WLL Teams Network, Share Tips and Tools for Women in Ag. Outreach

Recently nine of our Women, Land & Legacy (WLL) teams met to discuss their outreach


Team members from Madison, Mahaska, Marion and Warren counties met at Annelise Winery in Indianola.

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. Continue reading

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Winnebego/Worth WLL Holds Biorefinery Tour

POET Tour 2019.jpgThe Worth and Winnebago Women Land and Legacy group conducted a tour of the POET Biorefinery at Hanlontown. Participants had an opportunity to observe the day to day operation of the facility and learn about the process of converting corn into biofuel. POET manager, Kelly Hansen, also made a presentation about the history of ethanol production. The women closed out the evening with a talk by Joni Erwin, field representative of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, who spoke about what role the ethanol industry has played in maintaining the consumption of corn.


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SW WLL Hosts Cover Crop Meeting

On August 29th at the Waubonsie State Park’s Washawtee Lodge participants at the most recent program organized by Women, Land & Legacy of Southwest Iowa learned all about cover crops from local experts while enjoying good food and fellowship. Kelsey Blodgett, Soil Conservationist with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Malvern and Chris Teachout, local ag. produc2er, gave presentations about soil health, cover crops and considerations to make when implementing cover crops into a farming operation. The evening ended with a slake soil test and rainfall simulator used to demonstrate the positive effects that cover crops and no-till practices have on the land.

Women, Land & Legacy of southwest Iowa serves the counties of East and West Pottawattamie, Fremond, Mills, Montgomery and Page. A minimum of three events are held each year in addition to the annual Women Gaining Ground (WGG) conference. The dates for the next WGG is set for Saturday, March 7th 2020 at the Glenwood High School in Glenwood. For more information contact Fremond Co. Extension, 712-374-2351 or Mills Co. Soil and Water Conservation District, 712-624-8606 ext. 3. Or visit the team’s Facebook page.

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Tama Co. WLL Hosts Composting Event at Meskwaki Nation’s Red Earth Gardens

Tama County Women, Land & Legacy hosted 33 attendees at its August 27th composting Learning Session at DSCN0040.JPGMeskwaki Nation’s Red Earth Gardens.  Farm Production Manager Grant Shadden led the group on a tour of the farm including its newest component, laying hens, and their role in the farm’s organic production.  Expansion plans include worm production, additional high tunnel structures and increased composting of kitchen waste from Meskwaki Nation’s casino.  Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Horticulture Specialist Ajay Nair followed the tour with a presentation explaining the process and science of compost and its uses. To stay up to date with Tama WLL’s events and news, get connected with their Facebook page.

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Spring WLL Event Re-caps

Lavender Farm Tour, Garrison

The evening of June 10 brought picture-perfect weather for Tama County Women, Land 6cropped& Legacy’s Summer Tour 2019: On the Hill Learning Session. Hostess Sue Hart shared a program on her lavendar operation in northwestern Benton County. On the Hill is her on-farm store in rural Garrison which features many of the items she’s created herself, along with items from other area artisans.

Sue and her family began growing lavender about ten years ago, and while production has fluctuated with the weather, Sue makes many lavender-based products including sachets, soaps, lotions and bath salts.  She shared her insights into lavender production with the 29 attendees, several of whom have attempted small-scale lavender production themselves. Continue reading

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WFAN Welcomes New Executive Director

The Women, Food & Agriculture Network recently hired Sherri Dugger as it’s new Sherri+Dugger+Photo.jpgExecutive Director. Sherri has worked extensively with family farmers as a journalist, fundraiser, advocate, and strategic planner. She founded the first women’s farmer chapter under the Indiana Farmers Union umbrella, a first in National Farmers Union history. Sherri resides on a small farm in Indiana and admits that she is an obsessed fan of local agriculture and food systems. You can read more about Sherri and this exciting new chapter for the organization here.

WFAN has partnered with USDA agencies to coordinate Women, Land & Legacy since 2014. This partnership has strengthened both the outreach work of local agency offices throughout Iowa as well as WFAN programming while thousands of women in the state have been connected through networking and educational opportunities. To learn more about the Women, Food & Agriculture Network visit www.wfan.org.

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Upcoming WLL Events

We have great events this summer state-wide with more events being planned so stay tuned to our calendar to find an event near you. Don’t see your county listed? Check out our map and list of participating counties here. Want to see Women, Land & Legacy in your county? Contact us to learn more! 


Kossuth WLL – Listening Sessionskossuth county
July 11th, Algona
Kossuth is the latest county to join WLL with two Listening Sessions. These event will be held at Waters Edge Nature Center, 1010 250th St., Algona. The first session will be from 9 – 11 a.m., the second from 6 – 8 p.m. Doors will open one half hour before each session. Light refreshments will be provided. For more info. or to RSVP contact Emily Ludwig, 641-584-2211 x 3.

BV/Pocahontas WLL – Agronomy Workshopsbuena vista county
August 7th, September 4th, Rembrandt
Buena Vista/Pocahontas Women, Land & Legacy will partner on a series of events of focused on agronomic skills for women that allow for better decision-making, provide a better understanding of crop production, see and understand different conservation practices and increase confidence in communication with spouse, farming partner, ag. retailer or tenant. Workshops will be held at Margo and Ron Sievers farm, 1134 510th St., Rembrandt. RSVP and questions can be directed to 712-732-5056.

