Recently nine of our Women, Land & Legacy (WLL) teams met to discuss their outreach
efforts to women on the land in their counties. Though some of these groups have been active for over 10 years while others are celebrating one year of Women, Land & Legacy programming in their counties, all teams had valuable information to share. As we know from the feedback we receive from women throughout Iowa who attend our programs, women learn best from other women in their communities. We’ve seen this to be true with our local teams as well, where sharing information on best outreach practices has benefited groups throughout the state, resulting in improved programming for the women they are serving.
Though Women, Land & Legacy is a state-wide program, the outreach work is done at a county level through 21 teams covering 34 counties. Founded in 2014, WLL’s unique programming was built on knowing that the best outreach to agricultural women would be giving them opportunities to voice their particular needs. We’ve seen a full spectrum of priority topics covered and it’s clear that while there are some state-wide concerns, such as conservation and estate planning, locally led programming really does reflect a range of county and region specific needs. In short, the program structure shows us that women have unique interests that are particular to where they live geographically, their connections to their land or land in their counties, their families and communities, among other considerations.
Yet another unique part of the Women, Land & Legacy model is putting the planning and
organizational power of their meetings in their hands of local women through local teams. This has multiple benefits, including empowering women to be decision makers for their education; building community partnerships with businesses and other local groups who support the mission of WLL; and having program participants see familiar faces in the local that they know and trust. Ultimately this leads to more robust, active programming for women in agriculture throughout Iowa, helping us to continue seeing our vision of networks of confident women sharing knowledge to create a legacy of stewardship.
For more information on how you can get WLL in your county, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.