Getting Wisconsin women interested in conservation

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 6:27 PM CST
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ATHENS, Wis. (WSAW) - A new group called “Wisconsin Women in Conservation” (WiWiC) is trying to get more women interested in farming and land ownership.

Each year, there’s more women becoming involved in conservation and now one group is holding virtual events to draw in even more interested women from Marathon, Portage, Shawano, and other surrounding counties.

The Wisconsin Women in Conservation project is trying to open up more opportunities for women to make some resource connections and learn about conservation.

“I’m really excited about this project,” WiWiC Regional Coordinator Kirsten Slaughter said. “Women learn best from other women and with other women and so that is really a goal of this project is to bring women together so they can share their experiences, learn from each other in a really collaborative approach.”

The program is a three-year project, it’s funded by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the idea to create the program came up within the last few months.

“Conservation is so important and I’m excited to learn from other women farmers and landowners,” Slaughter said.

Slaughter hopes women will learn about new and different conservation strategies from mentors, which will be a duty of WiWiC Coach, Stacey Botsford.

“I feel like it’s very rare that you have the opportunity to talk about something you’re super passionate about to an audience that’s willing to listen,” Botsford said.

Botsford has owned Red Door Family Farm for eight years, she believes the role of women in conservation will continue to grow.

“More women are becoming landowners, more women are becoming farmers, or at least having a greater role on the farm,” Botsford said.

Participants will also have the chance to get advice and assistance from experts in the field.

Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist Carissa Freeh said growing diversity is essential.

“It’s just going to bring so many new perspectives and experiences to the table to create a better future for conservation in our wildlands in Wisconsin,” Freeh said.

The first virtual event will take place Wednesday, March 3 and the next one will be on April 7, both are scheduled from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Be sure to follow the link to register for the virtual Zoom events.

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