Denise O’Brien, Keynote: A Place at the Table and in the Field
This Iowa farmer shares her thoughts on emerging leaders in the science and practice of sustainable and organic agriculture with a particular intention on growing the next generation of leaders. Denise O’Brien worked in agriculture long before she co-founded the Women Food and agriculture Network in 1997. She has farmed in southwest Iowa for 37 years with her husband Larry Harris, and operated a CSA farm called Rolling Acres that includes 3 acres of fruits and vegetables and 6 acres of apples. She also raises organic chickens and turkeys.
Denise lobbied with the Iowa Farm Unity Coalition, directed the Rural Women’s Leadership Development Project of PrairieFire Rural Action, Inc. and was resident of the National Family Farm Coalition; she has served on numerous boards and committees focused on economic justice in agriculture. From 2011 to 2012, Denise was a USDA advisor in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. On her life work Denise says, “My dream is that the landscape of industrialized agriculture will change as women become the decision makers on their land. To that end I will devote my time on this earth to women, prairie restoration and seed saving.”
(43 minutes, 30 seconds) Recorded at the 2016 Acres U.S.A. Conference, Omaha, Nebraska, Thursday, December 1, 2016.