Woman honored for developing gathering circles in rural areas

LAFAYETTE TOWNSHIP — It might seem idyllic.
Living in the cozy farmhouse on the hill and making a living raising crops and livestock. What could be more peaceful?

The problem, rural Elkhorn resident Mary Bub said, is that what goes on inside the walls of some of those picturesque farms might be closer to nightmare than American dream.

Bub, 64, founded the Wisconsin Rural Women’s Initiative, a non-profit organization that promotes wellness and social interaction among farm women. Among other things, the organization creates and maintains “Gathering Circles,” discussion groups that help farm women who are feeling isolated vent with their “rural sisters.”

Instances of depression and domestic violence are high among rural women and often go unreported, Bub said.

“We just want to empower women to be the best they can be,” Bub said. “The hard part, when we try to get funding, is people don’t believe they (rural women) are a hidden population.
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