Discussing Women in Agriculture at the Food, Farming and Sustainability Conference
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Karen Karp discusses Women in Agriculture
14 September 2018

Karen Karp recently attended the Food, Farming and Sustainability Conference, produced by the Center for Science and Society at Columbia University. This one-day conference entailed a mix of panel discussions and individual presentations, each looking at the cultural, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability in our food system.

On a panel with Danielle Nierenberg of Food Tank, Karen Washington of Rise and Root Farm, and Lauren Wilson of Edible of Manhattan, Karen explored the topic of women in agriculture:

“We work with a lot of nonprofit organizations, and many of the leaders of those organizations are women. And if you think about the people that run food-focused non-profits— City Harvest, The Food Bank for NYC, Covenant House, Enterprise Communities (to name a few of our clients over the years), Open Door Family Medical Centers, the James Beard Foundation—the leaders have historically been women. Women have had very high-level roles in areas like social services. I might say that these are the areas (charities) which they were allowed to achieve leadership, and status. As Mary Beard wrote in the excellent book Women & Power, You can’t easily fit women into a structure that is already coded as male. These coded structures include networks and capital.  If we care about how the food system has a potential to be better, more diverse, more inclusive, and more equitable, we need to advocate for women’s capacity to do anything we set our minds to, for the risks we can and do take, and for our business and management capabilities. I’ve been looking into this and the biases that exist about women are profound. We need to change that conversation, based on achievements and facts.”

This is a topic that Karen and KK&P are investigating for a new initiative we are launching. Want to learn more? Email Karen: karen@kkandp.com