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  • Women Attending WCL Meetings Are Taking Conservation Action! – WFAN
    MO IL and IN A USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant funded 40 of these meetings the Iowa Department of Land Stewardship Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality funded 12 in Iowa and a USDA SARE Professional Development grant funded 9 in Missouri Wisconsin and Minnesota Female non operator farmland owners spent six hours together at each meeting beginning with a learning circle discussion on the basics of soil health and soil testing facilitated by female resource professionals The group then took a guided field tour At the end of the day women were asked to fill out an evaluation form to measure their increase in confidence and knowledge as a result of the program and provide some basic demographic data A few highlights are listed below for the full report click this link Total of 762 women landowner attendees 735 forms returned Total of 194 632 acres owned by 635 participants 100 participants didn t own land directly Average of 307 acres among women landowner participants across all 7 states Measure of expectations met 1 5 point scale 4 6 Satisfaction with content 1 5 point scale 4 6 Between 92 and 98 percent of the repondents were very

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/women-attending-wcl-meetings-are-taking-conservation-action/?full-site=false (2016-04-30)
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  • Leading Permaculture Educator to Keynote WFAN Conference – WFAN
    and Permaculture Making a Living in Harmony with the Land Permaculture is defined in several ways Karryn s definition is this An ethical design system for meeting human needs while regenerating the ecosystems in which we are embedded Karryn began studying permaculture in 1997 and is a lead permaculture teacher and founding board member for the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute She also teaches sustainability related courses at Ithaca College Conference coordinator Leigh Adcock said We re excited to welcome Karryn as our keynote speaker because of her combination of deep knowledge of permaculture principles and passion for empowering women as leaders in the movement Karryn wrote this article in 2013 for Permaculture Activist Magazine A Pattern Language for Women in Permaculture Here is a blog post from her website Women Rocking Permaculture Karryn has designed home permaculture systems and public use permaculture gardens that serve as demonstration sites working both with individuals and multiple stakeholders A proponent of developing the business case for permaculture she incorporates strategic planning into the design process aiming to obtain a financial yield from aesthetic ecological designs Karryn lived and worked in Europe Africa and India before settling with her multi cultural family in an

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/leader-in-permaculture-and-womens-leadership-to-keynote-wfan-conference/?full-site=false (2016-04-30)
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  • Leading at the County Level: Interview with Crystal McIntyre – WFAN
    basically promote myself which was a hurdle I had not considered before took on the hours of a full time job But once I was committed to running I did not even glance back Crystal on the site of a bridge replacement project in Warren County IA 4 What were your biggest challenges in running for election Where to start What to do first when there were 10 different things you could focus on that day and do all of it on a very limited budget I think running a household a farm or your own business you face the same challenges only now you have primaries and general elections as deadlines Do you feel any of them are specific to women Women in any field have to prove themselves like everyone else I experienced this in the Army in working and even at home on the farm I may be tiny but I m strong I d say when someone doubted I could drive the equipment or lift something heavy The district in my county that I ran for was ¾ of our county area and mostly rural consequently door knocking was a real test of endurance Instead of walking to each door I had to drive and these were gravel roads mostly which had not been maintained very well at that point Being a woman driving these back roads some that I was not familiar with knocking on a door in the middle of nowhere not knowing who or what would answer being invited in and taken on tours of their barns and other prized possessions was a treat at the time but looking back I can see the risks I had a wonderful girlfriend who became my driver so I did not have to go it alone most of the time I would highly recommend always having a buddy 5 How did you overcome these challenges and what did that teach you My biggest challenge came from those who were already in office Our county has a three member board of supervisors and the person I would eventually replace was not running again That previous board however had made some serious mistakes which made the news and resulted in a lawsuit against them During the primary I found out that my opponent had been handed picked by the other board members So I made my campaign about how he would definitely keep things status quo which would be a problem What was I to do after I beat him Well I actually liked my opponent in the general election so I made the campaign from that point about the current remaining members It worked beautifully until I won the election and realized now I have to work with these guys They really made it tough on me at first as my preference is to be inclusive and kind What was a girl to do Well patience paid off because about four months in I caught them up

