Production risk management is a challenging task to undertake with the diversity of West Virginia farming operations. Through Annie’s Project evaluations WV have documented over 18 different farm enterprises that female producers are actively involved in managing. Female operators had the opportunity to engage in peer to peer production risk management education through farm tours offered at the Annual Women in Agriculture Conference in 2014 and 2015. Increased participation from 70 female operators in 2014 to 118 in 2015 showed the value and need for peer to peer learning. Participants in the tours gained skills in enterprise specific operations. In 2014 the farm tour consisted of the following operations: small ruminant, purebred beef cattle, vegetable and season extension, viticulture and agritourism. The farm tours covered different areas of risk management dealing with, breeding, lambing, kidding, calving, forage management, and disease and pest control, employee management, and liability concerns. Participants toured livestock working facilities, pastures, lambing and kidding sheds, high tunnels and planting and harvesting equipment. The 2015 the farm tour took participants to higher elevations where they toured a sheep and cattle grazing operation on the Eastern Continental Divide, a farm market specializing in locally grown and raised products within 150 miles, and a brewery using local products such as honey to make craft beers. The information and peer to peer interaction that participants gained on the farm tours can be utilized across the nation to teach women producers about production risk mitigation.
|Conference||2016 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|
|Presentation Type||30-Minute Concurrent|