posted January 15, 2009

2928046770_97a800913d_mSome people own land. Some people farm land. Some lucky folks own the land that they farm, but with real estate pressures and subsidies, and now with shrinking credit, its difficult for many young farmers to conceive of affording a farm. Thankfully, there is an emergent subset of non-farming landowners are keen to partner with young farmers, organic farmers and family farmers instead of just blindly contracting with whoever is growing corn in the neighborhood.

The Greenhorns recognizes and applauds the pioneering effort and care landowners are demonstrating all over the country by investing in the soil, the relationships, and the infrastructure needed for organic farming. May this effort continue to swell, perhaps soon abetted by a federal tax-incentive for sustainable land-leases. In the meantime, young sustainable farmers benefit tremendously from conservation-literate landowners. Many women in the mid-west have inherited farmland from their husbands or fathers and are looking to transition that land over to organic management. And here is a workshop dedicated to this principle. And an organization in Massachusetts, Land for Good, that works on this issue. We greenhorns are working on a way to match-make more in the future and will post more about that here later.

NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Leigh Adcock, 515.460.2477
Laura Krouse, 319.895.6924

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2009

Eastern Iowa Women Landowners Conservation Program Rescheduled for Feb.

AMES, IA–Women who own or manage farmland in three eastern Iowa counties – Johnson, Jones and Linn – are invited to participate in a free conservation education program beginning in February. (Initial meetings were postponed in January due to weather). The program is for women who are farm partners, sole owner-operators, or inheritors of any size farm.

Introductory meetings will take place:

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 10 a.m., Marion Library, 1095 6th Ave.
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 1:30 p.m., Anamosa Library, 600 E. 1st St.
Thursday, Feb. 19, 1:30 p.m., Johnson County Extension Office, 4265 Oak Crest Hill Rd SE, Iowa City

Women landowners are invited to come to the meeting closest to their home; if they are unable to attend that meeting, they are welcome to come to another one, or contact facilitator Laura Krouse of Mt. Vernon about attending the subsequent field days and closing meeting.

Women landowners who participate in the “Women Caring for the Land” project will:

• Meet your district conservationist and learn about programs and people available to help you with your conservation concerns
• See sustainable soil conservation and water quality practices in the field
• Hear from a good tenant about what kinds of conservation concerns he shares with you
• Practice ways to discuss your conservation concerns with your tenant
• Share ideas with other women landowners about solutions to conservation and sustainability

“Women Caring for the Land” is sponsored by Women, Food and Agriculture Network, in partnership with USDA-NRCS, and funded by a grant from the McKnight Foundation.

For information or to register, call Laura Krouse at 319.895.6924.