Online Tool Connects Land Owners with Land Seekers

Women landowners are an important part of the Iowa landscape, owning or co-owning nearly 50% of land in the state. Most of these women are non-operators and may live off of the farmFindaFarmer-logo-300x193, yet who care about the integrity of soil health and water quality, and are concerned about the future ownership of their land.

Seemingly without many options but wanting to pass on the farms to good stewards, connecting with prospective farmers with a shared vision can be daunting. There are resources, however, for women who want to find a good successor. One of these is the Find A Farmer website from Practical Farmers of Iowa. Launched in 2011, this resource is one solution to preserving family farms while creating land access for beginning and other types of farmers.  Read more here about the recently improved website and contact Practical Farmers of Iowa for more information. You can also visit the website directly at


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Women, Land & Legacy News


Enjoy the latest news from Women, Land & Legacy

In this edition:

  • Women, Land & Legacy Celebrates 15 Years
  • Upcoming Women, Land & Legacy events across Iowa
  • Upcoming Winter Conferences
  • Conservation Woman of the Year, Jan Wobeter
  • Re-cap of WLL Events
  • Applications Open for Aspiring and Beginning Women Farmer Program

Archived newsletters can be found here.

Thanks for reading!

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Winter 2019 Conferences for Farmers, Landowners

Winter is conference time for farmers and landowners and there is an abundance of them coming right up!

National Farmers Union Women’s ConferenceNFU_logo_700by400-700x400
January 13th – 17th, San Diego, CA

Attendees will go home with the tools they need to run a successful operation, including business planning skills, innovating marketing tactics, food safety planning, and a network of other women in agriculture across the country. Learn more and register at the link below!

Women in Agriculture Conferencewomen in ag ill conference
January 14th, 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

Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual ConferencePFI_logo.png
January 17th – 19th, Ames, IA

At Practical Farmers’ 2019 annual conference, Cultivating Connections, you’ll have a chance to reconnect with old friends, cultivate new relationships and learn from a community that believes in sharing knowledge to benefit everyone. This year’s conference will focus on how to cultivate connections that nurture a purposeful path.

Women in Denimwomen in denim logo
February 25th – 26th, 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

MOSES Organic Farming ConferenceMOSES-logo-transparent-back-3-300x94
February 21st – 23rd, 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.

Cover Crop Conferencecover crop conf
March 1st, Durant, IA

Regional conference hosted by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Soil and Water Conservation Districts at the Durant Community Center. No cost for participation, free lunch. Focus is on benefits and challenges of cover crops, soil health impacts, fiscal sustainability. Speakers include Andrew Vickers and Jason Steele. RSVP to Lydia Whitman 563-886-6214 x3 or

Women Gaining Groundlogo
March 9th, Glenwood, IA

Women, Land & Legacy of Southwest Iowa will host a one-day conference for women to converse, learn and become empowered.

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Women, Land & Legacy Events Bring Iowa Women Education, Peer Networking, Fun

2018 is wrapping up to be another great year for Women, Land & Legacy. Over 30 educational and networking events were held throughout the state. Four new counties joined the WLL team and conversations have started to kick-off many more new chapters in 2019. Below are some re-caps of events from late summer into fall and winter. Keep an eye on our WLL calendar and team Facebook pages for 2019 events.

Buchanan county formally joined Women, Land & Legacy on August 28th with twolist session 2 Listening Sessions. Over 50 women participated in the sessions, which focused on listening to the interests and needs of Buchanan women involved in agriculture and land management.

Following the Listening Sessions, the Buchanan WLL team held two events, including a craft night in October and a transition planning meeting November. Stay tuned for more from the Buchanan Co. WLL team on their Facebook page.

On September 10th Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL had a successful launch with its two listening sessions at the Durant Community Center. Continue reading

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Upcoming Women, Land & Legacy Events

Looking for some great events to attend this winter? Women, Land & Legacy has many awesome opportunities for women in agriculture all across the state! 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! 

SW WLL – Crafts, Food, Fun and Relaxationmills county
January 24th, Glenwood
SW WLL (Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page counties) is inviting women to blow off steam at a session with stress management education, crafts, food and fun. 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Bodega Victoriana Winery, 60397 Kidd Rd., Glenwood. RSVP’s required by Jan. 18th, 712-624-8616. Visit the team’s Facebook page for more information.

Buchanan WLL – Grain Marketing for Womenbuchanan county
January 28th, Independence
Buchanan Women, Land & Legacy will host a Grain Marketing for Women session, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Heartland Acres, 2600 Swan Lake Blvd., Independence. Speaker Allison Ryan with River Valley Cooperative will present on basics of grain marketing. RSVP to or call Buchanan Extension, 319-334-7161.

