Soil Sisters: How Women are Changing the Food System

Sunday, October 11 at 1 p.m. (Central) via Zoom | Free but registration required

This event will NOT be recorded.  Registration ends on Friday Oct 9 at 1pm CST.

What's the key ingredient to healthy communities? Women leading food system change. Women make up one of the fastest-growing segments of new farmers today, and they come from a long and deep history and tradition of cultivating the soil. This fresh crop of women farmers is finding innovative ways to champion local agriculture and foster greater collaboration and cooperation. Collectively, they improve the health of our environment, stimulate the economy, build a greater sense of community, and nurture a more vibrant food system. What does our future hold and how can we support more women taking on leadership roles to change what's on our plate? Come celebrate the historic roots and inspiring stories of women farmers today — and in the future.

Following Lisa's presentation, we'll hear from three farmers, each with different challenges and successes linked to their location, product mix, experience level, identity, and pathway into farming. Each farmer will also share details of their "COVID-pivot," as relevant to their businesses.

A national advocate for women in sustainable agriculture, Lisa Kivirist is the author of Soil Sisters: A Toolkit for Women Farmers, and leads the annual award-winning Soil Sisters event in southern Wisconsin. The event is the largest women farmer-led tour of its kind in the country and a project of Renewing the Countryside. She founded and coordinates the “In Her Boots” women farmer training initiative for the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). Kivirist is co-author with her husband, John Ivanko, of Homemade for Sale, the authoritative guide for launching a food business under cottage food law, and served as a plaintiff in the successful lawsuit against the state of Wisconsin that declared the ban on the sale of home-baked goods unconstitutional. Kivirist and Ivanko are also co-authors of Farmstead Chef, ECOpreneuring, and Rural Renaissance. For over twenty years, they have run Inn Serendipity Farm and bed and breakfast amidst the rolling green hills of southern Wisconsin, which is completely powered by renewable energy.


Dulce has more than 20 years of experience in food service, 15 of them as an operations and food safety manager. Since 2016, she has managed Cedillo's Fresh Produce (CFP) urban farm in Chicago with her husband and business co-founder, Juan Cedillo. CFP grows and sells a wide variety of locally and organically grown vegetables at community-based farmer's markets. Dulce leads CFP's marketing and outreach and is working with a coalition to establish a new farmers market in Chicago's primary Mexican neighborhood, La Villita. CFP farms at the Angelic Organics Learning Center incubator and Dulce is also on the Learning Center's staff as program manager for market, farm safety, and food education. Passionate about food and cooking, Dulce devotes herself to provide her family and community with fresh and healthy food options.


FL Morris is president and co-founder of South Central Wisconsin Hemp Cooperative, based in Blanchardville, Wisconsin. FL is a first-generation, certified-organic vegetable and pastured livestock producer who has served Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago since 2004. FL is owner/operator of Grassroots Farm, LLC where she has been growing healthy food for wholesale, farmer's markets, CSA customers, and now certified organic CBD hemp. She has been developing a new idea with her community to turn fresh, local food into sliding scale, zero-waste, year-round meals, and serves on her Wisconsin Farmers' Union South Central Chapter Board as vice president and treasurer.


Beth Vercolio-Osmund is co-owner/farmer at Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm, the first meat CSA in Illinois that serves the Chicago area. She and her husband Jody started Cedar Valley on family land in Ottawa, IL, in 2002. They are a second-career family that left the Chicago consulting world following the tech bubble burst in the early 2000s. They are activist farmers who speak out about policy issues and have both been involved in advocacy work. Beth is also the Director of Development at the Community Food Basket of Ottawa.

Event Properties

Event Date 10/11/2020 2:00 pm ET
Individual Price Free