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Researcher Seeking Women Farm Land Owners for Focus Group

July 21, 2014

From our friends at Renewing The Countryside:

Peggy Petrzelka, a rural sociologist and associate professor at Utah State University, is travelling the country to gather informationFarmland from women farmland owners who lease their land to others to farm. If you are a woman landowner who leases land and would like to participate in the focus group please RSVP to Jan Joannides at or 612-251-7304.

The focus group will take place at:

Zumbrota Public Library, 100 West Ave, Zumbrota, MN 55992
Friday, July 25, 2014
10 am to 1 pm

(A complimentary light lunch will be served and mileage reimbursement will be provided.)

On Friday, July 25, Dr. Peggy Petrzelka will be in Zumbrota, MN to hold a focus group with women landowners. The meeting is part of a project to learn more about the issues that women landowners face nationwide and is sponsored by the American Farmland Trust and Utah State University and coordinated locally by Renewing the Countryside, with support from The McKnight Foundation and the Woman, Food and Agriculture Network.

“We know very little about this group of agricultural landowners, yet, know in some areas of the country their numbers are growing (in Iowa, for example, 48% of the agricultural land is owned by women, either as sole or co-owners),” says Peggy Petrzelka. “These numbers are expected to rise over the coming decade as the women inherit land from their parents or become sole owners if their husbands die before them.”

The focus group will include testing a draft survey that will eventually be sent to women landowners nationwide and discussing any issues/concerns women landowners have regarding their land and their interest in conservation practices. Woman will be asked to share their reactions to survey questions such as the regional appropriateness of the questions, length, confusing questions, questions which we need to be asking, etc. so the project can be improved.

The end product of this research will be recommendations to federal and state agencies to help them be more responsive to this subset of farmland owners

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