Women in Ag Talk Conservation

As ag land values and commodity prices go up, conservation is a conversation more groups are having.

The Center for Rural Affairs used a group discussion in Burwell on Wednesday to talk about programs and practices with one specific group.

"Landownership among women is increasing and there's more women farmers than ever before and so we think it's an identified need that we want to help fill," says Traci Bruckner, Assistant Director for Rural Policy Programs at the Center for Rural Affairs.

The nearly twenty women in attendance got a first hand look at practices the Natural Resources Conservation Service says improves soil structure and quality. Officials say they want to arm women with the latest information.

"I want them in my office, I want to talk to them, I want to see what they're doing," says Sabrina Negus, an Information and Education Specialist with the NRCS and Lower Elkhorn NRD. "I think it's important that they know we're out there for them, and that they do have a support network, and that they can talk to other people."

The Center for Rural Affairs says that women own about a third of Nebraska farmland, and they believe that those women are committed to conserving land and resources, so they used Wednesday's meeting to help them achieve those goals.

"Men don't think that they understand agriculture and what's happening and I think it's exactly the opposite - women definitely understand and they certainly have a great stewardship ethic that they want to embrace," says Bruckner.

Alexandra McClanahan Shively, one of the meeting attendees, is a farmer from Orchard and says workshops like this are a good way to ask questions and find information.

"I also feel that a number of these government programs are very helpful and so when I heard that it was for women to get together, I wanted to attend because I think women work really well together," she says.

Shively says being able to share the kind of organic farming she does with others and learn what they're doing is an added bonus too.

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