Opportunities for Women Farmers and Non-Operator Farmland Owners

The Center for Rural Affairs works to support women who are aspiring, beginning, and already farming through a variety of program partnerships, workshops, and resources.

The Center, along with women farmer leaders, has co-led a series of women farmer learning circles on sustainable farming in a changing climate and conservation in several Nebraska locations. Since the late 1970s, the Center has led learning circles where participants are considered the "experts" on their own production, farmland and conservation needs, and are encouraged to speak about their own experiences and goals rather than passively listen to a professional in a traditional lecture format. The learning circle format builds knowledge, confidence and community around topics the group is most interested in exploring.

More than 50% of farmland in the U.S. is owned or co-owned by women. The Center has designed workshops and learning circles specifically for women non-operator farmland owners to assist them with connecting to resources that aren't reaching them. We have found through our decades of leading learning circles, that women prefer the intimate women-only setting our workshops provide. Whether the farmland was recently inherited, owned for years in a trust, or the land is going through a transition, these opportunities for women to connect with programs, resources, and one another have been considered very valuable to the women we serve as they face a variety of decisions and often rely on the advice of others. This well-intentioned advice may or may not be in the best interests of the landowner or the land itself. 

Frequently, Women, Food, and Agriculture Network has also partnered with the Center to bring Women Caring for the Land workshops to Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. These workshops help women farmers and non-operator landowners who are interested in learning more about conservation. The program is successful and popular among both women landowners and agency partners such as the Natural Resource Conservation Service and Natural Resource Districts.

New workshops are forming often, visit our events page to stay up to date.

Supporting women farmers and ranchers from Center for Rural Affairs on Vimeo.

Additional resources:

You can also contact Sandra Renner, sandrar@cfra.org, for more information.