Women Caring for the Land: Improving Conservation Outreach to Female Non-Operator Farmland Owners Curriculum Manual

Created with SARE support
Jean Eells, Leigh Adcock | 2012 | 90 pages

The percentage of women who are sole landowners is rising. Many women express strong conservation values in meetings and surveys but are often unsure of how to turn those values into action as they have not been involved in farm management decisions in the past.

Women farmland owners are a vital segment of the conservation partnership across the country. According to Women Caring for the Land, if Midwestern conservation partners can more effectively serve this segment of landowners before the land transitions again over the next decade, the positive impact on our land, water, and air will be tremendous.

With the help of an NCR-SARE Research and Education Grant and funding from other sources, WFAN developed an award-winning curriculum called Women Caring for the LandSM (WCL), which is designed to serve female non-operator landowners who are interested in learning more about conservation and other land management topics. The materials are also appropriate to teach youth about sustainable agriculture through hands-on conservation activity lesson plans:

  • Activity 1: Women, Wildflowers and Wildlife
  • Activity 2: Measuring and Evaluating Crop Residue
  • Activity 3: Saving Our Soils
  • Activity 4: “Sowing” Your Farmland Quilt
  • Activity 5: Kitchen Test for Your Soil Structure
  • Activity 6: No-Till Benefits Below the Surface
  • Activity 7: Picturing Our Connections to the Land
  • Activity 8: Edible Aquifer
  • Activity 9: Your Quality-of-Life Values and Your Land
  • Activity 10: Mapping Our Connections
  • Activity 11: Managing Wildlife and Hunting Rights
  • Activity 12: A Soil Health Check-Up

This curriculum manual provides a number of conservation demonstration activities, which range from very simple to more complex, both in concept and execution, including cover crops. It describes various elements of the Women Caring for the Land learning circles methodology, and provides conservation educational activities designed for women landowners, which any agency or non-profit may use in whole or in part to improve their conservation outreach to women farmland owners.

Want more information? See the related SARE grant:

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.