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News Release

NRCS Participates in Women in Agriculture Association Meeting

Barbara Shipman (2nd from left) initiated a charter meeting to establish the Southern Region Women in Ag Association at the Cottage House in Ariton. 
Barbara Shipman (2nd from left) initiated a charter meeting to establish the Southern Region Women in Ag Association at the Cottage House in Ariton. Tammy Steele (4th from left) is the founder and Executive Director of the organization

Auburn, Ala., August 18, 2011

Barbara Shipman, Executive Director of the Cottage House in Ariton, Alabama, hosted a 2-day regional meeting for the National Women in Agriculture Association (NWIAA).

The meeting was held to establish a regional chapter of NWIAA in Alabama and to share information with Small and Limited Resource women producers in the area.

NWIAA has been educating and serving socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers since 1999 and was officially incorporated in 2008.  This diverse agriculture outreach organization, headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, brings together a team of business professionals.  Tammy Steele, founder and Executive Director of the organization, spoke at the Cottage House and headed the charter ceremony to establish the Southern Region NWIAA that presently includes the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. 

Speakers included representatives from NRCS, Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Mayor of Clayton, the Forest Network, 4-H, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension, and operators of agricultural businesses such as bees and poultry.

Field trip included  4-H school beautification project where the group planted a tree at an area school. 

Attendees participated in field tours, activities, and projects highlighting women farmers in the community.  Activities included a 4-H school beautification project where the group helped plant a tree at an area school and each person placed a shovel-full of dirt. 

Participants also toured a local poultry operation where they received information about USDA programs and benefits from Alabama NRCS Outreach Liaison Alice Love. 

Producers interested in participating in NRCS programs should contact their local office listed in the telephone book under U.S. Department of Agriculture or online at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov.  NRCS general program information is available on the Alabama NRCS website at www.al.nrcs.usda.gov/programs.