Women Farmland Owners in Cherokee County Area Invited to Free Conservation Program May 12
Posted: 04/29/2011

NOTE: This is a joint press release from the Women Food and Agriculture Network and the Iowa DNR.

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 Thursday, May 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 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 individual 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 for us to get an accurate meal count, please RSVP by Tuesday, May 10 by calling Tracy Rasmussen at 712-225-4151 or email her at 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 protecting, rescuing and restoring land so it is able to sustain wildflowers, grasses and trees for habitat and beauty. Discussion leaders for this topic 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 of conversation for the day may include general conservation information, rotational grazing, patch grassing, encroaching woodland and shrub species, advantages/disadvantages of CRP, advantages/disadvantages of grazing, management of pasture and timberlands, prairie and pond restoration, alternative cropping options, using leases to manage conservation with tenants, and others according to the interests of the participants.

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 around 3:30 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.

Learn more about WFAN on the web: www.wfan.org.