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Wednesday, July 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 66.0° F  Fair
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Women flourish in farming: Seed money

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A number of programs and grants help women farmers get their start. Those going the organic or sustainable agriculture route can look to the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service for a one-stop listing of federal grants, loans and cost shares for women, as well as locally directed initiatives that offer classes, training, and research or steward sponsorship.

The Farm Service Agency and the USDA help with down payment for ownership loans and direct farm ownership and operating loans. Both prioritize money for women and socially disadvantaged populations.

Wisconsin-specific grants are offered through the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection with its Agriculture Development and Diversification grant program; Buy Local Wisconsin; and the Wisconsin Producers First grant program.

In Her Boots is a workshop series for women, hosted by the MOSES Rural Women's Project, and Women Caring for the Land is a peer-to-peer conservation education program for women farmers. The Wisconsin Women in Food & Agriculture Network and UW-Madison's Association of Women in Agriculture also host events and build support networks for up-and-coming women in the field.

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