New Spouses Program Offered at the National No-Till Conference
Historically, the National No-Till Conference has always offered a Spouses Program, usually comprised of activities to highlight all the host city has to offer. These events often included cooking classes, shopping trips, or other events. However, in recent years many women who’ve participated in the program have expressed a desire to diversify their experiences with more agriculture and conservation–based activities. The need for education on conservation practices and an understanding of agriculture practices is becoming more important— especially for women.
After years of attending the conference as a participant, I never really gave much thought to the Spouses Program. Last year, though, it was brought to my attention that those participating in the Spouse Program were looking for something different. Some chose to attend seminars at the conference but found those to be too advanced, while others weren’t sure where to start but knew they wanted to learn more. I decided to contact some of the conference’s leaders and organizers and suggested the Women for the Land learning circle model. They were ecstatic to get something like this into the conference.
This year the conference will hold a Women for the Land soil health learning circle. The future of agriculture is increasingly female with nearly one million women farm operators and over half-a-million additional women landowners who lease their land to farmers. I am excited about this new addition to the Spouses Program because it brings the importance and enthusiasm of women’s role in agriculture to a national stage.
The women’s-only learning circle session will be repeated twice on Jan. 8, with an opportunity to learn about soil health. Some really engaging demonstrations will be presented such as a desktop rainfall simulator and a slake test. These two sessions are free to conference attendees, and I encourage those who are attending to register for the conference and view the program agenda for more information.
I have been hosting Women for the Land learning circles in many areas throughout the state of Ohio, and it is amazing to see the success of these learning circles make their way into such a large space. I hope that all those who attend will gain knowledge in agriculture they have been seeking for and more.