Women who own or manage farmland in Benton and surrounding counties are invited to participate in a free discussion focused on soil health on Wednesday, June 1st at the Nature Center, 5718 20th Avenue Dr. Vinton, Iowa. The program, sponsored by Women, Food and Agriculture Network and coordinated by your local Benton County Conservation Board and NRCS, is called Women Caring for the LandSM. If you know of a friend or family member who might benefit from attending, please share this information with her.

Maintaining healthy soil is the key to productivity and environmental health for our farmland. Are you interested in preserving Iowa’s soil and improving water quality? Women landowners who attend this meeting will learn to assess and improve the health of their soils and water through practices such as the use of cover crops and other conservation initiatives.

Registration, coffee and resource sharing start at 8:30, with the meeting beginning promptly at 9 a.m. Lunch is provided, and during an afternoon field tour participants will travel to a nearby farm to observe simple soil tests. We will discuss differences in soil structure, stability and infiltration. There will be a short walk into a field, so please wear or bring appropriate clothing and footwear. We will return to the Nature Center for dessert and wrap-up, and end the meeting by 3 p.m.

Nearly half the farmland in Iowa is currently owned or co-owned by women. Women Caring for the LandSM 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….”

There is a limited amount of space available. In order for us to have the right amount of food, please RSVP by 4 p.m. Friday May 27h, to Karen, at the Nature Center, KPhelps@bentoncountyparks.com-319-472-4942 or 319-560-9809 (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. If you need physical accommodations, let Karen know.