• WisBusiness

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

GreenBiz: Women active in sustainable businesses


By Gregg Hoffmann
Women are playing a more active role than ever in sustainable agriculture and the sustainability field overall, in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Several of those women gathered at the Organic Valley Country Fair recently in a forum called “Planting fresh seeds: How women are transforming sustainability."

“The USDA reported a 30 percent increase in women-owned farms,” said Lisa Kivirist, a Kellogg Food & Society Policy Fellow who headed the forum. “Many of these women are in their 40s and 50s, and farming as a second career. They often have roots in agriculture and are returning to them.”

Not all have the roots in farming though. For example, Kivirist and her husband, John Ivanko, were involved in advertising in Chicago and decided they wanted to make a change.

Kivirist runs a farm with her husband, south of Monroe. They also run the Inn Serendipity Bed and Breakfast on the farm. It is completely powered by renewable energy and recently was named one of the “Top Ten Eco-Destinations in North America.”

The inn is named, in part, because of what Kivirist refers to as the “serendipitous diversification” that has been a key to her progress in building a sustainable business and lifestyle. When things have happened, she has adapted.

“For example, when our laundry kept getting blown off the line, we said, ‘it’s windy here’ and decided to put in wind power,” she Kivirist said.

Sustainable agriculture is a natural for women in several ways, Kivirist said. Women across the U.S. are the main food purchasers. Globally, women raise more than 80 percent of the food, while owning in many countries less than 1 percent of the land.

Aimee Witteman used her roots in central Wisconsin to build a career in sustainable agriculture policy. She recently served as executive director of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition in Washington D.C. and was extensively involved in the 2008 Farm Bill debate.

“If you’re interested in connecting humans with nature, agriculture is a natural,” said Witteman, who has returned to the Midwest. “Public policy can be a step toward becoming one with place. We have work to do on those policies.”

Witteman, who now is with the McKnight Foundation. mentioned MOSES (Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service) as a good organization for sustainable public policy advocacy. Kivirist serves as the director of the MOSES Rural Women’s Project and maintains the Women, Food & Agriculture Network (WFAN).

“There are a growing number of good resources out there for women who want to become involved in sustainability,” Kivirist said.

Not all women involved in sustainability are farming. Sonya Newenhouse runs the Madison Environmental Group and Community Car. The former serves as a consulting firm for people involved in all types of sustainability projects. The latter now includes 1,300 members and 18 cars. Members share those cars, and in many cases do not own their own automobiles.

The group also is getting into the building industry with NewenHouse, which will provide super-insulated homes for people who want “to live lightly on the earth.” The homes will range from a one bedroom accessible 600 square feet to a three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,100 square foot home using passive house principles. NewenHouses will not need central heating, even in winter.

“You have to be open to opportunities, and to taking risks (to start a sustainable business),’ Newenhouse said. “You have to decide what is the worst thing that could happen and can I live with it. You have to deal with your pride, and the fear of failure.”

The Madison Environmental Group has worked on the Western Technical College Safety Building, the Madison Children’s Museum LEED Project for the renovation of a North Hamilton Street building, a Green Bay Mettropolitan Sewerage District project and others across the state.

Women-owned businesses are growing at almost twice the national rate, according to the Center of Women’s Business Research, and women make up the largest, fastest-growing group purchasing farms today.

According to a National Agricultural Statistics Service census, women were the principal operators of more than 9,100 farms in Wisconsin. The state ranked among the top 10 states in the country for farms operated by women.

Kivirist uses the term “ecopreneuring” and, in fact, has co-authored a book with her husband on that very topic, along with another book called, “Rural Renaissance.”

“An underground yet significant revolution is erupting across rural America: women launching green businesses and leading the sustainable revitalization of our countryside,” Kivirist wrote on the web site for her seminars.

“From farmers to fiber artists, from cheese makers to innkeepers, women launching green businesses prioritize more than profit; they see their businesses as a tool to transform both local communities and the world, emphasizing cooperation over competition, meaning over simply earning a living, and often, integrating their children and family into their livelihood.”

-- Hoffmann has written many columns and features for WisPolitics.com and WisBusiness.com over the years and he writes the GreenBiz column monthly.

Labels:


Comments: 10

At July 29, 2010 at 4:38 PM, Blogger party said...

