Clark BreDahl and Timothy Eggers
As farming operations continue to expand and become more complex, another more subtle trend is taking place in modern agriculture: women, increasingly, are being called upon to make more of the farm management decisions. Besides a growing number of sole proprietorships run by women, other contributing factors include inheritance of farmland by women, business partnerships with a spouse or other relative, and employment in various ag-related fields.
Forty-four women from Ringgold and Taylor counties in southwest Iowa attended an Iowa State University Extension educational workshop held in conjunction with a new USDA-sponsored outreach program, Women, Land and Legacy. The April 16 program, presented by Field Economist, Tim Eggers, focused on improving participants’ knowledge of trends in farmland values, leasing options, calculating cash rental rates, and maintaining leasing relationships. In small groups participants discussed how they determined a fair cash rental rate.
Timing of the meeting was crucial as soaring commodity prices and input costs created a volatile business environment. Joy Goins, who farms near Diagonal with her husband, Jim, said she especially appreciated the fact that each woman, regardless of previous management experience, was given an opportunity to investigate all of the farm rental options individually. “Mr. Eggers took the time to apply the materials to each person’s situation,” Goins said. “He took some concepts that seemed pretty hard in the beginning and made them easy to understand. We definitely took home some valuable information.”
Women, Land and Legacy is a program designed to help women in rural areas identify agricultural issues, educational needs and information sources that are important to them. It’s sponsored by USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in cooperation with ISU Extension, other state and federal agencies and local organizations.
“Mr. Eggers took the time to apply the materials to each person’s situation. He took some concepts that seemed pretty hard in the beginning and made them easy to understand. We definitely took home some valuable information.” - Joy Goins, Ringgold County
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