caring for the land

Pheasants Forever is bringing its Women Caring for the Land event to Alexander July 14. The event is outdoors, which will allow for social distancing. Hand sanitizer and masks will be available.

Bringing women together over the land they love creates an energy and a momentum that often surprises Cayla Bendel, Education & Outreach Program Coordinator with Pheasants Forever.

Bendel is bringing Pheasants Forever’s Women Caring for the Land Workshop to the region on July 14 at the Rider Ranch, located at 13975 45th St. NW, in Alexander. The event will be outside, and will observe COVID-19 etiquette, including social distancing, hand sanitizer and masks, and other protocols to mitigate risks.

Hosts Melissa Jed and Katie Rider will talk about the practices they are using on their ranch to not only improve their operation, but restore soil health and wildlife habitat through grassland restoration and grazing rotations.

There will also be a soil health pasture walk, as well as dinner complete with wine, all for just $10.

The real kicker, Bendel said, happens at the very beginning of the event, though, and lasts long after the event is over.

“There is a learning circle we will do at the beginning,” she said, describing it as an around-the-room introduction of Pheasants Forever and what they want to accomplish, as well as an introduction of each of the participants and their operations.

“It’s just really interesting how much that sets the tone for the rest of the event,” Bendel said. “The women feel more comfortable asking questions, especially if someone else is struggling with the same management issue. They just kind of connect to similar things they have going on with their land, and it builds that foundation for after the event.”

After the event, Bendel said participants have accessed a network of people with similar interests in caring for the land. They have then begun to develop a network of others to talk to about issues related to caring for the land.

“It’s an opportunity for women to get some connections, and learn alternatives to managing their land,” Bendel said. “Our stake in it is that I do select landowners who are doing really good things for soil health, water quality and wildlife habitat.”

Participation in the event is limited to the first 20 women. You can RSVP by Wednesday, July 8, by calling Bendel at 701-498-2920 or email her at

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