Thursday, March 24, 2011

Conservation Program Offered for Boone County Women Farmland Owners

Lynn Heuss, 515-201-9405,
Leigh Adcock, 515-460-2477,


BOONE—Women who own or manage farmland in Boone and neighboring counties are invited to participate in a free conservation discussion and field tour on Thursday, April 14, from 8:30 – 3:30 p.m. at the Iowa Arboretum near Madrid. The program is called Women Caring for the Land.

Women own or co-own 47% of Iowa’s farmland, and often express strong conservation values in meetings and surveys. However, many are unsure of exactly how to reach their conservation goals and what resources are available to help them. Women Caring for the Land offers a peer-to-peer, informal discussion format to allow women landowners to talk about their individual land stewardship goals, facilitated by women conservation experts who can share resources available such as USDA cost-share programs, state loans, and other tools.

All interested women are welcome, including owners, operators and inheritors of farmland, regardless of their degree of knowledge about conservation. A free lunch will be provided. In order for us to get an accurate meal count, please RSVP by Monday, April 11, by calling Lynn Heuss at 515-201-9405 or emailing her at

The program begins with registration and coffee at 8:30 a.m. at The Iowa Arboretum, 1875 Peach Ave., Madrid. The discussion will begin at 9 a.m., and will include a segment on protecting, rescuing and restoring land so it is able to sustain wildflowers, grasses and trees for habitat and beauty. Discussion leader for this topic will be Danielle Wirth, who has worked as a park ranger, an environmental educator, a volunteer restoring prairies and woodlands, and has designed and taught these techniques to students at Drake University and Des Moines Area Community College. Danielle is also certified as a Wildlands Firefighter II. Other topics of conversation for the day may include management of pasture and timberlands, prairie and pond restoration, alternative cropping options, using leases to manage conservation with tenants, and others according to the interests of the participants.

After lunch, participants will have a chance to talk in more detail in small groups about their particular areas of interest. A field tour of nearby prairie and savanna restoration sites will be offered in the afternoon. The meeting will end at the Arboretum with a wrap-up and dessert around 3:30 p.m.

This session of Women Caring for the Land is sponsored by Women, Food and Agriculture Network in partnership with the Boone Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship - Division of Soil Conservation, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The series is funded by a grant from the USDA’s North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program.

Learn more about WFAN on the web:


For more information on this NCR-SARE Research and Education Grant program project, visit the SARE reporting site at

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