Excellent article! For the record, I am executive director of Women, Food and Agriculture Network (www.wfan.org), but I am proud to work closely with my colleague Lisa Kivirist, who is affiliated with the MOSES Rural Women's Project.

Leigh Adcock

 
At August 28, 2017 at 6:03 AM, Blogger ninja said...

cartoon hd
showbox
TweakBox

 
At September 11, 2017 at 4:40 AM, Blogger Amber Gandotra said...

Tweakbox iphone 192.168.l.254 ip

 
At September 25, 2017 at 11:23 PM, Blogger Sample Data said...

playview hd

 
At October 3, 2017 at 11:09 PM, Blogger Halloween 2017 said...

halloween 2017 outfits for couples
halloween 2017 costumes for infants

 
At November 6, 2017 at 8:53 PM, Blogger Sample Data said...

tubemate laptop

 
At November 24, 2017 at 3:45 AM, Blogger historypak said...

I havent any word to appreciate this post.....Really i am impressed from this post....the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us. free music downloader

 
At November 30, 2017 at 8:54 AM, Blogger mind.it said...

A pulsating environment in the Parc des Princes demanded a fast begin from the house facet, and it got one. within four minutes, Marc-Andre ter Stegen raced nicely out of his aim to prevent Blaise Matuidi attaining an Di Maria skip, and moments later they carved Barcelona open again. Cavani may have taken another Di Maria ball on his left foot however rather checked interior and allowed Sergi Roberto to block. It became relentless stuff from PSG, and in the eleventh minute, Matuidi burst into the left facet of the field most effective for Ter Stegen to keep. Guest posting service

 
At December 9, 2017 at 9:27 AM, Blogger fatoni in diana said...

Infonya berharga, jangan lupa kunjungi juga situs kami ya

Cara Mengobati Gejala BAB Berdarah
Obat Untuk Gejala BAB Berdarah
BAB Keras Disertai Darah
Obat Ambeien Di Apotik
Obat Ambeien Yang Ampuh
Cara Mengobati Ambeien Berdarah

 
At December 9, 2017 at 9:28 AM, Blogger fatoni in diana said...

Kunjungi Juga ya :)

Obat BAB Berdarah Yang Alami
Obat Berak Berdarah Paling Manjur
Cara Menyembuhkan Ambeien Luar
Obat Untuk Gejala BAB Berdarah
Cara Menghilangkan Benjolan Ambeien Luar
Cara Mengobati BAB Keras Berdarah

Keluar Darah Dari Dubur

 

Post a Comment

Back to BizOpinion main page

: See newer blog items : : See older blog items :

BizOpinion site feed
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

wisbusiness.com Social News

Follow Us

Site Sponsors

ARCHIVE

· January 2009
· February 2009
· March 2009
· April 2009
· May 2009
· June 2009
· July 2009
· August 2009
· September 2009
· October 2009
· November 2009
· December 2009
· January 2010
· February 2010
· March 2010
· April 2010
· May 2010
· June 2010
· July 2010
· August 2010
· September 2010
· October 2010
· November 2010
· December 2010
· January 2011
· February 2011
· March 2011
· April 2011
· May 2011
· June 2011
· July 2011
· August 2011
· September 2011
· October 2011
· November 2011
· December 2011
· January 2012
· February 2012
· March 2012
· April 2012
· May 2012
· June 2012
· July 2012
· August 2012
· September 2012
· October 2012
· November 2012
· December 2012
· January 2013
· February 2013
· March 2013
· April 2013
· May 2013
· June 2013
· July 2013
· August 2013
· September 2013
· October 2013
· November 2013
· December 2013
· January 2014
· February 2014
· March 2014
· April 2014
· May 2014
· June 2014
· July 2014
· August 2014
· September 2014
· October 2014
· November 2014
· December 2014
· January 2015
· February 2015
· March 2015
· April 2015
· May 2015
· June 2015
· July 2015
· August 2015
· September 2015
· October 2015
· November 2015
· December 2015
· January 2016
· February 2016
· March 2016
· April 2016
· May 2016
· July 2016
· August 2016
· October 2016
· December 2016
Copyright ©2013 WisBusiness.com All rights reserved. | WisOpinion.com | WisPolitics.com  |  Website development by wisnet.com LLC  | Website design by Makin’ Hey Communications