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Women-Powered Farms

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: When you picture the traditional farmer, you might envision a man, clothed in bib-overalls, driving a tractor. That portrait is changing.
Air Date: 5/27/15
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Audrey Levatino
Audrey-LevitanoAudrey Levatino is the quintessential modern woman farmer. Thirteen years ago, she left the urban world to fulfill her dream of self-employment in a natural, healthy environment. She now runs a 23-acre farm, Ted’s Last Stand, near Gordonsville, Virginia. She and her husband Michael are the co-authors of The Joy of Hobby Farming. Since writing that book, Audrey has taken over primary responsibility for the farm and now runs a successful cut flower, herb, and vegetable farm business.
  • Book Title: Woman-Powered Farm: Manual for a Sustainable Lifestyle from Homestead to Field
  • Guest Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/audrey.levatino
Women-Powered Farms
When you picture the traditional farmer, you might envision a middle-aged man, clothed in bib-overalls, driving a tractor with a piece of wheat sticking out his mouth.

That portrait is changing.

Audrey Levatino, author of Woman-Powered Farm: Manual for a Sustainable Lifestyle from Homestead to Field, is one of the rising number of women farmers.

Audrey mostly raises specialty-cut flowers, but she aims for her farm to be a completely sustainable ecosystem. She also raises specialty produce for local restaurants, as well as donkeys, llamas, and bees. 

According to Audrey, it's a really exciting time for women farmers and the recognition they receive. The Census Bureau just recently started including women's names and counting them as farmers. Previously, even if a woman co-owned and co-operated a farm with her husband or partner, it was the man's name that got recorded.

Now, it's predicted that by 2027, women will own the majority of the farm land in the United States. 

What advice does Audrey have for women (and men) who are thinking about starting a farm?

First and foremost, start small and be patient. Also, be prepared and learn as much as you can. Research your market, your customers, and what's going on in your community. 

Another key part of farming in general is to pass down the traditions of farming to the younger generation, whether in family homes or via "farm schooling."

Tune in as Audrey joins Andrea and Lisa to share more about how she got started in farming, what's she's learned along the way, and important things to consider if you're thinking about embarking on the same kind of journey.
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