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Conference Name Women in Ag Programs for 21st Century Farms and Ranches

Beth Holtzman


The "21st Century Management: Enhancing Educational Programming for Beginning Farm and Ranch Women" project is developing resources and training for educators interested in improving, expanding and starting programs for beginning farm and ranch women.

Women are one of the fastest growing demographics in agriculture, but the increase in their numbers is accompanied by some significant challenges. More than 90% of women-operated farms reported sales and government payments of less than $50,000, and female operators do not apply for or utilize agricultural support programs as effectively as their male counterparts. The result is that many of these businesses do not survive the first five years.

This four-year project brings together a diverse, national team of educators, researchers and farmers to evaluate existing programs and curricula; identify gaps; and create a central repository where educators can access high quality, peer-reviewed curricula and training materials that match the learning needs of their women-in-agriculture audiences.

Funded by the USDA NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development (BFRDP) program, with additional support from the eXtension Foundation and Agribank, the project is organized around key topics of high importance to farm and ranch women, all of which have significant risk management dimensions. They are leadership and management; business scale and profitability; land access, transfer and stewardship; legal issues and farm safety, mechanization and ergonomics.

This poster, and supplementary hand-outs, will provide an overview of work accomplished over the first two years of the project, emphasizing tools, resources, curricula, and training opportunities educators can access to help deliver more engaging and effective programs for women farmers and ranchers.

Members of three of our content teams -- Scale and Profitability, Leadership, and Safety, Mechanization and Ergonomics -- are submitting proposals to deliver 30-minute presentations on curriculum and resources they developed in 2017. This poster will supplement those presentations, giving conference participants who did not attend the session to learn about the resources that are available, and for those who do attended those sessions to ask questions and share information with team members.