Elkhart, Marshall, and St. Joseph Counties are partnering to hold a Women’s Learning Circle, October 25, 2016 (location TBA). Women-only learning circles bring women landowners together with conservation professionals – also women – to have an informal discussion about their hopes and dreams for their land and to share ideas with each other.
According to the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture, the number of women farmers in the United States was 969,672. In Indiana, there are 58,695 farms and of those, 5,745 or 10.22% had women as principal operators. Research shows that women landowners who lease their land face greater gender barriers in managing their land for long-term sustainability. Their farming tenants may dismiss their conservation goals, or they may not know how to approach the resource management agencies (like Soil and Water Conservation Districts) for help. A wide range of local experts, including USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; Soil and Water Conservation District; and Purdue Extension, will be brought in to provide information that will help the attendees make informed decisions about soil and water conservation. Our learning circle will focus on the basics of soil health and conservation practices that can lead to healthier more productive soil on the land. The morning will be an indoor discussion, including some interactive soil health demonstrations. The afternoon will provide the opportunity to tour a local farm putting conservation practices into action to improve their soil health.
All ages and experience levels are welcome! If you are interested in attending (or know someone who would benefit from this meeting) please contact the Elkhart County SWCD office at 574-533-4383 Ext. 3 to get your name put on the notification list to receive more information as the details are finalized.
We look forward to seeing you in October!