Albuquerque, NM – Can Texas farmers and ranchers build successful businesses in a time of drought and recession? Over 100 people with interests in farming and ranching are currently registered to attend Holistic Management International’s free “Empowering Texas Women in Agriculture” seminar, an introduction to HMI’s Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program, on Saturday, September 19, 9 am to 4 pm, at McKinney Roughs Nature Park in Cedar Creek, 35 miles southeast of Austin.
The event is at capacity and registration is closed.
HMI is a 28-year-old Albuquerque, NM-based international non-profit with deep roots in Texas, is organizing a total of four free, one-day seminars throughout the state that are open to the public. All seminars are designed to give participants a better understanding of how Holistic Management® can help farmers and ranchers build sustainable businesses and a market for local foods – particularly in a time of uncertain economic and weather conditions – and how women, especially, can take part in HMI’s three-year Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program.
(The other seminar dates and locations are September 27, Texas Tech University in Lubbock; October 11, Dallas Farmers Market in Dallas; and October 25, University of Texas-Pan American campus in Edinburg.)
Holistic Management is a whole-farm planning system that heals and manages land, and is in use today on more than 30 million acres on four continents. The system has been proven to mitigate the effects of drought.
HMI’s Texas seminars are an expansion of an initial program that was piloted in 2009 and trained almost 200 women farmers in New York and New England. Due to an overwhelming response of positive results and feedback from participants, HMI decided to expand the program to Texas.
Speakers at the Cedar Creek seminar include:
- Peggy Sechrist, Certified Holistic Management Educator and owner of a certified organic grass-fed beef operation in the Texas Hill Country;
- Andrew Smiley, Farm Direct Projects Director of the Sustainable Food Center in Austin;
- Erin Flynn, owner of the certified organic Green Gate Farms in Austin;
- Betsy Ross, CEO, Sustainable Growth Texas, and manager of two grass-fed beef ranches in Sutton and Williamson Counties;
- Chrissy Omo, cheesemaker and owner of CKC Farms in Blanco, and –
- Susan Baggett, USDA-NRCS Texas State Resource Conservationist.
According to HMI’s CEO, Peter Holter, a great need exists for a program that focuses on beginning women ranchers and farmers. “Currently, there are 942,000 women farmers throughout the country, and the number of young women getting into farming is growing,” he said.
“The Women and Food Agriculture Network has information indicating that – since 2002 – the agriculture industry has seen a 30 percent increase nationally in the number of women running farms and ranches. If you look at demographic, social, and economic factors, they indicate that the number will continue to rise throughout Texas in the coming years.”
To cover this seminar, and/or to schedule interviews: Contact Jane Blume at Desert Sky Communications, 505-294-1976, [email protected].