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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Tama Women, Land & Legacy Educates on Conservation

Tama County Women, Land & Legacy recently held an event on conservation options for land owners. Below is a re-cap of their event from Tama WLL team member Melody Bro.

For farm operators, it can sometimes be frustrating when they want to add conservation practices to the ground they rent and the landowner doesn’t understand the practices’ long-term benefits. On the flip side, how can a landowner effectively approach his or her renter about adding practices to the renter’s “Conservation Toolbox” in order to improve or sustain the farm’s productivity?

Continue reading

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Women, Land & Legacy News

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Enjoy the latest news from Women, Land & Legacy

In this edition:

  • Meet Mollie Aronowitz, Land Manager and WLL State Team Member
  • Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) open for Enrollment
  • Winter Agriculture Conferences
  • WLL Coordinator Interview on Ag News Daily
  • Women, Land & Legacy Upcoming Events

Archived newsletters can be found here.

Thanks for reading!

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Meet Mollie Aronowitz, Women, Land & Legacy’s Newest State Team Member

The Women, Land & Legacy State Team has been the backbone of the program since it kicked-off in 2004. Team members represent a range of USDA and state agencies as well as non-agency groups and support our local teams with guidance for outreach to women 2018.9 Mollie Aronowitz Headshotin their counties. We recently asked our newest ST member, Mollie Aronowitz, to tell us a bit about herself and her interest in serving on the team.

Mollie is the Sustainability Director and a farm manager for Peoples Company. She is currently the only woman accredited farm manager with the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers in Iowa, with less than ten accredited women across the country. Mollie will be a key-note speaker at the upcoming Connecting Women in Ag Conference, sponsored by the Buchanan Women, Land & Legacy team. Continue reading

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Upcoming Women, Land & Legacy Events

We have great events coming up this winter 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! 

Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL – Women of USDAmuscatine county
January 3rd, Walcott

Cedar/Muscatine/Scott will hold their next Grow and Share with local women who work for the USDA. Hear their journeys to their position and insight into the work they do. Departments will include Rural Development, Farm Service Agency (FSA), and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Come early for lunch, presentation begins at 1 p.m. Gramma’s Kitchen in Walcott. For more info. contact Lydia, 563-886-6214, ext. 3.

Buchanan WLL – Connecting Women in Ag Conferencebuchanan county
January 4th, Independence
Buchanan WLL will hold their first Connecting Women in Ag. Conference in Independence. Speakers include Julie Kenney, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Mollie Aronowitz, Director of Sustainability and Land Manager for Peoples Company. Breakout sessions will cover social media, selling food products, and landscaping. More details here or on the team’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/buchananwomenlandandlegacy/

Buena Vista/Pocahontas WLL – Benchmarkingpocahontas county
January 9th, Pocahontas
BV/Pocahontas WLL will partner with ISU Extension & Outreach for a one hour Annie’s Project session on how to compare farm family expenses with data, establish a reality check on how much living expenses a family can expect the farm to pay and explore how benchmarking helps make better farm and family decisions. 1:30 p.m., Pocahontas ISU Extension & Outreach Conference Room, 305 North Main Street. Please RSVP to Lexie Seuntjens at 712-335-3103 or seuntjen@iastate.edu.

Kossuth WLL – Stress Managementkossuth county
January 16th, Algona
Kossuth WLL will host a stress management session. Join the team for yoga from 5:30 – 6:00 p.m. at Firefly Yoga, 120 N. Moore St. in Algona and a stress management discussion from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Rize Nutrition, 18 E. State St., Algona. RSVP by January 10th, 515-295-5156 EXT. 3 or
kelsi.sieren@usda.gov.

Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL – FarmHer Documentary Movie Nightscott county
January 23rd, Donahue
Join the team and other local women for a movie night viewing of the FarmHer Documentary. 10600 275th St., Donahue. 6 – 9 p.m. (snow date will be Feb. 13th). Contact Lydia for more details, 563-886-6214, ext. 3.

Madison WLL – Book Club
January 23rd, Winterset
Madison County WLL is madison countyhosting its first of three book club meetings this winter.  The first book is Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish.  There will be two separate times: 1:30pm at the Senior Dining & Activity Center and 6:30pm at the Madison Co. Extension office, both in Winterset. For more information, email madisoncountywll@gmail.com, call 515-462-2961 x3, or visit the Facebook page.

Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL – Grow & Sharemuscatine county
February 7th, Walcott
The next Grow & Share from Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL will be held, topic to be determined. Gramma’s kitchen, come early for lunch, program will begin at 1 p.m. Stay tuned to the team’s Facebook group page for more details and other news or contact Lydia, 563-886-6214, ext. 3.

Madison WLL – Book Clubmadison county
February 27th, Winterset
Madison County WLL is hosting its second of three book club meetings this winter.  The second book is Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl by Carol Bodensteiner.  There will be two separate times: 1:30pm at the Senior Dining & Activity Center and 6:30pm at the Madison Co. Extension office, both in Winterset.  For more information, email madisoncountywll@gmail.com, call 515-462-2961 x3, or visit the Facebook page.

