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2017 Crop Production

2017 State Winner

Women on the Farm Workshop

North Dakota State University Extension Service

Lindy Berg

Educational Objectives

Farm-related educational opportunities for women have been trending on social media. Women have always served a vital role in North Dakota farms, but some were looking to expand their purpose and gain a better understanding of the everyday problems and solutions for the business. They were seeking additional experience and education to become successful. The Towner County Advisory Board confirmed this trend and Agent Berg collaborated with the Soil Conservation District and the Precision Ag Center to create, “Women on the Farm Workshop”.

Program Activities

This curriculum was designed to be delivered by Extension personnel and local educators/experts to address many topics on the farm. These included, but were not limited to: equipment, tillage practices, soil temperatures and planting dates, a trip to the parts store, chemical uses, precision agriculture., fertilizer, and weed identification. This workshop was held over two nights, each lasting three and a half hours.

Teaching Methods

This workshop provided interactive lecture using jeopardy, hands on demonstration with live weeds and weed guide, a tour through the precision ag. center to look at equipment, and a combine simulator to allow the women to make mistakes without getting yelled at by their partner or spouse on the farm. The participants were given a portfolio with important documents, online tools, and recommended phone apps to organize and keep track of equipment/parts. They really enjoyed these resources to refer back to.

Results

The workshop initiation was in 2016 and was delivered to 25 women total. 31% of participants were between the age of 21-25, 13% between 26-30, 31% between 31-40, and 44% were above the age of 41. We noticed how dedicated these women were when 67% of them traveled up to 40 miles to attend the workshop. 61% of the women said that they came to the workshop because they simply wanted to learn about farming.

Impact Statement

Due to the Women on the Farm Workshop, increased farming knowledge and succession planning for rural North Dakota women will lead to a more stable economy with continued local employment and sustainable agriculture to meet the world demand for commodities.

Evaluation

Participants were given an evaluation before and after each session as well as a follow-up six months after the workshop. A total of ten survey respondents indicated the following impacts:

  • 62% increased their knowledge level in tillage practices
  • 85% increased their knowledge level in weed identification
  • 90% said they are likely to adopt new practices

Six month follow up survey impacts:

  • 100% of the six month evaluations received showed improvement on terms and weed identification.
  • 100% said the workshop was useful
  • 100% said the handouts/resources were useful

The participants stated:

  • “I feel more comfortable with the tillage equipment names.”
  • “I enjoyed the fact that I can have better conversations with the farmer in my house now!” 

After six months one participant stated:

  • “It was nice to go home and be knowledgeable with my fiancé. He was very impressed with what I had learned. I feel more confident. It’s not always easy being a woman on the farm. We are eager learners.”

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