Female landowners in Iowa have helped develop a new booklet that will give women guidance in managing wildlife and hunting on their farmland.
The Women, Food and Agriculture Network held three focus groups in early 2013 with female landowners in Indianola, Perry and Williamsburg, Iowa, who were asked to examine a variety of print pieces about conservation. Their input helped the WFAN develop “Wildlife on Your Land,” an 8-page booklet containing information on managing wildlife and hunting written in clear, simple language with photos and stories of women landowners who are engaged in wildlife and habitat management on their farms.
“We have been meeting with women landowners for more than a decade, and questions about how to handle requests from hunters, and how to manage both desirable and undesirable wildlife comes up at almost every gathering,” says Leigh Adcock, WFAN executive director.
The goal of the project is to increase and improve wildlife and hunting management practices on Iowa’s private land by creating an outreach program specifically for women landowners. WFAN held peer-to-peer meetings with landowners in Chariton, Harlan and Edgewood, Iowa, in early 2012, as well, and their discussions were used to inform development of a wildlife and hunting communication piece directed at women landowners.
WFAN’s program for women landowners, Women Caring for the Land, brings together women in informal peer-to-peer meetings in various locations across the state to discuss various conservation and land management topics. The hunting and wildlife meetings and the information booklet that arose from them were funded by a grant from Iowa’s Resource Enhancement and Protection Conservation Education Program.
A variety of resources and agencies are included in the booklet, as well. The booklet is available here as a free PDF download or in print form at women-landowner meetings. Click here for a calendar of upcoming meetings.
The material WFAN developed is also included as an additional activity in the curriculum guide for organizations wanting to hold women-landowner conservation meetings. The book, “Women Caring for the Land: Improving Conservation Outreach to Female Non-operator Farmland Owners,” is available as a free PDF download, as well, or may be purchased as a hard copy for $35 (WFAN, 2012, 96 pp.)
“We know from our work that most women respond to different images and messages in conservation outreach than men,” Adcock says. “We believe more women will become active conservation partners when we meet their needs with meetings and outreach materials designed specifically for them.”
WFAN is a nonprofit, educational organization formed in 1997 to provide networking, information and leadership development opportunities to women involved in all aspects of sustainable agriculture.