A ‘sweet’ day for FarmHERS
It’s not often the women of agriculture can get together, but a recent event gave the ladies of the sweet potato industry a chance to do just that.
The second annual FarmHER event, put on by the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission (NCSPC), was a cause for celebration. Women in the industry gathered in the Barn at Broadslab to celebrate their roots, raise money for a good cause, and enjoy a sweet meal.
Keynote speaker Michelle Miller, known in agriculture circles as the Farm Babe, delivered the keynote address. She shared her story of becoming an advocate for agriculture, including influencing Burger King to change a negative agriculture campaign. While she is known online, Michelle emphasized that’s not the only place we can share our story. Whether it’s the grocery store, church, or our own table, she encouraged everyone to share their story because each of us has a different story. Michelle concluded with the challenge that if we don’t share our own story, who will?
As part of the event, the NCSPC partnered with the Pretty in Pink Foundation. This group provides funds for women who are uninsured or underinsured to pay for breast cancer treatment. Since this year is the 60th anniversary of the commission, they set a goal of raising $600 for the Foundation. A live auction blew that goal out of the water, raising almost $10,000. That amount is increasing as the commission is selling limited edition NC Sweetpotato Farm Babe T-shirts, with the proceeds going to the foundation.
At an event for women it seemed fitting that many of the vendors were women-owned businesses and connected to the industry. Flowers at each table were grown by Eryn Godwin, the granddaughter of one of the commission’s founders.
SJ’s Sweet Creations made wonderful cupcakes that combined two great North Carolina foods – sweet potatoes and bacon. Cookies were made by the Scripted Leisure. Artwork celebrating the 60th anniversary was created by The Middle Monkey. The event was planned by the four women who work for the commission, and it was supported by many agribusinesses who are part of the industry.
It’s hard to get away from the farm, but the FarmHER event gave women a few hours away from the field to spend time together, enjoy a meal, and outbid each other for auction items that raised money for a cause close to many attendees’ hearts.