Successful gathering in Cresco of Women Caring for the Land ...

A gathering of 25 farm ladies from a 75-mile radius around Cresco, from as far away as Preston, LeRoy and Houston, MN and Northwood and Waukon in Iowa, gathered Wednesday, October 23 for a Women Caring for the Land event that began with a Meet and Greet session serving coffee and donuts to allow the ladies to get acquainted. Event hostess Carol Dowe opened the meeting with thanks to the Lord and thanking CUSB Bank of Cresco for making its Grange Hall available for the event, as well as to the team of Sandy Good, Nancy Bolson, Mary Barth, Terry Falck and Lori Hageman, who all helped to put the event together. Each lady then introduced herself and described her farming setting and relationships.

Andrea Carroll and Joyce Scharnweber of Farm Service Agency (FSA) of Winneshiek and Howard Counties, respectively, provided a list of new farm programs with corresponding definitions, along with offering a question and answer period. Kathy Moen of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office in Cresco demonstrated the value of winter rye and long roots of alfalfa in holding soil. Marilyn Pecinovsky of Cresco wore her special Bee hat and also spoke on Beekeeping, describing how enzymes work to make Royal Jelly that is very beneficial, and how bees are such scientists and take care of each other.

Following lunch and more relationship building, featured speaker Kelly Kuennen, Caregiver Specialist of Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, addressed the stresses that farm ladies are handling, such as becoming a widow, caring for a loved one with disabilities and how to cope while farming too. A one-page assessment was used to determine stress levels of those in attendance, and there were about 25% going through very high stress. Kuennen said she is available for private visits, and she also facilitates Caregiver Support Groups in several area communities.

The next meeting of Women Caring for the Land is scheduled to be held at the Winneshiek Winery in Decorah in 2020 and will include a tour of Seedsavers Exchange. For more information about Women Caring for the Land, call Carol Dowe at 563-735-5688 (until November 20) and then at 250-752-2104, or email her at Submitted photo.

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