Women who own or manage farmland in Wabash and Miami Counties are invited to a free conservation discussion and field tour on Thursday, Sept. 17 at Upper Wabash Interpretive Center, 3691 New Holland Road, Andrews, according to Tashina Lahr-Manifold, executive Director for Wabash County Soil and Water Conservation District (WCSWCD).

Coffee and registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Lunch will be provided, followed by an afternoon invasive plant ID and management tour. The program will end with refreshments at 3 p.m.

“We estimate that women now own or co-own between one-fourth and one-half of the farmland in the Midwest and they are very interested in farming practices that benefit the health of their land,” said Susi Stephan, program technician for the Wabash County Farm Service Agency. “Our goal is to connect these women with each other and with the resource professionals who can help them with their farmland management goals.”

Women4theLand meetings bring together landowners in an informal learning format for a women-only morning discussion followed by a more in-depth look at the characteristics of healthy soil and farming practices that promote it on a tour after lunch.

This year the topic will be “Enhance Your Land by Keeping it Native.” Female conservation professionals will be on hand to answer questions and share resources throughout the day.

“We continually hear from women how grateful they are for a women-only learning environment,” said Lahr-Manifold. “They tell us they can discuss issues they wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing up in any other setting.”

Lahr-Manifold said they were taking steps to ensure the health and safety of guests and employees

“All local and state health guidelines will be implemented. If you need special accommodations, please notify us when you RSVP. Feel free to bring a friend or family member, just let us know when you RSVP so we can have plenty of food,” said Lahr-Manifold.

The meeting is presented in partnership with Wabash and Miami County Soil & Water Conservation Districts; the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA); Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR); American Farmland Trust; the Women, Food and Agriculture Network; and Women4theLand.

Spots are limited. For more information, call the WCSWCD at 260-563-7486, ext. 3 or the Miami County Soil and Water Conservation District at 765-473-6753, ext. 3.