CLEAR LAKE - Women who own or manage farmland in Iowa or Nebraska are invited to attend "Sorting Out the Pieces: A Conference for Women Landowners," on March 1 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Best Western Holiday Lodge, U.S. Highway 18 and I-35, exit 194 in Clear Lake.
The event is sponsored by Women, Food and Agriculture network, to give women the opportunity to learn and network about various risk management topics, including working with tenants, using leases to promote conservation, fencing and drainage law, working with wind developers, and more.
Women now own or co-own half the farmland in Iowa, and an increasing number of them are sole owners.
"Northern Iowa has the highest concentration in the state of single women landowners, which is why we chose to hold the conference there," said Leigh Adcock, WFAN executive director.
Presenters will include:
Landowner Chris Henning, of Cooper, and her tenant, discussing how they work together to make her farm both profitable and sustainable.
Kathy Koskovich, of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Connie Roys, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, talking about programs and cost-share for protecting soil and water.
Scott Buchanan, an Algona attorney, to help landowners work with wind energy developers.
Edward Cox, of Drake Agricultural Law Center, providing resources and answering questions on how to deal with drainage and fencing issues with neighbors.
"This conference will be informal, participant-driven and fun," said Adcock. "We specialize in helping women landowners express and reach their goals for their farmland, particularly their conservation and legacy goals."
Attendess may join and after-conference, one-hour social with wine and appetizers, followed by a short play called "Look Who's Knockin'." The play features an older farm couple discussing how to transition their land to the next generation, and will feature local actors.
A short community discussion will follow. The social event and play are free, although donations will be accepted.
The conference fee is $15 in advance, and $20 at the door. Lunch and materials will be provided, including a set of three videos of women landowners talking about their land management and conservation goals.
Funding for this program comes through the North Central Risk Management Education Center of the USDA.