Women Caring for the Land
Women Caring for the Land (WCL) is designed to serve female non-operator landowners who are interested in learning more about conservation. The program is in increasing demand among both women landowners and agency partners such as NRCS and state departments of natural resources.
This site provides many of the resources and learning activities used in Women Caring for the Land meetings and attempts to replicate the peer-to-peer learning environment in an online format. Enjoy!
This online home for Women Caring for the Land and the WCL Curriculum Manual is our effort to share the methodology, rationale, and some of the activities and resources we use with the broader conservation outreach community.
Women own half the farmland.
According to a recent study, women now own or co-own close to 50% of the farmland in Iowa. In 2007, women over the age of 65 owned over one-fourth of Iowa’s farmland, An increasing number are single owners, who may not have had much say in farm management decisions in the past.
We know through our work with women landowners over the past 15 years that you have strong conservation values, and want your land farmed sustainably into the future by a young farm family. We can help you achieve those goals.
Women value women-only meetings with their peers.
“Learning circles” are peer-to-peer meetings in which every women’s knowledge and expertise is of value. You are the expert on your own farmland — even if you don’t have all the answers yet!
At our meetings, we spend time asking each women to tell the story of her farmland, and her goals and dreams for managing and passing it on. This portion of the day is women only. We find that many women are more likely to feel most comfortable sharing in a group of peers. Online learning circles are provided in an attempt to replicate this experience.
We bring conservation and transition specialists to you.
A wide range of experts can help you make informed decisions about soil and water conservation, hunting and habitat management, land transition, and many other topics you’ll face as a landowner. WFAN will bring these specialists to you at your Women Caring for the Land℠ meeting.
Some of our partners include the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil and Water Districts, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Iowa State University Beginning Farmer Center, along with many others.