MT. MORRIS, N.Y. — More than one million women now operate American farms, as a growing number of women inherit, start or take charge of working farms every day. Research shows that many women farmers and landowners have a strong conservation and stewardship ethic, but face gender-related barriers to managing their land for long-term sustainability.
To reach the growing number of women landowners interested in farming practices that benefit the health of their land, American Farmland Trust (AFT) is partnering with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s (CCE) Northwest New York team to offer learning circles for women to learn and engage with other women in a relaxed, non-judgmental setting. The upcoming learning circle on January 25, 2018, ‘Conservation Values – Your Land is Your Legacy,’ will explore how women can set goals for their land that reflect their values. Topics will include land transfer, succession, estate planning and how to find professionals that can help implement a long-term plan for the land.
Joan Sinclair Petzen, a CCE extension educator and learning circle organizer, has received many inquiries from widows and family members who have inherited land throughout her 34 years at CCE. “People want to be fair, and they want to have their land cared for,” Joan says. “We want women landowners to get a realistic vison of what their land is capable of, and to feel comfortable approaching and talking with farmers who rent their land.”
During the learning circles, women share stories and relate their experiences partnering with farmers in ways that are mutually beneficial. This may include longer-term lease arrangements that give farmers more security, and implementing conservation practices that improve the health of the soil and protect water quality.
WHEN: January 25, 2018, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Livingston County Center for Emergency Operations and Training, 3360 Gypsy Rd., Mt. Morris, NY 14510
Women landowners interested in participating in the upcoming learning circle can register at www.farmland.org/women-for-the-land-calendar or contact Joan Sinclair Petzen at Cornell Cooperative Extension, firstname.lastname@example.org, 585-786-2251, Ext 122.
The Conservation Values Learning Circle is offered as part of Great Lakes Conservation Connect, a project partnership between American Farmland Trust, Cornell Cooperative Extension Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team and the Wood Soil and Water Conservation District.
New York Women’s Learning Circles are supported by the Great Lakes Protection Fund.
About American Farmland Trust:
American Farmland Trust is the only national conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since 1980 American Farmland Trust has helped to permanently protect more than five million acres of farm and ranch land. Learn more at: www.farmland.org.
–American Farmland Trust