[Market-farming] Women's Voices in the 2007 FarmBill--Pleaserespond]]

Jill Bussiere jdt at itol.com
Wed Nov 23 09:40:19 EST 2005

Women's Voices in the 2007 Farm Bill-- Please respondI agree that all have
valuable contributions to make, and that we can learn much from one another,
no matter what our differences.

Yet, I want to put forward that there are times when it is appropriate for
people to meet and exclude others.

In an organization that I belong to, we have caucuses for groups of people
that are not well represented in society - groups that are less powerful
than others - groups that have even been repressed by our dominant society..
These groups each elect a representative to the governing body to give them
more of a voice - a voice that is not as loud in our society or our
organization for both historical and traditional reasons.

So, we have a Women's caucus, a Youth caucus, a Diversity caucus, and a LBGT
(Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgendered) caucus.

White men do not have a caucus - because they already have such power in our

And yet, men, white men, and all, have valuable voices in our organization,
and, in fact, as in the rest of society, have a higher average of
representation in our organization than one would predict if one looked at

So, while a affimr the contribution of all voices in any organization, I
also affirm the encouragement of voices that are not as well represented.

Besides caucuses, we also use consensus in decision making, as an attempt to
hear all voices.

Not perfect, but both do help!

                Jill Bussiere, Wisconsin
  -----Original Message-----
  From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Robin Follette
  Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2005 8:32 AM
  To: Market Farming
  Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Women's Voices in the 2007

  >>>>My defining moment in the women's ag movement came at the same
conference where Cheryl spoke.  This particular conference had a
pre-conference the day before that was only open to women.  After listening
to how it was a lovely program and this large regional organization should
put on more such conferences, I asked my dining table mates how it would be
if a conference would be staged where only men could attend?  <<<<

  Can you imagine?  We'd be screaming our heads off, and rightfully so.  I
attended the Women In Sustainable Ag conference in Vermont last month.  Men
were welcome.  They presented and also networked.   One of the best
conversations I had during the conference was with a male farmer who just
finished his second growing season.  It's a shame to shut people out based
on their sex.

  One of the most beneficial things to come from the WISA conference was the
boost many new and aspiring women farmers got by networking with other women
farmers.  I heard a lot of them saying, "I can Do that!"

  Robin Follette
  www.thymeforewe.com  zone 4
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