Gov. Steve Sisolak, the Nevada Department of Agriculture and National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Foundation recently announced the selection of 10 Nevada women for the Farm2Food Accelerator program.This workforce development program, which began Nov. 3, is designed to help women farmers and entrepreneurs with food or beverage products, or product ideas, expand into new markets, according to a Nov. 4 press release.Of the 10 Nevadans selected, eight live and farm in Northern Nevada.
“The women selected come from all over the state, producing a variety of specialty crops used to make products such as jams, dried culinary herbs, mushroom jerky, hot sauce and wine,” NDA Director Jennifer Ott said in a statement. “This program will support these women running small businesses to grow their operations, develop new business strategies and increase their chance of success.”The 10 Nevadans accepted into 2022 program include:
The Nevadans will join women from Oregon and Washington for the 15-week online program at no cost, thanks to funds made available through the Nevada Specialty Crop Block Grant program.
- Cortney Bloomer, Rural Health & Nutrition Initiative, Dayton
- Stacy Fisk, Fisk Farm Herbs, Fallon
- Teri & Megan Harasha, Jazi’s Greens, Carson City
- Lyndsey T. Langsdale, Reno Food Systems, Reno
- Crystal Leon, The Radish Hotel, Sparks
- Leslie Lotspeich, Lotspeich Family Farm, Deeth
- Eva Sara Luna, Desert Moon Farms, LLC, North Las Vegas
- Sara Thomas, NO BS Farm, Fernley
- Evelynn Thompson, Zoot Poultry Company, Spring Creek
- Betsy L. Whipple, River Ranch Vineyard, Hiko
“Workforce development opportunities are important for every industry and sector, but especially for those that are underrepresented, like women in farming,” Sisolak said in a statement. “We are excited see the impact of this program on our food and beverage industries and hope to bring a larger program like this to Nevada.”
The Farm2Food Accelerator program focuses on supporting women farmers who grow specialty crops for a value-added food or beverage product or those who source specialty crop ingredients in the products they make.
The USDA definition of specialty crops includes fruits, vegetables, honey, tree nuts, dried fruits, culinary herbs and spices, and a value-added product is defined as a product that has changed in its physical state or form, such as milling wheat for flour or making strawberries into jam.