Mahaska/Marion WLL – Estate Planningmahaska county
January 28th, Oskaloosa
Mahaska/Marion Women, Land & Legacy will host two sessions on Planning for the Future: Estate Planning for all Ages (see Feb. 25th for the second session). This session will include tips on how to best organize your farm and personal information. 6:30 p.m., doors open at 6:00 p.m. ISU Extension, 212 N. I St., Oskaloosa. Contact Wendi Denham to RSVP and for questions, 641-673-3476 ext. 2. RSVP by January 18th.

Buena Vista/Pocahontas WLL – Land Rental Arrangementsbuena vista county
January 29th, Storm Lake
Buena Vista/Pocahontas Women, Land & Legacy will host a session on land rental arrangements with speaker Valerie Weis from Farm Credit Services. 1:30 p.m., Farm Credit Services, 1015 590th St., Storm Lake. No cost, pre-registration required. Call Larrette Kolbe, 712-732-3096 or e-mail by Jan. 24th.

Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL – Farm Tour, Cinnamon Ridge Farmsscott county
January 29th, Donahue
Cedar/Muscatine/Scott is holding a farm tour of Cinnamon Ridge Farms, 10600 275th St. in Donahue. 6-8p.m. Join WLL and Joan Maxwell as she gives a tour of her farm, leads a discussion over niche marketing and offers cheese tasting. RSVP to Holly Howard and bring a friend! 563-263-7944 x3, Stay tuned to the team’s Facebook group page for more details and other news.

Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL – Farm Tax Preparationmuscatine county
February 1st, Walcott
The next Grow & Share from Cedar/Musc./Scott will be held on Farm Tax Preparation, Gramma’s Kitchen in Walcott, 1-3 p.m. More details and RSVP to Holly Howard, 563-263-7944 x3, Stay tuned to the team’s Facebook group page for more details and other news.

Mahaska/Marion WLL – Estate Planningmarion county
February 25th, Knoxville
Mahaska/Marion Women, Land & Legacy will host session two of Planning for the Future: Estate Planning for all Ages (the first session will be held January 28th in Oskaloosa). This will be a follow-up to January’s session and an opportunity to ask professionals more questions. 6:30 p.m., doors open at 6:00 p.m. RSVP by February 15th and questions to Angie Vos, 641-842-3114 ext. 200.

Fremont/Mills/Montgomery/Page WLL – Women Gaining Ground Conferencemills county.png
March 9th, Glenwood
The annual Women Gaining Ground conference will be held at the Glenwood High School in Glenwood. The event is put on by the SW WLL team made up of Fremont, Mills, Montgomery and Page counties. Stay tuned to the team’s Facebook page for more details.

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Women, Land & Legacy Celebrates 15 Years

By Wren Almitra

Fifteen years ago a group of women were brought together by Iowa’s USDA State Outreach Council and tasked with finding an effective outreach program for Iowa’s women landowners and farmers. These women represented an array of non-profits, government agencies, faith-based organizations, producers and landowners. I recently interviewed Carol Smith and Tanya Meyer-Dideriksen, two of the founding members of the group and who continue to serve on the Women, Land & Legacy State Team today.

Q: Can you talk about some of the beginning stages of getting WLL going? How and why you personally got involved?

TM: WLL became the USDA State Outreach Council’s (SOC) outreach project for women.sandra and tanya (2)  The directors of agencies involved in the SOC fully supported forming a committee and developing a project.  When WLL first started, I was the State Outreach Coordinator for USDA-NRCS.  It was a perfect fit to be part of the team that developed this tremendous outreach effort for Iowa’s agricultural women.

CS: At the time I was a member of the SOC and became involved in WLL, I was a Simith_Carol_4x5Ind-240x300program manager for National Catholic Rural Life (now Catholic Rural Life or CRL), a national non profit.  My program was focused on rural community action and support—and it was very evident that women were a key to that issue.  I have a background in extension and in classroom teaching.  My great interest (and eventual expertise) in process and program design framed my work in all areas.   Continue reading

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Jan Wobeter of Tama Co., Conservation Woman of the Year

By Wren Almitra

Jan Wobeter always had dirt under her fingernails growing up. The 67 year-old native of  Traer, IA is busy. I had to schedule a time when she would be in the house to do a phone interview. “I’m not attached to the phone, I’m always outside, always doing something”, she told me. Jan has worn many hats in her life—mother, wife, nursery employee, Casey’s manager, wallpaper installer, furniture reupholsterer, refurbirsher of an early 1900’s schoolhouse, co-owner of an appraisal business. Her hats as landowner and Soil Commissioner in Tama Co. recently gave her the honor of receiving the Conservation Woman of the Year award, presented by Conservation Districts of Iowa at their annual conference.


