Auburn, Ala., August 18, 2011 – Barbara Shipman, Executive Director of the Cottage House in Ariton, Alabama, hosted a 2-day regional meeting for the National Women in Agriculture Association (NWIAA). The meeting was held to establish a regional chapter of NWIAA in Alabama and to share information with Small and Limited Resource women producers in the area.
NWIAA has been educating and serving socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers since 1999 and was officially incorporated in 2008. This diverse agriculture outreach organization, headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, brings together a team of business professionals. Tammy Steele, founder and Executive Director of the organization, spoke at the Cottage House and headed the charter ceremony to establish the Southern Region NWIAA that presently includes the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
Speakers included representatives from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Mayor of Clayton, the Forest Network, 4-H, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension, and operators of agricultural businesses such as bees and poultry.
Attendees participated in field tours, activities, and projects highlighting women farmers in the community. Activities included a 4-H school beautification project where the group planted a tree at an area school. Participants also toured a local poultry operation where they received information about USDA programs and benefits from NRCS Outreach Liaison Alice Love.
Producers interested in participating in NRCS programs should contact their local office listed in the telephone book under U.S. Department of Agriculture or online at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov./ General program information is available on the Alabama NRCS website at http://southeastagnet.com/wp-admin/www.al.nrcs.usda.gov/programs.
The membership for the Women in Agriculture Association is active and continues to grow with chapters being organized in other states. For more information about the NWIAA, visit their website at: http://www.nationalwomeninag.com/.