; Landowners and Farmers Partnering for Clean Water in the Great Lakes | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Landowners and Farmers Partnering for Clean Water in the Great Lakes

Joan Petzen


The overarching goal of the project is to expand the use of conservation practices that improve soil health and reduce run-off on leased farmland in the Great Lakes region.

Specifically, the project seeks to help women non-operating landowners who rent out their land—and the farmers who lease farmland from them—to increase their use of conservation practices. The project focuses on these women landowners because they now own a significant portion of leased farmland in the Great Lakes Region.

The multi-facetted project will:

Launch a communications campaign to improve awareness of the importance of leased land for agriculture and water quality protection

Create a toolkit of informational materials.

Empower women landowners and farmers to develop stronger relationships that accelerate the adoption of conservation practices

Involve the agricultural retailer community in providing support and encouragement

Engage and train state and local agency and non-government organization staff to start forming supporting infrastructures that expand outreach and education

Cornell Cooperative Extension facilitates learning circles for women landowners about conservation and leasing practices and connects with farmers to help them refine their skills for communicating how production practices impact land.

Early evaluations indicate women landowners gained confidence to help them manage their land and communicate with their farm operator. We learned stewardship is important to women landowners. They are hungry for information to understand farming practices and develop fair rental contracts. Farm operators want to build long-term working relationships with landowners to secure their working land base.