Growing demand for local products creates new market opportunities for WV agribusinesses. More small-scale, female farm owners/operators in WV have responded to these trends by producing consumer-ready products on sustainable, multi-functional, non-commodity type farms. However, producing and selling value-added items requires different skills-sets than does traditional production agriculture and direct-marketing opens the seller to unique business risks. These female agripreneurs face additional gender-specific challenges, namely: lack of appropriate farming experience and business skills development opportunities; feeling isolated from other farmers and from needed information and educational networks; and discrimination in traditional agricultural circles. These challenges create significant barriers to success for women agripreneurs.
A holistic risk-management educational program was developed for WV women in agriculture to provide training in business planning, record keeping, financial analysis, and farm and food safety, and to provide coaching/mentoring assistance and networking/partnering opportunities designed to increase the number of women leading profitable agribusinesses in WV. Education methodologies employed were based on gender-specific preferred learning styles – providing simple, user-friendly information in a participatory, conversational setting; educational activities involving exchange of ideas with peers; and training opportunities promoting interaction and communication.
This presentation reports progress towards program objectives garnered through pre- and post-evaluations comparisons. Results will include farm multifunctional activities; farming goals; change in risk-management knowledge, skill and attitudes; and risk management strategy adoption. We conclude by identifying the primary issues limiting adoption of risk management strategies that, if properly addressed, could help our target audience better realize potential payoffs from fully adopting a risk management paradigm.
|Conference||2013 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|
|Presentation Type||30-Minute Concurrent|