Emmet/Palo Alto WLL – Refilling your Cupemmet county
August 8th, Estherville
Join Emmet/Palo Alto WLL for an afternoon of “refilling” your cup. The session will being with a gentle yoga session with Nicole Rosford at her studio Zen Wellness, 9 North 5th St., Estherville, followed by an Herbs 101 session with Megan and Co. at the Emmet Co. Farm Bureau office. Please dress comfortably! RSVP and questions call 712-852-2865.

Cedar/ Muscatine/ Scott WLL – Pollinators and Farm Tourcedar county
August 9th, Tipton
Cedar/Muscatine, Scott WLL will host a pollinator and farm tour at Wendt Farm. Meet at the Tipton NRCS office, 205 West South Street, Ste. 2. Teresa Wendt, WLL participant, farmer and Soil Conservationist will guide the tour exploring a series of established prairies. The tour will end at Teresa’s farm for supper and info. on other conservation work on the farm. Stay tuned to the team’s Facebook page for more details or contact (563) 263-7944 ext. 3.

Palo Alto/Emmet WLL – Farmland Leasing and Land Value
August 13th, Emmetsburgemmet county
Palo Alto/Emmet will host a farmland leasing and land value meeting with presenting Kelvin Liebold. Palo Alto Co. Extension and Outreach Meeting Room in Emmetsburg. 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. RSVP by calling 713-852-2865.

Tama WLL – Composting
August 27th, Tamatama county
Tama WLL will host a composting event at Red Earth Gardens. Red Earth Gardens and Iowa State University Extension & Outreach will be presenting. More details to come, stay tuned to the team’s Facebook page or call 641- 484-2702.

Bremer/Butler/Chickasaw/Floyd – Listening Sessionschickasaw.png
September 5th, Nashua
The latest new Women, Land & Legacy team! Bremer, Butler, Chickasaw and Floyd counties will hold their Listening Sessions at the Borlaug Learning Center, 3327 290th St., Nashua. The first session will be from 1- 3 p.m., the second from 6 – 8 p.m. Doors will open one half hour before each session. For info. and to RSVP contact Val Horner, 641-394-2174 or Holly Merritt, 319-267-2707.

Palo Alto/Emmet – Soil Health Field Dayemmet county
September 5th, Emmetsburg
Palo Alto/Emmet WLL will co-host a soil health field day covering soil health, erosion and tillage, conservation ag. and more. Meet at 5:30 p.m. at the USDA Service Center, 3302 Main St., Emmetsburg. This will be a field event, dress comfortabely. RSVP by calling 712-852-2865.

Madison WLL – Barn Tourmadison county
September 28th, Location TBD

Madison Co. WLL will host a tour of barns in the county, followed by a potluck supper and prairie walk. More details to come, stay tuned to their Facebook page, or contact the team at madisoncountywll@gmail.com or 515-462-2961, x3.

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Women, Land & Legacy Featured in Iowa Farmer Today

By WLL Coordinator Wren Almitra

list session 2

Participants pose for a group photo at Buchanan WLL’s Listening Session in 2018.

Recently I was interviewed by Jean Caspers-Simmet for Iowa Farmer Today about the important outreach Women, Land & Legacy is providing to women producers and landowners in Iowa. Over the past 15 years Women, Land & Legacy has reached thousands of Iowa women with educational programs designed specifically to meet their local needs and interests. Two of the greatest strengths of the program are asking women directly what they need to learn more about to make the best decisions for their land and businesses and the networks that form from partnerships across local agencies and community members. Read more in Jean’s article here.

Women Caring for the Land, a women’s landowner outreach program of the Women, Food & Ag. Network, was also featured in Iowa Farmer Today. You can read that article here.



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WLL State Team Member Recognized for USDA Outreach Work

On April 9th Women, Land & Legacy State Team member Wendi Denham was awarded the USDA Equal Employment Opportunity/Civil Rights Individual Achievement Award during the Diversity Day presentation (you can read about the 2017 group award given to the Emmet/Palo Alto WLL team here).

According to State FSA Executive Director Amanda De Jong USDA agencies look for employees that have conducted activities, such as cultural awareness, outreach to the underserved and civil rights participation. “Ms. Denham’s engagement and outreach both within Mahaska County and also across the State has helped the Farm Service Agency continue to get our message and services out producers who need them most”, says De Jong. “Ms. Denham was recognized for her outreach efforts for both local and state wide levels, including representing FSA on the WLL State Team since 2014. There’s been a 48% increase in chapters since her involvement.”

Award April 2019 denham

State Team member and Mahaska CED Wendi Denham (left) with SED Amanda De Jong.

“UDSA has something for almost every landowner and producer”, says Denham. “Outreach efforts are imperative, as they ensure producers are aware of USDA program opportunities that are available to assist them with beginning or enhancing their farming operations. Working with people and teaching others are my passions. Outreach affords me the chance to work with people of diverse backgrounds and team them about the programs USDA has to offer.” Continue reading

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Women, Land & Legacy News


Enjoy the latest news from Women, Land & Legacy

In this edition:

  • Free Farm Conservation Assessment Tool
  • Upcoming Women, Land & Legacy events across Iowa
  • Upcoming Women Caring for the Land events
  • Winter Learning Session re-caps
  • On-line tool connects land owners with land seekers
  • Disaster relief resources

Archived newsletters can be found here.

Thanks for reading!

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