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Women in Agriculture NTW Un-Conferencing Session April 2, 2014 – Lexington, Kentucky Leilani Carlson- Maine AgrAbility University of Maine Cooperative.

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Presentation on theme: "Women in Agriculture NTW Un-Conferencing Session April 2, 2014 – Lexington, Kentucky Leilani Carlson- Maine AgrAbility University of Maine Cooperative."— Presentation transcript:

1 Women in Agriculture NTW Un-Conferencing Session April 2, 2014 – Lexington, Kentucky Leilani Carlson- Maine AgrAbility University of Maine Cooperative Extension

2 Unconferencing Principal …the sum of the expertise of the people in the audience is greater than the sum of the people up front…

3 Goals Enhance the ability of AgrAbility service providers to help women succeed in agriculture Identify the unique issues, opportunities and needs of women in agriculture Develop action items to incorporate this new knowledge into our work

4 Women in Agriculture – USDA (April 2013) U.S. farms operated by women increased ~3x in past 30 years: principal operator is responsible for most day to day operations # of women farmers increased in all sales classes –Most are small farms (<$10k) –5% women operated farms were >$100k –Almost 50% were grazing livestock –Most $ generated by farms specializing in poultry, specialty crops, grains or dairy. # of women farmers (primary + secondary) increases the number women farmers to 1M (30% of all US farmers)

5 For discussion How are women involved on the farm What are the needs What are the unique issues How do women learn information Strategies to reach women farmers

6 Goals Enhance the ability of AgrAbility service providers to help women succeed in agriculture Identify the unique issues, opportunities and needs of women in agriculture Develop action items to incorporate this new knowledge into our work

7 How are women involved on the farm? Wide variety of farm tasks and decision making activities –Care for livestock * –Plow, disk, plant, harvest crops * –Apply pesticides, fertilizers, etc –Fieldwork without machinery –Purchase major farm supplies –Supervise family members –Market products * * -women who do not work off the farm are 2x more likely to do these tasks

8 What are the needs? What is the level of experience Family responsibilities Technical / equipment knowledge Equipment operation Working with local government Labor management Increasing productivity/ fertility

9 Unique issues Women not taken as seriously as men Isolation from other women famers/farmers Need for child care Lack of family support for role in managing farm Lack of computer knowledge Women not welcome in many ag groups Lack of farm background Lack of internet/ access

10 How do they learn? Hands-on Interactive Networking Peer teaching Prefer designated women events Prefer weekday, daytime

11 Strategies to reach women farmers Make person contact to show you take them seriously Provide workshops, interactive, hands-on events Put some focus on women only events, with focus on new/beginning farmers Recognize barriers for women – discrimination by other farms and ag service providers Create networking opportunities for women farmers, ag service providers and educators.

12 Strategies to reach women farmers Offer educational opportunities in multiple formats ( web, class, farm) Hold events on women-owned farms Invite women farmers to speak or participate on panels, plan events or serve on advisory groups LISTEN to what women farmers say

13 From ME SARE event Use equal opportunity language Ask about farm partners during farm visits Make a concerted effort to reach and include women farmers –Advertise in areas women are likely to see –Provide childcare so both partners can attend –Find out the times that work for women farmers Listen more, talk less –What are their key issues –Ask to identify what they are doing well – successes –Listen attentively and remember Acknowledge women partners at awards and recognition events

14 From ME SARE event Offer programming specific to women Pursue female experts and guest speakers In workshops, offer topics that appeal to women (retail or marketing) Know your women farmers in your service area Tone down technical speak as needed Connect with your WAgN

15 Resources https://extension.umd.edu/womeninag a=home&subject=oued&topic=ops-wnhttp://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?are a=home&subject=oued&topic=ops-wn


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