The Indian Creek Watershed Management Authority (ICWMA) and Linn Soil & Water Conservation District (Linn SWCD) sponsored a “Women Caring for the Land” event on Tuesday, April 21 at the Prairiewoods Spirituality Center in Hiawatha, facilitated by the Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN). The goal of the event was to provide women farmers and landowners with information and contacts that can assist with conservation efforts.
Women own or co-own close to half of all the farmland in Iowa. Hosting this type of event is recognition that women landowners are a vital resource for conservation practices and watershed protection. The “Women Caring for the Land” event is designed as an informal discussion for women about their land and individual management goals. The event includes a range of female experts who share their resources and add to the discussion. Participation was strong with 17 women farmers and landowners from throughout Linn County learning about how to improve the health of their soils with conservation practices.
During the event, Carol Schutte from WFAN, lead a discussion about watersheds, soil health and conservation practices. Everyone attending learned from each other and had discussions about their land and potential resources for conservation practices. The day concluded with a field tour to see the different types of conservation practices used on local farms and to participate in a soil testing demonstration. This portion of the event was led by Jon Gallagher, Linn County Resource Conservationist and Carol Schutte from WFAN.
The 13 female experts represented the City of Cedar Rapids Public Works Department, Trees Forever, Tallgrass Prairie Center, Iowa DNR, ISU Extension Field Agronomist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Linn SWCD, USDA Linn Farm Service Agency, ICWMA, the East Central Iowa Council of Government (ECICOG), and WFAN. Each of these resource people had materials about conservation programs for the women to take.
Pictured above: Soil testing demonstration by Carol Schutte from WFAN during a field tour organized by Jon Gallagher, Linn County Resource Conservationist.