Neighbor to Neighbor | Women for the Land + Learning Circles for Women Nonoperating Landowners

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women looking at soil quality

In Livingston County, Illinois, 70-75% of farmland is leased—well above upper Midwest state averages of 40-55%—and a large percentage of landowners are female. Becky Taylor leads learning circles there for women landowners, often heirs of local farm families who want to be good land stewards but haven’t previously been responsible for farming decisions, don’t feel comfortable at local farm events, and are not aware of resources available to improve the land.

In this edition of Fishers & Farmers, Neighbor to Neighbor Livingston County Soil & Water Conservation District technician Becky Taylor tells how the learning circles work, and how they impact participants and the land. And Gabrielle McNally, director of American Farmland Trust’s Women for the Land program, shares how she is working with local partners to expand learning circles nationwide and meet the needs of new and beginning female farmers.