together at our farms, we promote healthy eating and exercise to children, and we adopt classrooms through our Ag in the Classroom project. NY Agri-woman and farm owner Chris Fesko has rolled all these activities into one, through the creation of her On the Farm Discovery Center.  Annually, she hosts thousands of visitors to her farm to learn about food and agriculture while also learning math science and language arts. This is in addition to the numerous award winning on farm educational videos that she produces and markets around the world.  Chris also serves on her town’s board and is a director for Farm Credit East, the largest agricultural lender in the Northeastern part of the United States.


American agricultural women are blessed with a strong rural infrastructure supporting their personal and professional development.  Our Higher Education system and the Farm Credit Banking System are two notable areas. Here in New York State we are blessed with several colleges of agriculture and technology including my place of employment Morrisville State College.  We offer numerous applied agriculture degree to young men and women planning to return to their home farm, start their own farms and or enter careers in the agriculture industry.  Most recently, agricultural business  development student Jenn Masters worked with Nelson Farms, the college’s small scale food processing facility, to create Country Crunch using a recipe developed by her grandmother. Jenn will graduate in May with both a degree and an agricultural business in hand.

While access to credit is often a limiting factor for women who are interested in agriculture, here in America we have the Farm Credit System, a farmer owned agricultural cooperative. Farm Credit was established by Congress 1916 to provide a reliable source of credit for the nation’s farmers and ranchers. Today, the system provides more than one-third of the credit needed by those who live and work in rural America.  New York Agri-Women member Jan Bitter is a Vice President for Farm Credit East, which serves farmers in New York, New Jersey and parts of New England.  Jan notes that in her almost 30 years at Farm Credit the role of women on the farm and in agribusiness has changed dramatically. In the early 1980’s, most of the women who worked on farms were unpaid family laborers.  Women in agribusiness roles knew that there were some farms that they couldn’t visit on their own, because the owner refused to do business with a woman.

Today there is a growing number of women owning and managing farms.  Once a woman has a track record of operating a profitable farm business, access to credit is not an issue. Farm Credit recently initiated FarmStart, a program to support talented, hardworking individuals entering agriculture. FarmStart assists beginning farmers and new cooperatives through their start-up years by providing working capital investments of up to $50,000 to get their  business off the ground.  Farm Credit also offers incentives to young, beginning and small farmers to help them  manage their farm operations.

Our combined efforts have helped US agriculture become the most developed in the world. Through our production efforts we provide food and fiber for the growing domestic and international markets. We supply the feedstock for an expanding bioenergy sector, and provide ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration to a nation increasingly concerned with the environment (Amberwaves, 2011). In part, it is because of US agriculture that the food needs of the world’s growing population will be met. We are doing so with a renewed interest in social responsibility, food safety, and environmental stewardship.


Women in agribusiness are now such a familiar sight on farms that they can’t be turned away at the farm gate.  However, large scale corporate agricultural business in the US is still hugely dominated by a white male workforce that is traditionally in charge of decision-making and operation. We have great hopes that NY Agri-women members like Molly Zorn, a National Account Manager for Genex Cooperative and Rebecca Snyder, our incoming New York Agri-Women President and Animal Nutritionist for the global powerhouse Cargill, will be successful at making positive strides to break through the glass ceiling, paving the way for future generations of women to make decisions about agriculture and the global food system.

Although our success as entrepreneurs in the local food system is noteworthy, we lack the infrastructure related to the distribution of local and regional food.  Currently we are not able to move local food into mainstream markets in a cost-effective manner.  Finally, because most small farmers must combine their products with other farmers’ products to make processing and shipping more economical, challenges are posed for product quality, consistency, and traceability. Without traceability in place, wholesale buyers must assume higher levels of risk and liability in cases of foodborne illness.

Food safety issues will continue to be at the forefront of any local food model.  It is my hopes that we can learn from one another to collectively develop a safe, secure and economically viable local food model that can be applied to all regions of the world.  As I tell my students, it has been proven time and time again that a healthy rural economy equates to a healthy national economy, creating a win-win situation for all women in all countries.

Farming Our Future Conference

January 14th, 2012 @ 2:43 pm by Karen DiPeri

Join me, Columbia County Chair, NY Agri-Women at the first annual Farming Our Future conference on February 25th 2012.

Steffen Schneider, Director of Farm Operations at Hawthorne Valley Farm, will offer his thoughts on the past, present, and future of agriculture both locally and globally in his keynote address: “Agri-culture 3.0: An Agricultural Narrative for the Future”. According to Schneider, “Agriculture has the potential to provide real solutions to many of the challenges we face as a society and as individuals. Farms in Columbia County and the Hudson Valley already are and can become even greater pioneers of this future. Can we develop a narrative that will inspire and drive such a development?”

