; Empowering Wisconsin’s Women in Agriculture | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Empowering Wisconsin’s Women in Agriculture

Katie Wantoch


Women are one of the fastest-growing groups of farmers. In Wisconsin, female producers are involved with 36,227 farms and operate 6.7 million acres of land (2017 Census of Agriculture). Over 9,000 women indicated they are new and beginning farmers, with nine percent of these farmers age 35 or younger.

Wisconsin’s women farmers continue to experience a roller coaster effect in the agriculture industry due to various challenges resulting from variability of markets, prices of inputs, and new technologies and practices affecting both yield and quality. These issues have caused significant farm financial and business stress that has contributed to farmers re-evaluating their financial situation and future business plans. This has resulted in renewed interest in topics of risk management, business transition and/or succession, and/or revenue stream diversification to reduce income variability of the farm business.

The 2024 Wisconsin Women in Agriculture Conference was a two-day event tailored to empower and educate women in the diverse field of agriculture. This event focused on leveraging existing Extension relationships to develop a statewide conference that addressed the most important issues facing early career and beginning women farmers. Through workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities, attendees gained valuable insights, enhanced their risk management skills, and elevated their roles as successful ag professionals. The conference showcased agricultural speakers, offered evening entertainment, and provided a platform for connecting with fellow participants, sponsors, and agricultural organizations.

All attendees agreed the 2024 event was valuable and would recommend the event to other women farmers. As a result of participating in the WI Women in Agriculture conference, all participants have or will be assessing their farm’s financial situation, refining their tax plan, and identifying suitable tax planning options for their farming operation.