In 2017, women own more than half of the land in Iowa, and more women are farming that land. The new book Women and the Land, written by Barbara Hall and photographed by Kathryn Gamble, details the historical relationship between the women and the land of Iowa. Hall discusses the inspiration for the book, which serendipitously comes from an Iowa Public Radio broadcast she heard in 2014.
"I remember being in my car, and I heard this story that close to 50 percent of Iowa farms were owned by women. And that just struck me, because I'm not a native Iowan, and I thought, 'What? I picture an old guy in overalls when I picture an Iowa farmer.' And I just had this spark of, I want to see them. I want to meet these women, and other people need to see them as well."
On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Hall and Gamble about their experience creating the book, as well as Iowa's rich history of women farmers over the years. Also joining the show are Suzan Erem, President and co-founder of the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust; Denise O’Brien of Rolling Acres Farm near Atlantic, IA; and Ellen Walsh Rossman of Rossman Farm near Harlan, IA.