According to the 2002 Ag Census, there was a 22% increase in the number of women principal operators of farms in Ohio from 1997 to 2002. This accounts for 7660 women operators. While Ohio offers many agricultural programs for farmers, farm women are not usually targeted and many times are intimidated or are an afterthought at meetings. The statistics, current interest and lack of programming for women showed that it was time to start addressing the needs of Ohio women involved in agriculture.
Women in Agriculture conferences and Annie’s Project addressed the issues of family and business communication, financial management, marketing, legal risk, health and wellness, and farm safety. The programs also introduced women to the vast selection of resources available to assist producers to help improve their businesses and families.
From a long running Women in Ag Program, in Wood County an interest was developed to expand educational opportunities that were more in-depth. As a result, farm couple educational tours were planned and conducted and Annie’s Project was piloted in 2006 in two Ohio counties. The programming has benefited over 2,000 women and also brought together private industry and Extension Educators from across program areas and across the state. These efforts have enabled Ohio to become part of a larger Women in Agriculture movement helping to expand our programming efforts.
Evaluations have been conducted to support each of the programs. The results and impacts on farm families will be shared. The results have shown a need for continued educational efforts for this underserved population.
|Conference||2008 National Women in Agriculture Educators Conference|