A Nod to Women in the Organic Industry
By: Joan Boykin
So much has happened since the early days of the organic movement, yet there are many more opportunities for growth, awareness and improvement. Much of the progress that we’ve made over past decades can be attributed to women, who have become a backbone of the organic industry. Today, women in organics are beginning to receive the recognition they deserve as unsung heroes of organic agriculture and food, not to mention the captains of their families’ health and well-being!
As I think back to planting my first organic garden in 70s, the people who were most interested in my off-beat approach to fertilization and feeding the soil (including earthworm compost bins*) were moms just like me—all of us trying to improve the quality of the food we were feeding our children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. By and large, we were the ones making dietary choices and getting the food on the family table. We, along with many of the pioneering men that inspired us to build while conserving, preserving, and sustaining through best practices, were bold enough to think that we could make a positive difference. And lo and behold it looks like we did!
Now more than ever, I feel gratified that our voices are being heard in the media, in certain government circles, among generations of eager and hopeful organic consumers, by leaders in forward-thinking companies, and among mothers of all ages.
I have the great honor of working with women like Annie Brown and Jamie Kelly, who are passionate about spreading The Organic Center’s science--rooted in the expert work of our Chief Scientist, Dr. Charles Benbrook. Day in and day out, they educate the public, advocate for expansion of organic food and farming, and communicate with eager and interested constituents. As women, they/we bring our particular voice and distinct interest to the movement but strive to speak in one voice for everyone.
The participation, passion and leadership of women working in organic businesses like The Organic Center reflects their commitment to organic agriculture and an improved future state they are helping to create for our children’s children’s children.
With appreciation to all women in organics,
* For more on earthworm compost bins, visit City Farmer: http://homepage.mac.com/cityfarmer/comiclife/