women | Pesticide Action Network
Reclaiming the future of food and farming

women

Linda Wells's picture

Celebrating women in agriculture

This week I had the immense pleasure of attending the 4th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture in Des Moines, Iowa. The conference was hosted by the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network (WFAN), one of PAN's partners in our Midwest Drift Catching work.

With approximately 400 participants, the conference brings together women farmers, advocates and landowners from across the country to share resources and dialogue about solutions for transitioning to a more sustainable food system. It was an incredible event — three days of women sharing their deepest hopes and smartest strategies about how to improve agriculture.

Linda Wells
Kathryn Gilje's picture

Hands off my ovaries, chemical industry

When it comes to ovaries, I get protective. Infertility, endometriosis, and fibroids aren't words I should have to use as frequently as I do. And I'm not the only one noticing this disturbing trend. Women around me agree that something is definitely wrong.

Science is increasingly pointing to chemicals in our lives that act as endocrine disruptors, causing problems associated with reproductive health. According to an article in Environmental Health News last week, "Several new studies are adding to the evidence that some estrogen-mimicking pesticides and industrial chemicals may increase women's risk of uterine and ovarian diseases — helping to solidify a theory that emerged two decades ago."

Kathryn Gilje
Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's picture

Gender, faith & farming — links worth making

Cherry blossoms are in full bloom here in Washington D.C. where I’ve spent the last few days participating in the Ecumenical Advocacy Days’ national conference for Global Peace with Justice. Along with some 700 participants, I heard inspiring stories of social justice work being carried out by communities of faith in the U.S. and around the world. Also on display were two under-appreciated facts that the U.S. food movement is slowly coming to appreciate: 1) the deep ties of communities of faith are critical to social change-making; and 2) women farmers are and will remain the real roots of global agriculture.

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman
Kathryn Gilje's picture

Will women fall for Corporate Ag?

Big Ag is on the defensive, and women are coming to the rescue. Citing Michael Pollan and Food, Inc. as two particularly large blemishes to overcome, large-scale agriculture commodity and marketing associations hired the PR firm Osborn & Barr (a regular for Monsanto) in search of a better image. They unveiled their approach in November: a woman-to-woman marketing campaign targeting urban and suburban women. Knowing that women control most household spending, Osborn & Barr is betting on farm women as messengers that offer a more palatable face for industrial agriculture, and who offer a relationship that is difficult to turn down. Amy Nuccio of Osborn & Barr commented, "Consumers don't want a slogan, they don't want an ad campaign. They want a real relationship, which led us to this strategy of woman-to-woman." They’ll have to be careful, though, because it turns out women oft dig past the hype when it comes to the health of our children. Witness a recent attempt to woo moms, Corn Syrup Lobby Courts Mommybloggers, Gets Spanked.

Kathryn Gilje