Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1174636

Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 30, 2014

Women landowners invited to free soil health meeting, field tour

Apr 29, 2014

Women who own or manage farmland in Washington and neighboring counties are invited to participate in a free conservation discussion focused on soil health on Friday, May 16, at the Wellman Banquet Hall, located at 525 13th St. The program, sponsored by Women, Food and Agriculture Network, is called Women Caring for the Land.

The meeting will begin with registration and resource sharing at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided, and during an afternoon field tour, participants will travel to a nearby farm to watch a demonstration of soil testing. The tests will measure for soil structure and stability and infiltration. Participants will walk a short distance into a field, so please wear or bring appropriate clothing and footwear. The group will return to the banquet hall for dessert and wrap-up, and end the meeting by 3 p.m.

Maintaining healthy soil is the key to productivity and environmental health for our farmland. Women landowners who attend this meeting will learn to assess and improve the health of their soils through cover crops, no-till and strip-till, and other conservation practices.

Nearly half the farmland in Iowa is currently owned or co-owned by women. Women Caring for the Land offers a peer-to-peer, informal discussion format to allow women landowners to talk about their individual farm management goals, facilitated by women conservationists. This response from one recent attendee is typical of our landowners’ experiences: “This has given me some understanding of what my husband talks about. I came to this meeting with no understanding – I am excited about the projects possible to protect the Iowa soil and feel this meeting has helped me in beginning to learn about farming.”

RSVP by 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, to Vanessa at vfixmeroraiz@gmail.com, 319-656-2310 (office) or (919) 923-6211 (cell). For more information about this program, visit <www.womencaringfortheland.org> or call Carol at 641-430-2540.

This program is made possible with funding from a Conservation Innovation Grant from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Local partners for this meeting include the English River Watershed Management Authority and the City of Kalona.

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