Women Caring for the Land and Women, Land & Legacy: Two Outreach Programs, One Goal

WFAN_WCL-1-e1391625568174WLLLogoblue-01Women, Food and Agriculture Network is known for programs that foster networks among women working in agriculture. Two programs – Women Caring for the Land and Women, Land and Legacy – are different in origin and focus, but identical in their goal: empowering women to become decision-makers about their farms. Here are some of the main similarities and differences between these two successful programs.

Women Caring for the Land:

  • created in 2007 by WFAN to provide conservation information to female non-operator landowners.
  • based on a peer-to-peer “learning circles” model designed by WFAN staff and Dr. Jean Eells of E Resources Group.
  • brings together groups of women landowners with female resource professionals to share information and support on conservation topics.
  • field-tested in Iowa, now operating in 8 upper Midwest states and soon Kentucky (beginning in 2016).
  • funded through grants and presented in partnership with local hosts such as the USDA NRCS, local soil and water districts, and state departments of agriculture and natural resources.
  • usually includes one meeting in each community.
  • publishes Patchwork newsletter twice a year, offering information and profiles for women landowners about conservation topics.

Women, Land and Legacy:

  • created in 2004, Women, Land & Legacy is a USDA program coordinated through WFAN since 2014.
  • uses a “listening and learning sessions” model designed by the WLL State Team, giving agricultural women in Iowa the opportunity to inform agencies of their needs, network with other local women, and learn about farm-related topics.
  • led, funded, and driven at the county level by “local team” leaders who develop learning sessions based on input from local women.
  • currently includes 18 local teams in 24 Iowa counties, each providing continuous programming with 1 to 4 events every year.
  • supported by a state team, including a project coordinator who has been managed and paid through WFAN since 2014. The state team supports new and existing teams with guidance and resources and promotes the program.
  • Produces Rural Legacy, a quarterly newsletter highlighting WLL and other agricultural news statewide.

Note that these programs are not exclusive of one another. Women Caring for the Land meetings have occurred in active Women, Land & Legacy counties and Women, Land & Legacy teams have formed after a Women Caring for the Land meeting.

For more information about both programs, visit www.wfan.org/our-programs/women-landowner-outreach or womenlandandlegacy.org.

By email, contact stateteam@womenlandandlegacy.org (WLL), or info@wfan.org (WCL).

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