For more information or to register visit www.farmingourfuture.org

Looking for a NYAW District Leader For Northern New York

November 21st, 2011 @ 10:56 am by Cari Rincker

I’m in the hunt for a District Leader for the Northern New York District.  This person would help manage the following counties:  Oswego, Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Clinton, Franklin, Essex, Warren, Hamilton, Fulton, and Herkimer.  All district leaders are members of the Leadership Board.  If you are interested, please email me at newyorkagriwomen@gmail.com.

My NYAW Annual President’s Report to AAW: Successful First Year & Bright Future Ahead

November 14th, 2011 @ 9:18 am by Cari Rincker

I was recently asked to submit a President’s Report for American Agri-Women Annual Meeting.  I thought I would share my report with the membership.

New York Agri-Women has had a successful first year. New York Agri-Women currently has 84 paid members and are in the process of seeking renewals from members. Elections took place in Fall 2010 establishing a leadership board, district leaders, and county leaders. Several of the county leaders have planned meetings at the local level grabbing media attention.

NYAW and AAW Members Getting a Tour of a Rooftop Garden in Brooklyn

New York Agri-Women maintains a website at www.newyorkagriwomen.com, paid by business sponsors, and a blog at www.newyorkagriwomen.com/blog. New York Agri-Women also aims to maintain a strong social media presence with a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/newyorkagriwomen) and Twitter account (http://twitter.com/NYAgriWomen). Cari Rincker maintains an email list for the paid members of New York Agri-Women, which was recently uploaded to Constant Contact. New York Agri-Women recently sent out its first eNewsletter to the membership. Both members and nonmembers are free to join the New York Agri-Women Google Email Group which provides updates on news and agriculture events in New York. The potential of the Google Group has yet to be fully optimized by the participants.

NYAW and AAW at the Red Hook Port Authority

NYAW and AAW Members at the Red Hook Port Authority

In February 2011, New York Agri-Women hosted its first Annual Meeting at Morrisville State College in Morrisville, New York. Approximately forty (40) women attended the event. Chris Wilson spoke to the attendees via Skype regarding the goals of American Agri-Women. We offered attendees both a business and law track in the afternoon. The next Annual Meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 3, 2012 in Riverhead, New York, approximately 90 minutes east of New York City, to help pull attendees from metro- New York City and the United Nations.

Participants at the First Annual Meeting

Great presentation about personality types at the First Annual Meeting

Ready for Dinner at the First Annual Meeting

Are you ready to be an advocate for agriculture in your community?

New York Agri-Women has developed a relationship with the Rural Women Empowerment and Life Improvement Association (“WELI”) from Japan. Member Erica Leubner will be representing New York Agri-Women this month at an agriculture conference in Tokyo, Japan speaking about her experience as a co-owner of Tim’s Pumpkin Patch in Marietta, NY and issues pertaining to U.S. women involved in the agriculture industry.

Syracuse Meet-Up

Goals for the 2011-2012 year include the following:

• Have a County Leader in every county in New York;

• Host quarterly county meetings;

• Host annual district meetings;

• Have active Consumer Education, Producer Education, Membership, Social/Networking,

Resources, Legislative, and Governance Committees;

• Establish an active Annual Meeting Planning Committee to help plan the function

throughout the year;

• Send out monthly eNewsletters to membership;

• Participate in politics at the state and local level;

• Have a regular blogging team;

• Reach out to more consumers in both rural and urban areas;

• Create a membership “Face Book” with photographs of members;

• Recruit more members to participate in American Agri-Women events; and,

• Have a smooth transition of leadership in spring 2012.


NYAW Seeking Interim Public Relations Officer

October 30th, 2011 @ 10:00 am by Cari Rincker

New York Agri-Women is seeking an interim public relations officer available now through the next Annual Meeting in March. This person will be eligible to run for another term beginning in March.  The PR Officer will be in charge of managing the organization’s press lists, draft press releases, and work with the Social Media Committee to advertise events via Facebook, Twitter, and this Blog.  This person will be on the leadership board helping manage the operations of the entire organization.

If you are interested, please email newyorkagriwomen@gmail.com along with a paragraph bio about yourself.


New York Agri-Women is a state affiliate of American Agri-Women
New York Agri-Women • New York Agri-Women, Sheila A. Marshman • 3564 County Rd 32 Oxford, NY, 13830
• 607/244-5539
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