Women Farmland Owners Invited to Free Program Focused on Conservation April 5 At Cherokee County Con
Posted: 03/24/2011

CHEROKEE - Women who own or manage farmland in Cherokee and neighboring counties are invited to participate in a free conservation discussion and field tour on Tuesday, April 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cherokee County Conservation Board Headquarters, located on the southwest edge of Cherokee on the River Road. The program is called Women Caring for the Land.

Women own or co-own 47 percent of Iowa's farmland, and often express strong conservation values in meetings and surveys. However, many are unsure of exactly how to reach their conservation goals and what resources are available to help them. Women Caring for the Land offers a peer-to-peer, informal discussion format to allow women landowners to talk about their personal land stewardship goals, facilitated by women conservation experts who can share resources available such as USDA cost-share programs, state loans and other tools.

All interested women are welcome, including owners, operators and inheritors of farmland, regardless of their degree of knowledge about conservation. A free lunch will be provided. In order to get an accurate meal count, please RSVP by Friday, April 1, by calling Tracy Rasmussen at the Cherokee NRCS office; call 712-225-3769 or email tracy.rasmussen@ia.nacdnet.net.

The program begins with registration and coffee at 8:30 a.m. at the Cherokee County Conservation Board headquarters, 629 River Road, Cherokee. The discussion will begin at 9 a.m., and will include a segment on helping land sustain wildflowers, grasses and trees for habitat and beauty. Discussion leaders for the day will be Kathy Koskovich, Renee Braun, Ginger Walker and Karen Grimes, who each bring passion and expertise about the many conservation practices currently available. Topics for the day will vary according to the interests of the participants and may include grazing, advantages/disadvantages of CRP, pasture and timberlands, prairie and pond restoration, alternative cropping options, using leases to manage conservation with tenants, and others.

After lunch, participants will have a chance to talk in more detail in small groups about their particular areas of interest. A field tour will be offered in the afternoon. The meeting will end with a wrap-up and dessert at the conservation board headquarters, ending around 3 p.m.

This session of Women Caring for the Land is sponsored by Women, Food and Agriculture Network in partnership with the Cherokee Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship - Division of Soil Conservation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The series is funded by a grant from the USDA's North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Resource Enhancement and Protection Conservation Education Program (REAP-CEP), Grant number 11-06.

Learn more about WFAN on the web: www.wfan.org. More meetings about the general CRP signup can be found on the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/crp.html.