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News Release

Women Caring for the Land Discussion to Take Place July 26 - Howard County

(Indianapolis, IN) July 15, 2013 - Women who own or manage farmland in Howard County are invited to participate in a free conservation discussion on Friday, July 26 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Howard County Farm Bureau Office, located at 3505 S. Lafountain Street in Kokomo. The workshop, called Women Caring for the Land, offers women landowners the chance to talk about their land stewardship goals and share information.

Women now comprise 27 percent of farm landowners in Indiana and the impact of women landowners will only increase as the farm population ages and more women outlive men. Experts estimate that more than 200 million acres of farmland nationwide will change hands in the next 20 years with women potentially owning most of the land that is transferred. 

“More women now manage farmland on their own, as they inherit it from their spouses or parents,” explained Jane Hardisty, Natural Resource Conservation Service State Conservationist. “Many wonder whether they are doing all they can to improve soil and water quality while maintaining high agricultural productivity. Some are unsure of how to reach their conservation goals and what resources are available to help them. If they are leasing their farmland, they wonder how best to discuss their concerns and goals with their tenants.”

Women Caring for the Land utilizes a women-only peer-to-peer, informal discussion format. Women conservationists will help facilitate the discussion and share resources, such as USDA cost-share programs and other tools. 

“I am excited about the opportunity to talk conservation with women farm owners and operators,” said Hardisty. "It is important that women in our community know how to access all of the conservation options that are available." 

This session of Women Caring for the Land is sponsored by the Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) in partnership with American Farmland Trust and Howard County Farm Bureau. Staff from these organizations as well as USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Central Indiana Land Trust will be on hand to answer questions.

The workshop is free and includes lunch. Space is limited, so please RSVP by Friday, July 19, to Iris Eller at ahieller74@hoosierbroadband.com  or 765-883-7022. For more information, visit http://www.farmland.org/programs/environment/solutions/Howard-County-WCL-Workshop.asp.

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Contacts: 
Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist, 317.295.5801 (jane.hardisty@in.usda.gov)
Jill Reinhart, Assistant State Conservationist -Special Programs, 317-295-5883 (jill.reinhart@in.usda.gov)