Group helps women connect to conservation programs
A group is helping more women find and use USDA conservation resources.
Chris Marion says Women in Conservation is a collaboration between Wisconsin Farmers Union, the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Renewing Countryside, and Marbleseed to help connect women to USDA programs and services, where women have not been their typical customers. “Things with women farmers and landowners have really shifted in the past couple of years. Now in Wisconsin, 35% of operators say they’re women, the primary farm operators. That’s a big change.”
Marion says women have always been involved in farming operations, but maybe haven’t held leadership roles or have not been taken seriously by agencies. She says that’s why Women in Conservation works to connect women to resources and to each other. “We have a lot of field days in the summer. We do learning-circle kind of relationship-focused activities in the spring and the fall. We’re on Facebook, Instagram, and we have a podcast, but the main thing we’re doing is trying to make it comfortable for women to ask questions.” Marion says going through the “alphabet soup” of USDA programs can be a difficult process, and they can help.
Marion spoke to Brownfield during the Wisconsin Farmers Union Summer Conference Friday.
Audio: Chris Marion discusses Women in Conservation with Brownfield’s Larry Lee.