Spring 2016: E-Newsletter

The Conservation Cultivator

Welcome to the first edition of our quarterly Women in Ag Newsletter Soil Sisters: Conservation Harvest, focused on women farmland owners, women farmers, and those devoted to the conservation of our farmland!

Please encourage your friends and colleagues to join the list. Remember, we'll just send out quarterly emails like this one, and we will not sell or share your email address. Enjoy!

Caring for our Lands


What does the word “conservation” mean to you?  For me it conjures up the idea of protecting and restoring our natural areas, farmland and even urban yards.  It speaks to the idea of sustainability and passing along to future generations.  Healthy soil and water are some of the results of employing conservation practices on the land and will be areas of focus for this column.  How do we create these results?  This is a big topic and there is much going on in Minnesota and other places.  Some things that are “trending” right now are buffers, sustainable and organic farming, nitrogen pollution of our waters both above and below ground, soil health and cover crops, to name a few.  Over the course of these newsletters we’ll explore different topics and provide resources to learn more.
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Conservation Expert Profile


Sue Glende is a District Conservationist, or DC for short, with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) serving Winona County in southeast Minnesota. Renewing the Countryside had the opportunity to work with Sue during a Women Caring for the Land workshop in the fall of 2015.

As a DC Sue’s work includes a wide range of activities ranging from providing information, design resources and technical know-how on conservation programs, providing financial assistance to implement these actions, helping landowners establish wildlife cover, and working on projects that help landowners conserve energy and improve air quality. Being the person leading the office there are management duties as well. he NRCS staff at Sue’s office works hard to provide these conservation planning and implementation resources to those who need it. They routinely have 20 – 30 new contracts annually for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). To do this work well requires a lot of one-on-one time with landowners and producers to help get funding applications processed and practices installed. The variety of the work keeps her coming back as she notes that “No day is the same. Each farm and landowner is different with its own opportunities and challenges.”
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Farmer Profile: Q & A with Kathy Zeman


“If it ain’t simple, we can’t do it,” shares Kathy Zeman with a smile about her 20-acre diversified organic operation she’s been running as a solo woman farmer for the past 10 years. 
While her farm business approach of simplicity adds up to her success, Kathy’s vision for the future of our food system and landscape is far from minimal.  Blending farming moxie with a mission to leave this world a better place, Kathy brings drive and dedication to everything she cultivates, from raising her free range chickens to improving state policy via her hat managing the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association.
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Leadership Opportunity


With Earth Day coming up  I’ve been thinking a lot about actions people take to improve the environment. The list is long and runs the gamut from picking up trash, to planting rain gardens, to attending rallies to advocate for changes to laws, to countless other options.  Any action to make our world a healthier, cleaner more sustainable place is good.  With this year being an election year there is another opportunity to protect and improve our soil and water that most people have never heard of but is very important; it’s being a Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Supervisor.
Read more 

Recipe Corner

Cucumber Buttermilk Soup and Mess o' Beans - And learn about the amazing women farmers who love them! 

Upcoming Events
Women Caring for the Land Workshops

May 11th

10 AM - 4 PM

Windom Community Center
1750 Cottonwood Lake Drive
Windom, MN 56101

May 24th

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Riverside Town and Country Club
36259 150th Street
Blue Earth, MN  56013

May 25th

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Dakota Extension and Conservation Center
4100 220th St. West
Farmington, MN 55024

Thanks for keeping in touch!

Jan, Beth, Lisa, and Grace

Renewing the Countryside


Renewing the Countryside

2637 27th Ave S, Suite 17, Minneapolis, MN 55406
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