Is Your Farmer Listening to You?

by Carol SchutteWFAN Program Assistant

barb-missouriAt a recent Women Caring for the Land meeting in Missouri, Barb shared her history with farming. She grew up on a farm and her father had what she thinks were good conservation practices. She then inherited a very poorly treated farm from her uncle. Barb is now trying to restore that land, as well as improve the soil on her other two farms.

In the 1980’s, she told one tenant how she wanted the fields managed. He listened, then went ahead and did what he wanted to; he didn’t tell her the truth about what he was doing. When she questioned him later, he told her, “Well, it didn’t work out.” She fired him!

As we hear from many women, Barb thinks the men have been doing things in their fields the same way every single year, like their family had done, because that’s what they know. She was even told once by her farmer, “The problem is, women shouldn’t have anything to do with the land, or own land.” She told him that’s fine, he could find another landowner.

In the learning circles, we always try to remind the women landowners that it is YOUR land and you may direct management they way you feel is right!

You can email Carol at carol@wfan.org.