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New program looks to empower and support women in farming and land management

The program is meant to promote stewardship through workshops, mentorships, and summits.
Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 5:33 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A new program has launched to support and serve the growing number of female farmers and women managing land in Wisconsin. It’s called Wisconsin Women in Conservation, which is a three-year program led by groups like the Wisconsin Farmers Union. It is funded by the state office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

“I think we have some slowing down, some observation skills, and really that caring part, where we care for the land, and we’re not out just to make the highest profit per acre that we can, there’s other values that women have,” said Valerie Dantoin, a farmer herself and a Conservation Coach with the Wisconsin Women in Conservation.

The program is meant to promote stewardship through workshops, mentorships, and summits. For now, meetings are virtual.

“There’s been studies that women learn best with other women, and from other women, and so these events will be an opportunity for just that to happen,” said Kirsten Slaughter, the Northwest Regional Coordinator for the Wisconsin Women in Conservation.

According to the USDA’s 2017 Census of Agriculture, 35% of Wisconsin’s producers are women, which is a 16% increase from the previous survey in 2012.

The network for female farmers and land managers is a space for empowerment and growth.

“We want to create a space where women can hear from other women, in spaces of collaboration and sharing and I think that is really important about these spaces, and women have found it really valuable,” said Slaughter.

As a conservation coach Dantoin said her tip is to go slow, learn from mistakes, and talk to other women who have had success in the industry.

“This program is going to give you visuals and you can come and see farms that are doing conservation work, and work that’s done by women,” said Dantoin.

For more information on the program, click here.

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