; Empowering Women Farmers in New Jersey and Turkey | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Empowering Women Farmers in New Jersey and Turkey

Robin Brumfield


Two Rutgers led projects, one local, the other international, share a common mission to recognize and develop the managerial and technical capacities of women farmers. Annie’s Project in New Jersey launched in February 2011 and is a nationally-acclaimed educational program dedicated to strengthening women´s roles in the ever-evolving agricultural sector. Inspired by the early success of this project, Rutgers University partnered with Akdeniz University in Antalya, Turkey to adapt the Annie’s Project model to develop Suzanne’s Project. This project provides specialized training in business management and production systems to help Turkish women farmers pursue opportunities to improve their farm businesses. Lessons learned from each program have been used to improve the other while adapting to local conditions. Unique characteristics that set Annie’s Project New Jersey and Suzanne’s Project apart from Annie Projects in other states are the focus on creating a farm business plan throughout the training, and the use of social media tools to assist participants in networking that is sustainable and interactive, long after the course is completed. Other unique features of the second year of Annie’s Project New Jersey are 1) the use of social media education and adoption for marketing and business development using a unique combination of in-person education and 2) distance learning opportunities to expand the audience within the program, and 3) recording the distance learning sessions for asynchronous education of participants and additional women farmers following the completion of the ‘live’ course. Unique features of Suzanne’s Project are training in computer literacy and technical production knowledge.