SW WLL – Women Gaining Ground Conferencemills county
March 7th, Glenwood
The SW WLL team made up of Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page and Pottawatamie counties will put on their annual Women, Gaining Ground conference at the Glenwood High School in Glenwood. More details to come to their Facebook page.

Madison WLL – Book Clubmadison county
March 26th, Winterset
Madison County WLL is hosting its third of three book club meetings this winter.  The third book is Women and the Land written by Barbara Hall with photography by Kathryn Gamble.  There will be two separate times: 1:30pm at the Senior Dining & Activity Center and 6:30pm at the Madison Co. Extension office, both in Winterset. For more information, email madisoncountywll@gmail.com, call 515-462-2961 x3, or visit the Facebook page.

Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL – Conservation Grazingmuscatine county
April 3rd, Walcott
The next Grow & Share from Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL will be held on conservation grazing. The speaker will be Hannah Howard with The Nature Conservancy. Gramma’s kitchen, come early for lunch, program will begin at 1 p.m. Stay tuned to the team’s Facebook group page for more details and other news or contact Lydia, 563-886-6214, ext. 3.

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Upcoming Winter Conferences

It’s that time of the year! Winter is full of conferences for farmers and landowners, check out some of these great ones coming right up.

Connecting Women in Ag. Conference
January 4th, Independence, IAteam logo

All women involved in agriculture, connected to the land and our rural communities are encouraged to attend the Connecting Women in Ag Conference. The one day seminar will feature keynote speakers Julie Kenney, Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Mollie Aronowitz, Peoples Company Sustainability Director and Farm Manager. More details and registration information here.

National Farmers Union Women’s ConferenceNFU_logo_700by400-700x400
January 19th – 21st, San Diego, CA

Farming is never a one-woman job – it takes a village to run a successful operation. This conference will not only prepare attendees for success in agriculture, but it will also provide them with their own network of women farmers and ranchers they can reach out to throughout the year. Farmers, policy makers, educators, and specialists will present on a number of subjects, including financial management, farm labor, leadership, and more. Learn more and register at the following link! https://nfu.org/education/womensconference/

Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual ConferencePFI_logo.png
January 16th – 18th, Ames, IA

As we embark on 2020, Reclaiming Resilience will examine the current state of our farms and our food systems. This endeavor is not about going backwards in time or unraveling progress. It’s about reclaiming resilience to help family farms survive into the future. Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2020 conference will explore what’s working well and why, as well as what needs to change. We’ll ask if we’re doing certain things because that’s how we’ve always done them – and if there are better ways to create resiliency into the future. More at: https://practicalfarmers.org/events/annual-conference/

Women in Denimwomen in denim logo
February 24th – 25th, Storm Lake, IA

The goal of Women in Denim is to support women in agriculture and those who enjoy the rural way of life. Women involved in agriculture will find workshops to sharpen their skills in decision making, leadership, finances, and knowledge of agriculture. There are workshops that also support and acknowledge the importance of family, community, leisure time, quality of life and overall wellness. More at www.womenindenim.com.

MOSES Organic Farming ConferenceMOSES-logo-transparent-back-3-300x94
February 27th – 29th, La Crosse, WI

MOSES is the largest event in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming, offering 60 workshops over 6 sessions, inspiring keynotes, engaging roundtables, and a resource-packed exhibit hall with over 170 vendors. Organic University, day 1 of the conference, provides full-day classes that dig deeper into specific farming topics. https://mosesorganic.org/conference/

Women Gaining Groundlogo
March 8th, Glenwood, IA

Women, Land & Legacy of Southwest Iowa will host a one-day conference for women to converse, learn and become empowered. https://www.facebook.com/womenlandlegacywgg/

Women in Agriculture Conferencewomen in ag ill conference
March 27th, Rock Island, IL

Farm women and all those involved in the agriculture industry should plan to attend the Women in Agriculture Conference. This conference is a one day seminar to help women become empowered in agriculture. More at http://www.womeninagricultureconference.com/

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Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Open for Enrollment

From USDA.gov

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture is opening signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) on December 9, 2019. The deadline for agricultural producers to sign up for general CRP is February 28, 2020, while signup for continuous CRP is ongoing.

Farmers and ranchers who enroll in CRP receive a yearly rental payment for voluntarily

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Tama Women, Land & Legacy team member and former commissioner Jan Wobeter’s CRP land. Credit: USDA

establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”) to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands.

“The Conservation Reserve Program is one of our nation’s largest conservation endeavors and a critical tool to help producers better manage their operations while conserving natural resources,” Secretary Perdue said. “The program marks its 35-year anniversary in 2020, and we’re hoping to see one of our largest signups in many years.”

To enroll in CRP, contact your local FSA county office or visit fsa.usda.gov/crp. You can find your local office information here. Continue reading

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