Something new in the field of agriculture took place recently in Peshtigo that we believe deserves to be recognized by all citizens and all levels of occupation.

An event branded, “Women Caring for the Land,” was held July 8 at Pape Family Pastures in Peshtigo. The event formally was known as the “Queen Bee” event. Now in its third year, the Women Caring for the Land activity was open to women landowners, women farmers and women interested in conservation. Its theme was the importance of cover, whether through rotational grazing, cover crops or pollinator plantings.

Event leaders used the Women Caring for the Land curriculum that was developed by the Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) for their programs held around the country, giving women an opportunity to attend sessions adapted from the curriculum right in their backyard. The project was co-hosted by the Oconto-Marinette County Farm Service Agency, Pheasants Forever and Wisconsin Farmers Union.

Pape Family Pastures — the host farm — is a husband-wife team of Aaron and Erin Pape. The couple started the farm in 2016. They had no farming experience and were guided by the principles of soil health and Aldo Leopold’s essay “The Good Oak.” The couple raises pastured beef, pigs and chickens.

Resource professionals representing the Farm Service Agency, Pheasants Forever, Farmers Union, UW Extension, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Land and Water Conservation Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service participated in the session.

Farming has had its challenges in recent decades. It’s good to see the professional resource people attached to the various organizations and agencies supporting farmers who are active in promoting and enhancing the occupation of agriculture.

Women play a vital role in agriculture. a role that is sometimes overlooked. This newspaper has been a strong proponent of the farm community since its founding nearly 150 years ago. The farmer, like the commercial fishermen, fur trader and lumberjack, was among the early settlers on the shores of Green Bay and the Menominee River and fanned out to form the rural life that is so cherished today.

The early-day farmer knew how to overcome adversity, which helped build the M&M area into a productive and profitable region for farm communities to develop.

We believe the Women Caring for the Land organization will help keep farming alive and active in our area.