‘Women, Livestock, and the Land’ Adds Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia
JACKSON, MS – Women who are beginning sustainable livestock operations in five Gulf-region states will soon have the chance to join a program that can provide them with trusted technical assistance and connect them with a growing national network of their peers.
The program, “Women, Livestock, and the Land,” (WLL) aims to help farmers and ranchers from historically underserved, limited resource, or socially disadvantaged backgrounds start their livestock operations on the right foot. They will learn information and skills to improve the sustainability and profitability of their farms, including goal setting, soil health, regenerative grazing, animal handling, health, equipment and tools, and direct marketing. It is sponsored by the USDA through its Grazing Land Conservation Initiative.
Participating in “Women, Livestock, and the Land” also gives them an opportunity to connect with mentors and newly formed, regionally focused peer-to-peer networks.
The pilot project was offered in Arkansas and Tennessee, and it will now be expanded to include farmers and ranchers in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia.
Applications for “Women, Livestock, and the Land” opened December 19, 2023, and will end on April 30, 2024. To apply for the program, click here.
Past participants in the WLL program stated that this educational opportunity was highly beneficial to them as beginning farmers. “This course was a total game changer for me as I am very new to farming,” one participant wrote in her final review. Another shared, “This course has enlightened me on the community of women in farming.” A third woman said the course “definitely gave me more of an idea of things to be aware of, how to make connections, and some amazing resources! It also provided tons of moral support because of the time with like-minded women farmers!”
NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialist Linda Coffey, who led the first WLL trainings, was inspired by the cohort of women farmers she worked with. “This has been the best project I’ve done in my 20+ years with NCAT. The women were so supportive of each other, so eager to learn, so hard-working, and so positive. Everybody in the group had something to contribute. It was really fun and really impactful.
I’m glad it is continuing in more states. Women in agriculture working together is so powerful. It has been thought of as a male-dominated occupation, but I think women make great farmers. They are intuitive, observant, and hard-working.”
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) began “Women, Livestock, and the Land,” as a pilot program in 2022. NCAT is excited to partner with Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) in this project expansion. The program is also supported by Alabama A&M and JG Research & Evaluation, which is based in Bozeman, Mont.