Small ruminant production holds significant potential for increasing the productivity and profitability of small family farms. The small size and docility of small ruminants, low capital investment, and lower investment risk make small ruminants ideally suited for beginning farmers and women. Almost 1/3 of small ruminant producers in WV are women, and previous surveys have indicated that they enter small ruminant production at a faster rate than their male counterparts. However, little data exist on the producer demographics, production characteristics, marketing practices, and sources of information used to modify management decisions of female small ruminant producers.
Our current study was designed to determine the characteristics of female small ruminant producers, their level of adoption of newer technology and management practices, their level of willingness to expand, and factors affecting their decision to expand their operations. Additionally, the study evaluated the management practices adopted, the marketing systems utilized, and the sources of information used to inform their management decisions. The results of the study would be used to better inform extension intervention as it relates to the skills and knowledge that needs to be improved and the extension delivery medium through which information, knowledge, and skill development might be best impacted. Additionally, the results of this study can be used to inform strategic partnerships and collaborations as it relates to making entrance into small ruminant production more attractive and convenient for women practitioners.
|Conference||2014 Women in Agriculture Educators National Conference|