Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Women in Agriculture Workshop

What a great turnout we had for this event. It was a rather cold day, as it should be being March after all, everyone took turns feeding wood to the potbelly stove and warming up with hot apple cider and nibblers prepared by Chef Patti, her lavender shortbread cookies were a big hit. We began with a session on organizing offered by Lisa Montanaro then broke out into groups Jerry Sommer taught the session on electric and Pat Brown handled the plumbing. A wonderful lunch was served by our chef Heather and then on to welding taught by Nancy Colgan and small engine trouble shooting taught by Audrey Wright. The day ended with a talk by Amy Jolin of the Ringwood Farmers Market on of course marketing! The opportunities for networking and learning were fantastic and we have requests for many more such workshops not just at our farm but at other farms as well. We were also blessed with the presence of Cherie Fortis and her husband of Cherie Fortis Productions, Inc, who filmed the day as part of a documentary on Women in Agriculture that she has been working on. A special thank you goes to the Orange County Dairy Court who graced us with their presence. I think one of the participants JJ Murphy summed up the day quite nicely when she wrote:

"Each presenter used their 45-minute time slot to share basic vocabulary, identify tools and supplies, and demonstrate a simple task. I now have an idea of how splice electric wire, solder copper wire without making a mess, and replace an air filter on a lawnmower. Am I an expert? No, but I know how to begin and ways I can practice safely until I learn."