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'Women Caring for the Land' meeting July 19 in Glenwood, Minn.

GLENWOOD -- The next "Women Caring for the Land" meeting will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Sacred Heart Parish in Glenwood.

The series of meetings, which will continue into the fall, began May 17 and are co-sponsored by the Land Stewardship Project, Pope County Soil and Water Conservation District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Morris Wetland Management District and the Chippewa River Watershed Project.

The initial meeting was designed to encourage the women landowners to reflect on what they value about their connection to farmland and to voice their conservation goals, questions and concerns.

"Creating a safe environment for sharing -- an environment where there are no dumb questions, is a key feature of this meeting format. Judging by the lively and engaged discussions that happened throughout the day, we were able to achieve that level of safety and openness," said Julia Ahlers Ness of the Land Stewardship Project.

Another common theme that surfaced at the May 17 meeting was, "What should I be concerned about with regard to conservation and stewardship on my land? What practices support my values?"

This topic will be the major theme at Thursday's meeting, in which longtime conservation farmer and stewardship leader Audrey Arner of Moonstone Farm near Montevideo will be the guest speaker for the morning portion of the meeting.

There will also be a discussion on the connections between farm economics and stewardship. After a lunch featuring local foods, Pope County Soil and Water staff will lead a field tour of a local Pope County farm whose owners have incorporated a significant number of conservation practices into their operation.

This meeting is free and is open to all women who own farmland near Glenwood and surrounding areas. To register or for more information, contact Julia Ahlers Ness at 320-269-2105, ext. 16, or at