Who holds the potential to influence our rural landscape and agriculture future? The surprising answer is women. According to data from Iowa State University, over 47% of farmland in Iowa is owned or co-owned by women, with more sole owners, primarily senior and widowed landowners who inherited family farmland. This statistic, indicative of landownership throughout the Midwest, has sparked a groundbreaking new training program in Wisconsin this year: "Women Caring for the Land."
Women Caring for the Land workshops bring together female conservation professionals and area women land owners to set goals to improve soil, air and water quality on their land. These workshops are sponsored by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) and the Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN). The four Women Caring for the Land Workshops will consist of a facilitated discussion in the morning followed by a free lunch and a guided tour of area farmland to see these principles and practices in action. The Wisconsin workshops run 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on:
Wednesday, Aug. 15 in Richland Center
Thursday, Aug. 16 in Green Bay
Monday, Sept. 17 in Lancaster
Tuesday, Sept. 18 in Darlington
The workshops are free and lunch is included but pre-registration for each workshop is required. See www.womencaringfortheland.org/wisconsin for registration information or contact Lisa Kivirist at 608-329-7056 or firstname.lastname@example.org
"Women Caring for the Land builds on more than a decade of work with women farmland owners in Iowa," said Lisa Kivirist, director of the MOSES Rural Women's Project which provides training and support to women farmers. "Through the various pilots WFAN organized, we've learned that this group of women consistently demonstrates strong conservation values, however, many of them are inheriting farmland from partners or fathers and have not participated in management decisions in the past. These workshops provide a crucial link between these women and the resources they need to achieve their conservation goals."