Women and agriculture education: A framework for inclusion
The contributions of women have long been overlooked in agriculture, and women have been excluded from agriculture education. The primary purpose of this research project is to investigate why it is important to include women in agriculture education network programs. Recently, programs have been developed to meet the needs of farm women, and Annie’s Project is one program that targets women interested in business risk management knowledge and skills.
This research examines how Annie’s Project Level I course assists farm women and the outcomes of the course. Using a mixed methods approach of survey data and phone interviews, I examine the impact of Annie’s Project Level I as well as the roles of the participants on their farms. Primarily, the participants are fulfilling the traditionally, reproductive roles on their farms including bookkeeping and financial management. The need for more business management training for women is apparent as the contributions of women on farms becomes more visible. Finally, this research investigates whether Annie’s Project reinforces or challenges the ideal role of women in farming.
As farm women continue to occupy the reproductive sphere on family farms, the visibility of their work and the demand that they be taken seriously does challenge the ideal role of farm women. Programs such as Annie’s Project offer space for women to engage with other women, gain confidence to discuss their farms, and be taken seriously as farmers.