The Pennsylvania Women’s Agricultural Network is developing new educational efforts to link new and beginning women farmers with experienced women farmers. Our efforts focus on meeting the expressed educational needs of new and beginning women farmers and supporting the development of networks through which new and beginning women farmers can gain technical information, business collaboration, and social support. In this presentation, we discuss the findings of our research on the educational needs of women farmers. We also discuss our four new initiatives for educational programs for and with women farmers. First, we are developing on-farm, hands-on, and participatory educational events for new and beginning farmers focused in three areas: business planning and marketing; sustainable production practices and value-added processing; and stewardship of air, land and water resources. Second, we are developing interactive on-line curriculum in the three focus areas, illustrated and supported by examples from the project’s educational events, as well as creating “virtual learning communities” related to the event topics. Third, we are building the mentoring capacity of regional leaders to strengthen networks between experienced and new and beginning farmers, and to facilitate the development of local mentoring relationships. Finally, to create a long-term sustainable educational network for women farmers, we are enhancing partnerships with non-governmental and governmental organizations to deliver educational programs and enhance information access for new and beginning farmers into the future.
|Conference||2010 National Women in Agriculture Educators Conference|
|Presentation Type||30-Minute Concurrent|