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  • Writer's pictureKriss Marion

Wisconsin Women in Conservation Week is July 10-16: Celebrate at a WiWiC Happy Hour near You!

Governor Tony Evers has proclaimed July 10-16 Wisconsin Women in Conservation Week, citing the growing influence of women owning and managing land in Wisconsin, as well as the historic contributions of women conservation professionals and educators. For the third year in a row, a coalition of agriculture and conservation organizations will commemorate the week with Conservation Educator Happy Hours across the state. These events are free and open to all conservation educators and allies - both professional and volunteer - who are interested in working with the growing population of women farmers and landowners. We sure hope to see you there!

These events are being hosted by Wisconsin Women in Conservation (WiWiC), a state-wide collaborative effort led by the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in partnership with Wisconsin Farmers Union, Renewing the Countryside, E Resources Group and Marbleseed (formerly MOSES) with support from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). RSVP to the Happy Hours is requested, to help us plan with seating, but not required. Each event features welcoming remarks from a leading local conservation educator to share perspectives and gratitude for this inspiring group.

“Conservation educators are providing support and assistance to landowners in many ways that NRCS cannot,” shares Melissa Bartz, Assistant State Conservationist-Financial Assistance Programs for NRCS, who will be giving the welcome at the July 12 event at Brix Cider in Mt. Horeb. “Providing these opportunities to landowners to make a deeper connection with their land is important to our NRCS mission.”

“Women landowners are a growing demographic. The 2017 Census recorded 38,509 female producers in Wisconsin, showing that women make up 35 percent of all producers in the state, which is slightly higher than the national average of 30 percent. That means women have more influence than ever over the future of land and water in Wisconsin, and we need to be intentional about reaching them with resources and support,” said Esther Shekinah, project lead for WiWiC, a research scientist at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute.

The proclamation reads, in part:

“Whereas; women landowners in Wisconsin understand the importance of collaborative conservation and are champions of conservation practices such as the utilization of cover crops and pollinator habitat, the protection of native species, and regenerative agriculture; and

Whereas; our state offers many resources and technical support for women landowners and landowners of all backgrounds, and especially those who are just beginning their conservation journey; and

Whereas; this week the state of Wisconsin joins women landowners and farmers across our state in celebrating the essential contributions they make to conservation and to the prosperity of our agricultural industry as a whole.

Wisconsin Women in Conservation Week Happy Hours

Monday, July 10, 5-7pm

Milwaukee at Alice’s Garden and Urban Farm, welcome remarks by founder Venice Williams and special guest, Una VanDuvall, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute Board Member.

Snacks provided and Spotted Cow beer provided through sponsorship by New Glarus Brewing Co.

Tuesday, July 11, 5-7pm

Amherst/Stevens Point at Central Waters Brewing Company, welcome remarks by Aaron Reser, Associate Director, Green Lands Blue Waters.

Pizza provided by Wisconsin Farmers Union.

Wednesday, July 12, 5-7pm

Mt. Horeb/Madison at Brix Cider, welcoming remarks by Melissa Bartz, Wisconsin NRCS, Assistant State Conservationist.

Thursday, July 13, 5-7pm

Eau Claire/Mondovi at Together Farms, welcoming remarks by Jennifer Roetter, Wisconsin NRCS, Resource Conservationist.

This event will run concurrently with Burger Night on the farm and the full menu will be available for purchase.

“Conservation, caretaking, and the nourishment of our body and souls are inextricably linked,” adds Kriss Marion, Communications Specialist for WiWiC. “These events celebrate the amazing work of conservation educators in empowering Wisconsin’s women land stewards, and gives them all a chance to network with others working nearby.”

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