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Women Grow Ohio
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Women Grow Ohio
1190 Virginia Ridge Road, Philo, 43771, OH, United States
To connect and unite Ohio women in all forms of agriculture including livestock farmers, growers, homesteaders and urban backyard garden producers. Women Grow Ohio, a project of Rural Action, is a volunteer based group whose goal is to demonstrate the important work of Ohio women in feeding their families and others in our great state. We have developed a state-wide tour that works to connect and unite Ohio women in agriculture including livestock farmers, vegetable and fruit growers, homesteaders and urban backyard garden producers. Our goal is to provide women food producers with opportunities that promote their work in an industry that currently is still very much male-oriented. According to the 2012 US agriculture census there are 32,237 USDA (taken from Women Farm http://www.womenfarm.com/ohiocountymap.php) registered women farm producers. This number does not take into account all of the farms that did not participate in this census or aren’t registered with the USDA. Nor does it account for the thousands of urban and rural homesteaders and garden producers that are feeding Ohio today. The first Women Grow Ohio summer tour was held in 2015 with 14 sites representing a sampling of Ohio women-run farms, gardens, and homesteads. We began with two geographic areas and included urban (Central Ohio) backyard sites plus rural traditional farms in the counties of (Athens, Licking, Muskingum, Perry, Lorain). The tour featured urban homesteads yards, forest and community gardens, community gardens, CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), livestock farms and rural traditional farms. Roughly 150 visitors came out on one of the year’s hottest days to learn from and support the women who are growing Ohio. Organizations and businesses who support women in farming also participated as sponsors including the Ohio Educational Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), Ohio Earth Foods, Blue Rock Station, and City Folk’s Farm Shop. Marketing included the annual OEFFA farm tour series publications, news releases and social media. The WOMEN GROW OHIO Facebook page received over 400 “likes” within a few days of going online, and created conversations centered on women farmers. This page was also used for communicating among tour sites, and event promotion. We provided each site with assistance on how to organize their site (parking and restroom accomodations), speaking points etc.), and professionally printed directional signs. A wrap up potluck was held at one of the tour site locations and included women site hosts, tour attendees and those interested in future participation in the tour A small thank you gift was given to host farms. A discussion was held to begin planning for future Women Grow Ohio tours.