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/leading-at-the-county-level-interview-with-crystal-mcintyre/?full-site=false (2016-04-30)
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  • Harvesting Our Potential Mentees: Where Are They Now? – WFAN
    hoping to bridge my agricultural passions with my educational interests perhaps as an academic advisor for the agriculture school here who knows Thank you again for the opportunity with WFAN I still remain in contact with Carmen and Laura and miss Iowa dearly Skylar Falter 2014 Mentor Ruth Chantry Common Good Farm Raymond NE I currently work at an organic certification agency called OneCert Inc that certifies farms and food businesses as USDA organic This year I also launched an urban farming business in Lincoln NE With my farming partner I am leasing urban land from a hospital in Lincoln to grow vegetables for the hospital cafeteria and the community Samantha Christiansen 2012 Mentor Charuth Loth ShadowBrook Farm Dutch Girl Creamery Lincoln NE Hi I appreciated the chance to intern on a dairy farm it was a valuable experience My daughter enjoyed the experience as well I am now working as a Engine Room Operator at a refrigeration facility Again I cannot thank you and WFAN for the valuable experiences I gained during my internship Laura Kington 2015 Mentor Susan Jutz Local Harvest CSA Solon IA Since my mentorship program I have been working as a program assistant for the Ohio farm to school program through Ohio State Extension I also work as a field organizer with Real Food Challenge Caithlin Palmer 2015 Mentor Shanen Ebersole Ebersole Cattle Company Kellerton IA I m still farming with my husband We re expanding our beef and sheep herds this year Maja Black 2014 Mentor Susan Jutz Local Harvest CSA Solon IA I am still going to school at Carleton College where I will graduate this June with a B A in American Studies Following graduation I plan on joining my sister Carmen on her farm and eventually pursuing a career in an environmental or educational related field Milli Zonarich 2015 Mentor Alice McGary Mustard Seed Community Farm Ames IA Since ending my internship with Alice at Mustard Seed I haven t really done anything related to agriculture aside from helping my family buy seeds for a backyard garden The goal is to get them set up with some perennial crops and I wouldn t have really considered trying that with them if it weren t for my experiences with MSCF so that s something I wish I were doing something more with plants right now because since coming off the farm I ve really missed it Kathleen Thompson 2015 Mentor Julie Slocum Lacewing Acres Ames IA I am still studying at a graduate student at Iowa State University in the Department of Ecology Evolution and Organismal Biology studying lichenizing fungi After spending a season working on a farm I plan to make sustainable and local agriculture much more of a priority in my life whether that be through my time work words or dollar Bonnie Barnett 2014 Mentor Julie Donaghy Broadhorn Farm Truro IA As of right now I am still a student in school majoring in web development I have added

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/harvesting-our-potential-mentees-where-are-they-now/?full-site=false (2016-04-30)
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  • Walking the Path Together, When It Matters Most – WFAN
    1981 before desktop computers even existed She graduated in spring of 1982 and worked at two part time well paying jobs one with Minnegasco now Excel Energy and the second with Thrift Trading Company both in downtown Minneapolis However after nearly two years Mairi was tired of staring at a green screen all day and not even knowing what the weather was like outside When her uncle who was a semi retired crop farmer near Hamel MN offered her the chance to care take his farm while he needed to be away for six months Mairi jumped at the opportunity During that time I read the book Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton and that really sparked my feelings of Why am I not living on the land pursuing the things I really love to do She scraped together her savings and a s During that time I read the book Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton and that really sparked my feelings of Why am I not living on the land pursuing the things I really love to do Mairi had recently made friends with a woman on a recent Everglades canoe trip who shared a similar farm dream So together they decided to pool their resources and make their dream come true After all Mairi was now 31 years old and ready to put down some roots So began a search for fertile farmland in Minnesota Mairi had enough savings plus a small inheritance from her mother to contribute to this project Her friend was counting on proceeds from the sale of a home in Florida They acted on some good advice from Mairi s uncle and made up separate lists of what was priority to each of them in a piece of land This was before the days of real estate being listed on the Internet The two beginning farmers logged many miles on the road together and six months of searching Then Mairi s uncle told them to look at 40 farms first He said Even if you think you find the right place on the first try DON T BUY IT The more places you look at the more your vision will gain clarity and your priorities may have to adjust But pretty soon he said when you see the right place you ll know it It was a useful process because we both had a few differing priorities but still a similar vision Mairi said When we realized any farmland available on water let alone a canoe able river was way out of our reach monetarily we lowered that priority A lake or rivers nearby would have to suffice Other criteria included soil type useable buildings and a home they could move into right away The search led them finally to the 20 acre homestead near Kenyon that became Dancing Winds They loved the high quality soil on the 10 tillable acres the windbreak the proximity to a small farming community It

