; Farm Service Agency Field Days for West Virginia Female Farmers | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Farm Service Agency Field Days for West Virginia Female Farmers

Lisa Lagana, Doolarie SIngh-Knights, Alexandria Smith, Jodi Richmond, and Brandy Brabham


This project targeted female and minority farmers in West Virginia to better equip them with the education, resources, and hands-on experience necessary to achieve a deeper understanding of FSA loan programs, and their relevance and application to small ruminant farms, small-scale poultry operations, and specialty crop farms of socially disadvantaged operators. This project also put $85,000 worth of enterprise-related tools and resources in the hands of participants to aid in their success.

Overall, thirty hands-on, field day workshops were held in fourteen regional areas of West Virginia for a total of 362 participants. Additional FSA programs, like the Livestock Indemnity Program, were introduced to participants and supplemented with printed reference materials and web resources, and through follow-up discussions with local FSA Coordinators.

As a result of this program, thirty socially disadvantaged farmer participants indicated their intent to apply for FSA Programs. Pre- and post-training surveys indicated an average 2-point increase in understanding of and ability to access FSA programs and in knowledge and skills related to small ruminants, small-scale poultry, and specialty crops.

Participants indicated through pre and post-surveys that they gained knowledge and confidence in each subject taught. Most participants also indicated that the programs increased their likelihood of participating in that enterprise. This program opened the door for many female farmers in WV to gain an introduction to the enterprise and to the FSA programs available to them.