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Conference Name Reaching Underserved Audiences: The Living and Working on the Land Project

John P. Hewlett


As an audience, women, Native Americans, and new and small producers rarely have an opportunity to gather together. The Living and Working on the Land: The Building Blocks of Success project was an unexpectedly successful effort to provide information resources to these audiences and increase cross-audience interaction. The envisioned aim was to assist these audiences in gaining a better understanding of the risks they face and to become more knowledgeable about alternatives available for management in western agriculture using a multidimensional approach. Realized aims accomplished these, and went further. A high profile conference provided a venue for networking and plenary and concurrent sessions (featuring nationally prominent speakers to the predominately Wyoming audience as well as topics aimed at increasing the operation of sustainable enterprises). Further information provided via statewide print distribution and web-based recorded video and a self-study course on enterprise management provided other tangible effort-specific outputs.

The outcomes so far have included cadres of motivated resource managers with a widened view of enterprise possibilities and improved management skills. Additionally they more aware of other underserved audiences and of universities and other agencies and organizations as information providers (an accomplishment given that many participants were not aware of the capabilities of the organizing/presenting organizations. Naturally, a broad coalition planned the efforts. This project was supported by the USDA RMA.