; Cultivating Ohio Women in Agriculture Programs | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Cultivating Ohio Women in Agriculture Programs

Beth Scheckelhoff, Emily Adams, Nanette Neal, and Heather Neikirk


Female farm operators make up 28% of agricultural producers in Ohio and are involved in the production and sale of a diverse array of commodity and specialty crops. The Ohio Women in Agriculture Learning Network (OWIALN) was developed in 2014 by the Ohio Women in Agriculture (WIA) Team to extend learning, create confidence, and cultivate connections among women interested in food, agriculture, natural resources and small business. Modeled after eXtension’s WIA Learning Network, the OWIALN aims to provide women with research-based educational and mentoring opportunities. Extension professionals involved with OWIALN collaborate with other WIA organizations to develop and deliver risk management educational programs addressing financial, production, marketing, legal and human resource topics, among others at the local, regional and state level. These efforts have enabled the Ohio WIA Team to expand its outreach, and identify additional creative approaches to meet the growing needs of WIA clientele. Two successful WIA outreach programs will be discussed. 1.) The East Ohio WIA Conference was developed in 2014 for women operators in 7 of the 19 Ohio counties with > 500 women farm operators. This one-day annual conference features break-out sessions focusing on risk management topics, the role of mentoring, and a youth track that encourages high school students to learn alongside adult participants. 2.) Growing the Knowledge, Skills, and Success of Farm Women tailors Annie’s Project and Managing for Today and Tomorrow programs to specialty crops producers by incorporating direct marketing, produce safety, social media and retail topics into the curriculum.