More women are owning and managing land in Wisconsin.
So a coalition of ag and conservation organizations has announced the launch of a Wisconsin Women in Conservation Educator Network. The network will convene, equip and support conservation educators, professionals and volunteers who work with women landowners and farmers across the state.
The virtual Kick Off of the network is Oct. 28. It will include both a statewide convening and breakouts in regional groups. All conservation educators are invited to participate, both men and women, from agency staff to nonprofit volunteers. Pre-registration is required, but free, at WiWiC.org.
“The goal of this inclusive new network is to for the first time connect these educators on a regular basis to collaboratively share challenges and best practices when it comes to reaching women landowners,” says WiWiC project lead agronomist Esther Shekinah. “This launch is just the start. WiWiC will facilitate bi-annual meet-ups like this, as well as regional annual summits. We hope the result will be the development of cooperative strategies for working together and provide women farmers and landowners the tools they want and need to get conservation practices implemented on their land.”
Women landowners are a growing demographic. The 2017 Census recorded 38,509 female producers in Wisconsin, showing that women make up 35 percent of all producers in the state, which is slightly higher than the national average of 30 percent.
But women are a group that has been traditionally underserved by federal and state conservation agencies, according to WiWiC. This three-year WiWiC initiative is collaboratively engaging women landowners across the state through workshops, field days, farm tours, mentorships, media content, email resource communications and other learning opportunities.
Interested individuals who cannot attend this launch event on the 28th but would like to be involved with the Educator Network should contact [email protected]
Wisconsin Women in Conservation is planning a statewide Conservation Plan Webinar this winter, as well as six regional on-farm field days and 12 ‘learning circle’ events across the state in 2022, in addition to virtual events. WiWiC publishes a monthly e-newsletter, a Blog and Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram content. The group will launch a Listserv this fall. To stay informed of upcoming events, sign up for the e-newsletter at WiWiC.org.