Cedar, Muscatine and Scott Co. WLL Hold Monthly Virtual Events

Prior to the COVID pandemic, the Cedar, Muscatine, and Scott County WLL team held monthly events on the first Friday of each month at a local restaurant. The events included lunch and a presenter on a different topic each month. In November, the team decided to renew this effort virtually with the first monthly event being held on November 6, 2020 from 1-2:30pm. The team utilized their own Facebook page to hold a Facebook Live event.

The event entitled Grow and Share: Update on Programs and Resources included Meghan Bonefas to discuss FSA loans; Cindy and Karen to talk about Rural Development programs; Teresa Wendt to discuss NRCS programs; Emily Swihart to share information from Trees Forever; Teresa Bohman to talk about ISU Extension programs and Lydia Whitman to share Iowa Dept. of Agriculture and Land Stewardship opportunities.

The team is excited to begin the monthly series once again. This event had 6 women participants and was offered at no cost to them. There was also no cost to the team. The next monthly event will be held December 4, 2020 also from 1-2:30pm. Check back here for a report on how that event went!!

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SW Iowa WLL Team Holds Successful Virtual Event

The WLL Team that includes Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page and Pottawattamie counties held a virtual event on November 12, 2020 from 7-8pm on Zoom. The event was entitled Honey Bee Workshop and featured Bountiful Blossoms Bee Company from Glenwood, IA.

Sixteen (16) women enjoyed a wonderful educational session presented by Carol Fassbinder-Orth as she discussed honey bees and especially honey bee viruses and colony collapse disorder. Women learned why and how the honey bee population has declined and some solutions that can be implemented. Carol and her husband operate their farm and the company and Carol is also a Biology Professor at Creighton University. In addition to the educational portion of the virtual event, Carol also took women on a virtual tour of their farm and shop where they sell all kinds of products that include honey.

This event was free to attend and also held no cost for the WLL team, in part because one of their team members had a Zoom account that could be used. The team was pleased with the turnout, although an important thing for other teams to be aware of, is that less than 100% of those that register for a virtual event are likely to actually attend.

Congratulations to the SW Iowa WLL team for a holding a successful and educational Learning Session!!!

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Lease/Rental Agreement and Land Legal Considerations Resources

It’s that time of the year when new or renewed land leases are being considered and negotiated. WFAN has been busy over the past week hosting events discussing important issues related to lease agreements and other land related legal considerations.

It’s that time of the year when new or renewed land leases are being considered and negotiated. WFAN has been busy over the past week hosting events discussing important issues related to lease agreements and other land-related legal considerations.

Continue reading

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Women, Land & Soil Health Resources


On August 10th, Women, Land & Legacy and Women Caring for the Land partnered to host a virtual soil health 101 learning and networking event. 92 participants joined from nearly 30 states, and from a variety of backgrounds and interests. Four presenters shared their expertise including how to do soil health tests at home, programs and technical assistance for installing soil health conservation practices, and working with tenants.

Continue reading

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USDA Announces Details of Direct Assistance to Farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to this direct support to farmers and ranchers, USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program is partnering with regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat and deliver boxes to Americans in need.

“America’s farming community is facing an unprecedented situation as our nation tackles the coronavirus. President Trump has authorized USDA to ensure our patriotic farmers, ranchers, and producers are supported and we are moving quickly to open applications to get payments out the door and into the pockets of farmers,” said Secretary Perdue. “These payments will help keep farmers afloat while market demand returns as our nation reopens and recovers. America’s farmers are resilient and will get through this challenge just like they always do with faith, hard work, and determination.”

Beginning May 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), will be accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses.

More information including how to apply here.

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Women Landowner Days

The Women, Food & Ag. Network is excited to announce that Women Landowner Dayspepper hallow has moved ONLINE! In partnership with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), we are now offering a free four-part online learning series from July-August 2020 for women who own or manage farmland in Black Hawk County and Polk County, Iowa and are interested in learning about profitable farming methods that can help improve water quality and soil health.

Women from outside Polk and Black Hawk counties are welcome to register, some of the material covered will be specifically catered to women in the watersheds in those counties. Continue reading

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Women Farmers Needed for Study on Stress and Happiness

A new study is seeking women farmers to interview to help understand the causes and soil in handsexperiences of stress and happiness among women farmers. If interested, please read more on eligibility and details about the study. For additional information and to express interest in participation, contact Dr. Carly Nichols (319-467-1728, carly-nichols@uiowa.edu), Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, University of Iowa. Continue reading

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SBA COVID-19 Financial Assistance Available for Farmers

From https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories were able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

SBA has resumed processing EIDL applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 and will be processing these applications on a first-come, first-served basis. SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses.

The new eligibility is made possible as a result of the latest round of funds appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).
  • SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.

At this time, only agricultural business applications will be accepted due to limitations in funding availability and the unprecedented submission of applications already received. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will process these applications without the need for re-applying.

Eligible agricultural businesses may apply for the Loan Advance here.

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Women Landowners Days Learning Series

The Women, Food and Agriculture Network will now be offering Women Landowner pepper hallowDays as a free online learning series in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). (Dates to be announced as they shift gears to an online platform!)

This learning series is for women who own or manage over 40 acres of farmland in Polk County, IA and Black Hawk County, IA and are interested in learning about profitable farming methods that can help improve water quality and soil health.

REGISTER HERE for the learning series specific to the Polk County watershed.

REGISTER HERE for the learning series specific to the Black Hawk County watershed.

We hope you can join!

Please note: Due to the disruption from COVID-19, we are still working through the details for how to best offer this learning series online. We will update all registrants as soon as we have more information!
This program is funded in part by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The USDA is an Equal Opportunity Provider, Employer, Lender. If you need special accommodation to participate, please contact Moselle using the information above.

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PBS Interview Highlights Need for Women Landowner Programming

In March, PBS aired an interview with Jean Eels, who works with the Women, Food & Agriculture Network’s Women Caring for the Land program. In the interview, Eels talks

jean and soil test

Jean Eels, left, demonstrates soil tests that can be done at home.

about the importance of reaching Iowa’s women landowners, who own or co-own nearly half of Iowa’s land, through conservation meetings. These events provide them with vital resources for conservation assistance and empower them to ask questions and work with their tenants, USDA agency representatives and other conservation partners. Says Eels, “We know that 50 to 70 percent of the women who come to a one day meeting will take an action to improve conservation on their land.”

“We always just talk about farmers. They’re not the only decision makers out there that can make that difference. We’ve got to change how we talk about the landscape.”

Watch the interview here.

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