MISSION Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture is a women-led organization that builds an equitable, sustainable High Country local food system by supporting producers and cultivating community connections that educate, inspire, and increase the demand for local food.
VISION We envision an equitable and sustainable food system where producers are thriving and local food is accessible to all.
Women’s contributions to agriculture and food.
Farming as a fair and viable livelihood.
Food system education
Regenerative agriculture that supports healthy ecosystems & healthy people.
The power of food to unite diverse people and communities.
BRWIA was started by a group of female farmers as a grassroots project in 2003. Since then, BRWIA has worked to rebuild a local food system in northwestern NC. This work began when our founding mothers were told, “Women can’t be farmers.” They knew that wasn’t true because their mothers and grandmothers had grown food to feed their communities. They began holding potlucks on each other’s farms, sharing best practices, and reteaching our community what a just, regenerative local food system and economy looks like. These women aimed to create a supportive network of female gardeners and farmers operating small-scale, diversified farms in the High Country.
We obtained 501(c)3 status in 2005 in order to advance our mission and create positive change in our community around local agriculture. We were a predominantly volunteer-run organization until the hiring of our first Executive Director in 2011.
BRWIA’s programs have grown to meet our community’s developing needs. We now ground our work in three focus areas: building a fair food system for all, informing consumers about a healthy and sustainable food system, and providing resources, networking, and education to producers. BRWIA takes a holistic approach to this work and many programs fall into all three spaces. We also understand that this work cannot be done without our long-term collaborators who join with us in fostering a healthy and sustainable environment.