; Women in Agriculture: Educational Series in Farm Management | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Women in Agriculture: Educational Series in Farm Management

Kim Larson and Robin Reid


The share of United States farms operated by women nearly tripled over the past three decades, from 5 percent in 1978 to 13.7 percent by 2012, according to the most recent Census of Agriculture. Since 2012, the trend is certainly continuing. Women many times find themselves in farm management rolls with little training or background to be successful. The Women in Agriculture educational series is designed to provide information and training on a wide variety of farm management topics that are catered directly to farm women. The River Valley Extension District has built a highly successful program utilizing a committee of progressive agricultural women volunteers. Committee members take ownership of the programming, providing sustainability and community value. Local agricultural businesses have recognized the benefit of this program which is demonstrated by their monetary support exceeding $3,000 per year. The program is set up in a six session series that allows time for in-depth, hands-on training. Participants are provided a comfortable environment where they feel free to ask questions, learn critical skills, and network together. The program concludes by involving the entire farm family with a succession planning focus, acknowledging the fact that many farms will be transitioning operators in the next decade. The program is in its fourth year and has graduated 94 women. The impact of their increased management skills enhances the profitability of their operations, contributing to the vitality of this agricultural-based region as well as providing more sustainable food production in Kansas.