Growing consumer demand for local products have led to new opportunities for WV agribusinesses. More female producers in WV are responding to these trends, but recognize that capitalizing on this market opportunity requires different skills-sets than do traditional production agriculture, and that marketing food directly opens the seller to unique business risks. Female agripreneurs face additional gender-specific challenges, namely: lack of appropriate farming experience and business-skills development opportunities; feeling isolated from other farmers and from educational networks; and gender-disadvantages in traditional agricultural circles. These challenges create significant barriers to success for women agripreneurs, compromising their economic viability and new market entry.
WVU Extension Service offered Annie’s Project to 325 participants from 2012-2014 in 18 locations, in response to an expressed need for risk-management education for female farmers to mitigate production, marketing, financial, legal, and human risks associated with marketing agricultural products. Participants learned how to evaluate expansion/diversification opportunities; tailor production and marketing plans to better meet demand; develop farm/food safety plans; conduct farm financial analyses; and develop beneficial alliances. The primary challenge was helping participants understand the interdependence and complementarity of these risk mitigation strategies.
This presentation reports our progress towards helping participants integrate these singular risk mitigation strategies into a holistic business-plan, using a simple and effective 5-Page Business Plan, designed for whole-farm planning and comprehensive risk-mitigation. This information can be used by other agricultural service providers to help their respective targeted audiences better realize the opportunities and potential payoffs from fully adopting a holistic risk management paradigm.
|Conference||2015 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|
|Presentation Type||30-Minute Concurrent|