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Conference Name Heart of the Farm: Responding to the Risk Management Needs of Wisconsin Farm Women

Joy Kirkpatrick


Heart of the Farm is a risk management education program for Wisconsin farm women. It is organized and delivered by UW-Cooperative Extension and the UW Center for Dairy Profitability. The program began in 2002 and has reached approximately 1,000 women farmers over the past eight years. In 2009 there were six sites and seven one-day conferences. Each site’s agenda is developed locally, with the HOF’s mission and goal in mind: risk management education for improved decision-making, connecting farm women with agriculture resources, and providing networking opportunities. In 2008, 2009 and 2010 HOF was supported by a USDA RMA small session grant. In addition to this funding, collaborations with local ag lenders and the WMMB financially assisted the program. Evaluations are conducted at the end of each conference, and a follow up evaluation is used to measure behavior changes. In 2009, one local planning committee requested a presentation on planning for the loss of a spouse or farming partner. This 50 minute session was well attended and participants requested further information on the topic. In response the Heart of the Farm organizers collaborated with the Winnebago and Outagamie county Extension offices to provide a pilot program, "Planning for the Unexpected Tomorrow". This session will provide participants with the background, development, implementation, and impacts of the Heart of the Farm program in Wisconsin. This session will specifically discuss the agenda for "Planning for the Unexpected Tomorrow" and the impacts and future for this spin-off workshop of Heart of the Farm.

Presentation Materials