Jan and her husband Rob in front of their 1928 schoolhouse, which they converted into their home (photo credit NRCS)

The purpose of the award is to recognize an Iowa woman for her contributions to conservation. According to Laura Crowell of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, numerous nominations were received, with Jan’s rising to the top. “Jan is an encouraging and enthusiastic advocate for Iowa conservation”, stated Laura. “As a…commissioner she has been the driving force behind many of the district’s outreach projects for county youth, as well as serving as the board’s treasurer. She and her husband Rob are excellent conservation stewards on their own land—including CRP, tree plantings, pond and extensive pollinator habitat.” Continue reading

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Women, Land & Legacy News


Enjoy the latest news from Women, Land & Legacy

In this edition:

  • Civil Eats article highlights women landowners and supporting programs
  • Upcoming Women, Land & Legacy events across Iowa
  • Upcoming November WFAN conference in Des Moines and pre-conference land transition workshop
  • Talking with tenants about soil health–tips from USDA
  • Re-cap of summer WLL events

Archived newsletters can be found here.

Thanks for reading!

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November Land Transition Workshop and WFAN Conference–Des Moines

Two great opportunities to network with other women landowners, farmers and advocates at an upcoming Land Transition Workshop and the annual Women, Food & Agriculture Network conference this November in Des Moines.

Pre-conference workshop: Transitioning Your Land  

Choosing the best way to transition your farmland can be stressful and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are several women landowners who share your concerns, as we’ve heard during Women Caring for the Land meetings. Women, Food and Agriculture Network is offering a pre-conference workshop for women landowners to address your concerns. Read more and find registration information here.

Annual conference: Stepping into Action: Changing Foodscapes through Individual and Community Power.

Photo courtesy Aleya Fraser.

This two-day annual conference is our opportunity to learn from our diverse peers, build a stronger network, and foster connections for long-lasting change. The conference will feature women in our network through regional field tours; day-long intensives; a farm-to-table dinner;  art + story gallery featuring work by women farmers; creative community building; and workshops. Read more and register here.


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Upcoming Women, Land & Legacy Events

Looking for some great events to attend this fall? Women, Land & Legacy has many awesome opportunities for women in agriculture all across the state! 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! 

SW WLL – Agri-tourism pottawatamie county
October 4th, Council Bluffs
SW WLL (Fremont, Mills, Montgomery and Page counties) will host an ag-tourism event at Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard in Council Bluffs. 5:30 p.m., doors open, program from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. RSVP by Sept. 28th, call 712-374-2351 or 712-624-8616. More at

Buchanan WLL – Networking and Pumpkin Crafting buchanan county
October 8th, Independence
Buchanan WLL will host a night of networking and pumpkin crafting. Polka Pear will be leading the craft. Refreshments and light snacks will be provided. Cost is $30. Email or call Ashley Sherrets at (319) 334-7161 to reserve a spot. Upon registration please indicated which letter you would like to have on your pumpkin. The class is limited to 25 spots so register early!

Cedar/Muscatine/Scott – Networking Session louisa
October 16th, Letts
Cedar/Muscatine/Scott will host their first post-Listening Session event Ardon Creek Vineyard and Winery in Letts. More details to come to the WLL calendar or stay tuned to the team’s Facebook group,

Buena Vista/Pocahontas WLL – “Set the Table, Mable” pocahontas county
October 22nd, Laurens
BV/Pocahontas will hold a learning session entitled “Set the Table, Mable”. Guest speaker will be Margo Sievers, with performers Chef Margo and the Chefferettes discussing where food comes from and how it gets to our tables. 10:30 a.m., West Iowa Bank in Laurens. Pre-register by contacting Holly Frerk, 712-335-3103 or

Winnebego/Worth – Farm Cash Rental winnebego county
November 1st, Lake Mills
Winnebego/Worth will host a Farm Cash Rental learning session with speaker Kevin Leibold from ISU Extension Farm Management Specialist. More details to come to our WLL calendar or call (641) 584-2261 for more information.

Johnson – Estate Planning, Intro. to Transfers of Land johnson county
November 8th, Iowa City
The Johnson Co. WLL team will hold an estate planning event in Iowa City entitled “Estate Planning – Introduction to Transfers of Land”. Trust Oficer Dennis Mitchell with MidWestOne Bank will present. 3-5 p.m., doors open at 2:30. MidWestOne Bank, 500 S. Clinton St. in Iowa City, 6th floor.

Tama – Telling Your Farm Story tama county
November 8th, location TBD
Tama Co. will hold an event on telling your own ag. story with presenter Laurie Johns from the Iowa Farm Bureau. More details to come to the WLL calendar or stay tuned to the Tama Facebook page,

Buchanan – Transition Planning buchanan county
November 13th, location TBD
Buchanan will hold a transition planning meeting with speaker Melissa O’Rourke of ISU Extension and Outreach. 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. More details to come to the WLL calendar or stay tuned to the Buchanan Facebook page,

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