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/walking-the-path-together-when-it-matters-most/?full-site=false (2016-04-30)
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  • Women Caring for the Land and Women, Land & Legacy: Two Outreach Programs, One Goal – WFAN
    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

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/women-caring-for-the-land-and-women-land-legacy-two-outreach-programs-one-goal/?full-site=false (2016-04-30)
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  • The Power of Women’s Leadership – WFAN
    expertise literally fill in the blank I am an expert in because everyone is an expert in something Even you dear Reader The skills and experience in the room were amazing farmers and students and landowners and non profit employees The eco feminism workshop at the 2015 WFAN annual conference was standing room only A few of the women talked about holding elected office and I was really intrigued by their stories about the challenges of serving on all male boards and about the need to encourage women to run for office One woman talked about how she facilitated the creation of a community of women in agriculture in her area via the great Midwestern tradition of potlucks Many of the invaluable friendships that developed through these potlucks wouldn t have existed otherwise I was heartened by each woman s insistence on the importance of community building We next heard the story of the Hmong American Farmers Association HAFA It was great to learn about an awesome Midwest organization that supports farmers of color I also had very little prior exposure to the history of the Hmong people in the US and was grateful to learn more Mo Vue below left representing HAFA had lots of awesome advice around how to understand and work in a community We talked about how to establish good communication and clear expectations when entering partnerships with other organizations which are important skills in both non profit work and in holding an elected office Mo Vue of HAFA Mo also described to us the key things to think about when mapping a community what are its boundaries its hopes its members its institutions its gatekeepers its struggles The value of a community map wasn t immediately clear to me aren t all those things obvious

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/the-power-of-womens-leadership/ (2016-04-30)
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  • 2016 Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up Open until March 31 – WFAN
    In order for producers to enroll in CSP under its existing structure ranking process and current conservation activities they must apply before the March 31 deadline Once a farmer or rancher s initial application is accepted by NRCS they are then scored based on current and planned future conservation activities If applicants meet acceptable conservation levels they become eligible to compete in a ranking process that determines who will receive contracts NRCS works down through the list of eligible applicants until acreage allocated to the particular state for that particular year runs out 2012 Contracts Up for Renewal March 31 is also the deadline for CSP contract holders who enrolled in 2012 to renew CSP contracts last for five years and can be renewed for an additional five years extending and building upon their previous conservation efforts and current level of stewardship Existing CSP contracts enrolled in 2012 will expire later this year if they are not renewed by March 31 Producers should act now to ensure a seamless transition into another five year contract and avoid any lapse in payments Approximately 12 million acres and 8 000 contracts are up for renewal this year Click here to see the number of contracts and acres set to expire in each state The map below shows the total number of acres that were originally enrolled in 2012 which are set to expire at the end of the year if not renewed before March 31 Acreage up for renewal by state Credit USDA In 2014 and 2015 approximately 75 percent of expiring CSP acres were renewed in the program and we at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition NSAC hope to see renewal rates that meet or exceed the first two re enrollment periods Producers should be receiving a letter from their local NRCS office very soon about the opportunity to renew your contract for another five year period Renewal applications must also be received by March 31 to ensure a seamless transition into their next contract without a lapse in payments More Acreage to be Enrolled in 2016 Compared to 2015 NRCS is able to enroll an additional 2 3 million acres in the program this year which covers nearly all 10 million acres dictated by the 2014 Farm Bill Nearly full funding is possible because CSP was not limited through the annual appropriations process In the past few years these cuts have reduced CSP acreage levels but thankfully there are no cuts this year This year s increased funding for the program is a significant opportunity to better meet the high demand from eligible CSP applicants which continues to exceed available funding As a result of this year s funding increase we expect that approximately 2 000 more producers will be able to enroll in CSP compared to last year s levels Combined with the more than 12 million acres that are up for renewal the 2016 sign up window has direct implications for more than 20 million acres of land

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/2016-conservation-stewardship-program-sign-up-open-until-march-31/ (2016-04-30)
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