Women Caring for the Land: Improving Conservation Outreach to Non-operator Female Farmland Owners

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2013: $61,054.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2015
Region: North Central
State: Iowa
Project Coordinator:
Ahna Kruzic
Women, Food & Agriculture Network

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: corn, soybeans, grass (misc. perennial), hay


  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, networking, workshop, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, grass waterways, riparian buffers, soil stabilization, wetlands
  • Soil Management: soil analysis, soil microbiology, soil chemistry, organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, leadership development, public participation, social networks


    The Women, Food and Agriculture Network provided professional development training for 64 conservation and non-profit staffers in Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The professionals helped co-host 9 meetings on soil health topics in those states for women non-operator farmland owners.

    Project objectives:

    WFAN provided two trainers to help facilitate 3 pilot women landowner meetings in each state, sponsored by members of the trainee group.

    We provided 3 professional development training workshops with 64 conservationists attending, and 30 conservationists participated at varying levels in the following meetings for women landowners. We surpassed our goal of training 60 professionals.

    A total of 111 women landowners attended the subsequent meetings across the 3 states. We slightly fell short of our goal of reaching 135 women landowners. However, matching funds provided by NRCS’s Conservation Innovation Grant allowed us to hold seven additional meetings in Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin in 2015. We invited the professionals we trained to participate in the meetings, and we reached an additional 105 women landowners. Through these combined efforts, for which SARE professional development training was essential, we reached a total of 216 women landowners.

    WFAN provided more than 5 hours of follow-up support and individual coaching by telephone for members of the trainee group in each state. We also provided an opportunity for trainees to share experiences and ask each other questions, which proved so helpful to the participants that we plan on making this an annual event.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.