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For The Love Of Farming

Denise O'Brien and Kate Edwards talk about how they met and the ways in which they inspire each other as farmers. (Photo Courtesy of StoryCorps)

When you're a young woman, getting started in Farming in the Midwest, who do you look to for guidance? Who are your role models? Kate Edwards, a vegetable farmer in Iowa, knows the answer to that question.

Kate Edwards runs Wild Woods Farm near Iowa City, Iowa.

Denise O'Brien farms at Rolling Acres Farm in Iowa. She ran for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture in 2006, and is presently running for state House District 21 in Southwest Iowa. Denise also founded the Women Food and Agriculture Network.

Kate Edwards and Denise O'Brien recorded a conversation with StoryCorps about what farming means to them, and some of the obstacles women face in the world of agriculture. Their interview took place at the Midwest Organic Education Service (MOSES) Farming conference last winter.

Cole Stinson, a student in Allison Quantz's Radio Innovation course at Indiana University's Media school, produced this piece, included in the Earth Eats podcast.

The original interview was provided courtesy of StoryCorps, a national nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.

This recording is part of research led by the Indiana University Ostrom Workshop. They are studying farm transitions from one generation to the next.

The researchers are learning especially from programs that help people in agriculture who are not related to one another, but who work together to create a farming opportunity for a new farmer, and a meaningful legacy for an established farmer.

The research is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Service.

Special thanks to Julia DeBruicker Valliant of the Ostrom Workshop.

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