Saturday, December 27, 2008

Women in Farming

When I was younger, I thought farming was primarily a male profession. Fortunately as an adult, and as I educate myself about the industry, I am encountering amazing women in the field such as Cheryl Rogowski. A graduate of LEAD-New York class in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell and a recipient of the MacArthur award (she is the first farmer to received a MacArthur Fellowship), Cheryl has used her experience as a farmer to promote sustainable agricultural practices in the New York.

Her family farm (2nd generation) is located in the town of Warwick in Orange County, NY. It is150 acres, grows over 250 varieties of fruits and vegetables, and is famous for its black dirt. The farm strives to maintain an ethnic market and provides produce to local and city residents through CSAs and farmers markets. In addition to managing her family farm with her brother, Cheryl has helped to start progressive agricultural programs for low-income families and seniors in her community, along with serving as a mentor and supporting literacy programs for immigrant farmers.

Even though I have not met Cheryl, I had an opportunity to talk with her five years ago and coordinated a visit to her farm for a group of youth. We were greeted with warmth, were able to harvest currents that day, and learned about the value of organic farming. For more information on Cheryl Rogowski or W. Rogowski Farm go to:

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