; Meeting the Learning Needs of Women Farmers: Three Best Practices | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Meeting the Learning Needs of Women Farmers: Three Best Practices

Alexandra Bell


Nationally, over 30% of farm owners are women. Compared to men, women farmers are more likely to be beginning farmers, have smaller and more diversified operations, work off-farm, and have more diverse production. These characteristics create unique risk management and learning needs among women in agriculture. Research from learning sciences indicates that additional factors impact women farmers’ learning needs. Specifically, compared to men, women tend to use more intuitive reasoning processes, see interconnections among disparate elements, have multiple major life roles, be more aware of others’ emotions, be less risk tolerant, and underperform when they perceive they are being gender stereotyped.

In this interactive session, participants will explore three different best practices for supporting learning, with special considerations for women farmers’ learning needs, which can be applied to any educational program. Each best practice is grounded in empirical research from neurosciences and social sciences. The best practices highlight the role of prior experience in learning, how underlying assumptions and beliefs can impact learning, and the value of letting learners work together to address genuine problems as a way to ensure learning will continue long after an educational event. Participants will have opportunities to share their own experiences and develop a plan to apply at least one best practice to their own educational context. “Take aways” will benefit all educators, particularly those who are grappling with ways to enhance their programs for women participants.