Women’s learning circle on agriculture, conservation scheduled

(Submitted by Wood County Soil & Water Conservation District)

American Farmland Trust, and Ohio’s Wood Soil & Water Conservation District have joined together to announce a Great Lakes Conservation Connect women-dedicated learning circle in Woodville, on March 7.

This workshop will focus on farmland leasing and talking with your farmer for women farmers and land owners. Learning Circles provide women the opportunity to meet other land owners, share their farm successes and challenges, discuss their goals for their land and access advice and technical assistance.

Nearly 301 million acres of U.S. land – about a third of the nation’s land in farms – are now farmed or co-farmed by women and at least 87 million additional acres are in the hands of women landowners.

Over the next 20 years, the numbers of women farming and or taking on a management role on farmland is likely to increase as three hundred and forty-million acres of farmland are expected to change hands when farmers retire or leave their land to the next generation.

At this learning circle, women landowners and local agriculture and conservation experts will discuss some ideas for effective communication with your farmer that leads to a fair lease that accommodates both your, and your farmer’s, goals for the land.

“In the Midwest, women now own or co-own between one-fourth and one-half of the farmland. Many of them are non-operating landowners – they lease their farmland to local farmers. While they are very interested in farming practices that benefit the health of their land, implementing those practices requires a partnership with the farm operator. This workshop will focus on how to build the farmer-landowner relationship which translates to a fair lease for both parties,” said Jennifer Filipiak, Midwest director for American Farmland Trust.

A previous Ohio learning circle attendee expressed their gratitude for the workshop stating, “The most helpful thing I learned from the workshop was the opportunity to learn different types of lease advantages and disadvantages. Knowing what options were available and how they work made attending this workshop worth my time.”

“Learning circles are more than just a class on farming filled with foreign terms leaving you more confused than when you started.  Learning Circles are truly a place to see women just like yourself, needing to prepare for the
future, struggling to know if they are making right the decisions, and wanting to play a more active role in farming. Participants come from all agricultural backgrounds, ranging from no experience to “farming since they were 4” and focus on building a community of knowledge, support and understanding,” said Ashley Brucker, Ohio Agriculture Stewardship Manager for American Farmland Trust.

Following is information on the event:
Topic: Conservation and farmland leasing: talking with your farmer
Location: Luckey Farmers, Inc., 1200 Main St., Woodville
Time: Registration will begin at 10 a.m. and the meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. Lunch is provided, and the program will end at 2:30 p.m.
RSVP by 5 p.m., March 4, by signing up online at https://farmland.salsalabs.org/leasingohio/ or by calling Wood SWCD (419) 354-5517.

Save the date for our next workshop April 17, on “Farming for Clean Water.” If you need an accommodation, please notify us when you RSVP. You are more than welcome to bring a friend or family member, just let us know when you RSVP.