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News Release

Women Farmland Owners Invited to Learn About Conservation on Their Farms

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, August 5, 2014—Central Indiana women who own or manage farmland are invited to learn more about conservation issues on their farm through a free discussion and field tour.

Women Caring for the Land meetings bring together women landowners in an informal, discussion-based learning format for a morning discussion followed by a more in-depth look at two or three topics of high interest. Female conservation professionals are on hand to answer questions and share resources. 

“We continually hear from women how grateful they are for a women-only learning environment,” commented Bridget Holcomb, executive director of the Women Food and Agriculture Network, “and they tell us that they are able to discuss issues that they wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing up in any other setting." 

“More women now manage farmland on their own for a variety of reasons,” explained Jane Hardisty, Indiana Natural Resource Conservation Service State Conservationist. “Last year was our first time offering this program and I am excited about the opportunity to talk conservation with women farm owners and operators again this year.”

After lunch, local conservationists will lead a bus tour to view conservation practices on local farms. Topics for discussion range from soil health, water quality, wildlife management and government financial assistance programs, to how to talk with tenants about management practices. 

“With women now owning or co-owning between one-fourth and one-half of the farmland in the Midwest,” said Jennifer Filipiak, natural resources conservationist for the American Farmland Trust, “our goal is to connect these women with the information they need to make sound decisions.”

For each meeting, coffee and registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. A free lunch is provided. The program will end with refreshments at 3 p.m. Specific information for each meeting follows. Please RSVP to the meeting most convenient for you—space is limited! 

Monday, August 18, Russiaville: The meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Jeff Stout Community Center, 650 N. West St., Russiaville, IN 46979. . Topics and tour discussion will include cover crops, no till, grade stabilization structures, wetlands, waterway, wildlife habitat, and more. RSVP by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday August 13 to René Weaver, at the Howard County SWCD by emailing her at swkoko@att.net or calling (765)-457-2114 Ext. 3. If you need accommodation please notify René when you RSVP.

Tuesday, August 19, Lebanon: The meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Boone County REMC Building, 1207 Indianapolis Ave., Lebanon, IN 46052. Topics and tour discussion will include upland bird habitat, filter strips, erosion control practices, pit closure, crop rotation, drainage tile, and more. Space is limited for this unique opportunity so please RSVP by 4:00 p.m. Thursday August 14, to Boone County SWCD by emailing svaughn@co.boone.in.us or calling (765)482-6355 x 134. If you need accommodation, please notify Scheryl when you RSVP. 

Wednesday, August 20, Danville: The meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds, 1900 E Main St, Danville, IN 46122. Topics and tour discussion will include new and beginning farmers, pollinator habitat, seasonal high tunnels, organics, woodland improvements, cover crops, rotational grazing, and more. RSVP by 5:00 p.m. Friday August 15 to Marlene Raisor at the Hendricks County SWCD by emailing marlene.raisor@in.nacdnet.net or calling 317-745-2555. If you need accommodation, please notify Marlene when you RSVP.

These sessions of Women Caring for the Land are sponsored by American Farmland Trust in partnership with the Women, Food and Agriculture Network and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Boone, Hamilton, Clinton, Howard, Hendricks and Marion Counties. Funding for the project comes from a Conservation Innovation Grant from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

More information can be found at http://womencaringfortheland.org/indiana/.


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Contacts: 
Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist, 317-295-5801 (jane.hardisty@in.usda.gov)
Becky Fletcher, State Public Affairs Specialist, 317-295-5825 (rebecca.fletcher@in.usda.gov)