Saturday, February 8, 2014

Leigh Adcock, 2014 Healthy Farms Conference Keynote

Growing New Women Farmers in the Midwest

When: February 15th, 12:00pm.
Where: Younes Conference Center, Kearney, Nebraska.

Leigh Adcock has been executive director of Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) since 2008. Prior to that, she was a board member for the organization for 2 years, and served from 2003 – 2008 as executive director of the Iowa Farmers Union. In her current role with WFAN, Ms. Adcock is responsible for all communications and development activities, as well as writing and administering grants. She supervises a staff of one fulltime program coordinator, a part-time office manager, and a variety of consultants and contractors. WFAN was founded in 1997 to serve as a regional network for women involved in all aspects of healthy food and farming. The organization was founded in Iowa and currently has 2,000 members nationwide. While the network is national, most programming work occurs in the upper Midwest, and focuses on providing networking, information and leadership development opportunities to women farmers, landowners, and food systems advocates. Ms. Adcock has been instrumental in expanding WFAN’s scope to a national level, increasing membership more than six-fold, increasing funding from under $30,000 to $250,000 per year, and creating successful programs such as Women Caring for the Land conservation program for women farmland owners, and Harvesting Our PotentialSM, the on-farm apprenticeship program which this grant proposal seeks to expand. She is also co-creator of the Plate to Politics project, a collaboration of WFAN, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) and The White House Project, designed to recruit and train more rural and farm women all over the US to run for public office at all levels, from the community to the White House.

Ms. Adcock holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications/radio and television, with a minor in journalism, from the University of Northern Iowa (1982). She has completed graduate coursework in public policy, also at UNI (1990). Ms. Adcock’s professional experience has included work in television, radio, magazines, newspapers and public relations. She has done volunteer and paid work for environmental, social justice, and sustainable agriculture organizations throughout her career, including the Sierra Club, PeaceLinks, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and others. She served three years on the board of the Iowa Environmental Council. Ms. Adcock grew up on a 360-acre conventional grain and beef cattle farm in northwest Iowa, which she currently co-owns with her mother. She and her husband have two sons and live on an acreage north of Ames, IA.

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