Rural women are woefully underrepresented at every level of government from rural cooperative boards, to town councils, county commissions, and state legislatures.

Our report When Women Lead also shows women legislators vote in favor of environmental protections more often than their male colleagues. We need rural women’s ideas, drive, and experience to address our biggest challenges.

That’s why Rachel’s Network has partnered with the Women, Food and Agriculture Network’s (WFAN) Plate to Politics program to help rural women access the leadership training and networks to advance their political careers.

The grant will fund two training sessions in the fall and spring for over 50 women passionate about healthy food and farming to ramp up their leadership in their communities and give them tools to run for public office. The funds will also provide one-on-one support and materials for participants.

“Better agricultural policies are badly needed, and women are leading the way,” said WFAN’s Plate to Politics Coordinator Ash Bruxvoort. “The fastest way to the future is through empowering women, and we’re thrilled that Rachel’s Network gets this. We are looking forward to changing some lives with this funding.”

WFAN’s Plate to Politics program was created in 2011 and works to strengthen the national leadership of women transforming our nation’s food system, from the federal agriculture policy agenda to what’s on our families’ dinner plates.

“Rural communities are facing all kinds of challenges from the loss of productive farmland to poverty and we need women’s leadership to tackle them,” said President Fern Shepard. “As one of the few organizations working at the intersection of rural sustainability and women’s empowerment, WFAN is filling a vital role in the environmental movement.”

Rachel’s Network is a community of women at the intersection of environmental advocacy, philanthropy, and leadership. Our mission is to promote women as impassioned leaders and agents of change dedicated to the stewardship of the earth.

Women, Food & Agriculture Network is a community of women in sustainable agriculture. Their mission is to engage women in building an ecological and just food and agricultural system through individual and community power.

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