The UMN Women in Ag Network was founded in 2015 as a collaboration between the University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota's Farm Service Agency. The Network provides educational opportunities and events that enhance leadership, management and production skills for women working in agriculture. Our goal is to connect women to relevant, research-based education and to each other.
A needs assessment was conducted July through September of 2020, to ensure that the UMN Women in Ag Network is best meets the needs of our members and Minnesota women in agriculture. The assessment was distributed through our Facebook page, newsletters, and with the help of members from the Ag Advisory Committee. In total, 85 women completed the survey with a wide array of production areas, ages, and geographical locations. All survey responses were anonymous.
In this session, we will discuss the results of the needs assessment to highlight the continual need for women-centric programming. Along with sharing six years of feedback from network members about desired areas for further education and top concerns. We will also analyze results from these women's self-ranked proficiencies among twenty common farm tasks. We will detail how these low self-rankings damage women's self-perceptions as competent agriculturalists. Lastly, we will shed light on which resources (FSA, Extension, Farm organizations) women in agriculture have used in the past two years and the effectiveness of these resources. Overall, the survey results and this session will emphasize the evolving needs of women in agriculture, how farm women's needs are unique, and the critical role that female agricultural programming plays in educating and serving the growing demographic of female farmers.
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