The growing movement of Minnesota and Wisconsin women farmers


Farmers constitute a tiny sliver – about 2 percent – of America’s labor force, yet there’s a portion of this group that’s growing: women farmers. Lisa Kivirist is one of them. She’s an environmentally-based innkeeper, author, activist and coach.

Lisa moves. When facilitating a crowded workshop, hands gesture, her voice shifts to stress key points, and, more importantly, she invites the ideas and participation of everyone in the room. She shares what she’s learned. She works to empower others to dream, plan and take action to strengthen their farms and to rebuild our food systems. 

It’s no wonder she’s the director of the Rural Women’s Project, an initiative of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services (MOSES) organization. Headquartered in Wisconsin, MOSES is a national leader in connecting farmers and processors of all sizes with information and technical help about organic and sustainable agriculture.

In this Deep Roots Radio interview, Lisa talks about the project, what it’s been doing this summer, plans for next year, and how all of this connects to the meals we serve our families every day.

In addition to running the Rural Women’s Project, Lisa has served as a Kellogg Food and Society Fellow with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). She and her husband John Ivanko co-authored the award-winning books ECOpreneuring and Rural Renaissance. She and her family run Inn Serendipity Farm and Bed & Breakfast outside Monroe, Wisconsin. The inn is completely powered by renewable energy and has been recognized as one of the “Top Ten Eco Destinations in North America.”   

I trust you’ll enjoy this conversation with Lisa. I hope it’s the first of many. [Audio below]