By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
FCSS Taber is running a Coffee Break for Women in Farming Program from April 10 to May 8.
“The main focus of this informal coffee time is creating a safe and fun place for conversation amongst women in farming,” said Kaitlyn Weaver, outreach services supervisor for Taber FCSS. “It is a great way to meet local women who can relate to life on the farm and the challenges and opportunities associated with the farm life.”
Each session, Weaver says, will run from 1 – 3 p.m., and will feature coffee, tea, and refreshments along with access to resources created in response to the group’s needs and interests. There will also be interactive games intended to create discussion and generate connection.
“Men in farming often have a ‘coffee spot’ that they drop-in to and connect with other farmers,” Weaver said. “We recognize that women are a vital part of not only farm operations, but also the family unit, and we want to provide women with a safe place to visit, recharge, and connect with like-minded women. Farming can be incredibly rewarding but also challenging, and creating this space and time for women is one of the many ways that the Farm Family Outreach Team is here for our farming community.”
Funded through the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Red Cross, Weaver says, the Coffee Break for Women in Farming Program will be a drop-in program and women and their children are welcome to stay for as long as they are able. Weaver says that all women who experience life on the farm and all of its fun and challenges, even retirees, are invited to participate. Weaver states that the program itself will be run by Kori Kuryvial, farm family outreach coordinator, and Emily Freiberg, farm family outreach worker.
“These folks are vital members of our communities, the bread and butter, and they face many unique challenges and opportunities,” Weaver said. “The Farm Family Outreach Program has resources and supports available to assist farmers and their families in various capacitates, including but not limited to farm-family balance, life transitions, and mental health supports that FCSS has to offer. Our mission is to offer confidential support to farmers and their families, to connect farmers to local services, and provide resources that will assist them in their farming journey and enrich farm families’ lives.”
Weaver says that this program is a new initiative through FCSS that officially launched in February 2023 and the first ‘Coffee Break for Women for Farming’ actually launched in Warner in April. The next event, Weaver says, begins on May 1 from 1 – 3 p.m. at the FCSS office in Warner, which is located at 210 3 Avenue in Warner.
“We believe that this program will not only have a great impact on the farming community, but that it will strengthen it,” Weaver said. “We are here for farmers, their families, the farm, and their futures.”