Women in Agriculture
WVU Extension is growing an inclusive network of empowered women who can skillfully manage finances, production and technology for their farms.
West Virginia Annie’s Project program fosters problem solving, record keeping, and decision-making skills in women in agriculture, to help them build sustainable, viable and profitable agribusinesses.
2023 West Virginia Women in Agriculture Conference
The annual West Virginia Women in Agriculture Conference provides research-based and practical educational opportunities for agribusiness women while fostering networking and leadership development. Workshops focus on the five areas of risk management and production enterprises. Farm tours highlight successful operations and provide opportunities for participants to learn from other’s experiences. The conference rotates annually to demonstrate the diversity of agricultural enterprises throughout West Virginia.
Join Us for This Year's Conference!
Canaan Valley Resort & Conference Center
Davis, West Virginia
Registration is NOW OPEN. Click the button below to find all registration details and secure your spot at the conference. We can't wait to see you there!
To learn more about what will be offered at this year's conference, check out the full schedule below!
To reserve a room for the conference, you can book with Canaan Valley Resort directly by clicking on the link below or calling 304-866-4121, option 1.
Refer to the following group code when booking: 1033Z2
Thank You to Our Sponsors!
Women in Agriculture Newsletter
Each winter, WVU Extension brings education, know-how and research right to your community through a series of educational dinner meetings. This year, we're offering a mix of virtual and in-person meeting opportunities across West Virginia for the 2023 agriculture education series!
Participants have the same opportunity to learn from WVU Extension specialists and industry experts about relevant topics to help you improve your own agricultural operations.
In 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released expanded guidelines
that, once fully implemented, will require prescriptions from a veterinarian to
obtain medically important antimicrobial livestock medications that were
previously available over-the-counter.
To help producers navigate these new changes and understand how it affects their livestock operations, WVU Extension is hosting an interactive webinar session featuring expert guests from West Virginia University and the University of California, Davis.
Ben Goff, WVU Extension Agent in Mason and Putnam counties, offers recommendations for landowners and tenants who want to prepare for the upcoming farming season and work to minimize their respective risks.
Goff covers a variety of tips for farmers and landowners regarding farm leases, including:
The fall 2021 WVU Extension BQA trainings will focus on topics including:
The Pasture Management Certificate Training is offered as part of Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College Agricultural Innovation Workforce Trainings & Certifications.
Instructed by Kevin Shaffer, Ed Rayburn and Ben Goff from WVU Extension, this certification will teach farmers how they can improve sustainability to their operation by improving their pasture management so there is more available forage year-round.
Join us and our special guests every Friday at 10 a.m., for Mountaineer Farm Talk! Learn, share, laugh and enjoy a cup of cowboy coffee (or herbal tea for non-coffee drinkers). We encourage audience participation so have your questions ready.
Meeting ID: 989 9130 7779O or call 888-475-4499 and 877-853-5257 US Toll-free.
Join WVU Extension and industry experts for an educational series on small ruminant production in West Virginia!
Guard Dog Management in Small Ruminant Production
Join WVU Extension agents and specialists for a spring webinar series to get ready for the 2021 farmers market season!
WVU Extension has teamed up with University of Maryland and Penn State Extension to provide a webinar on the production of hemp for fiber and seed production.
The webinar presentation will be available on three different dates to allow participants with ample opportunity to join: March 15 at 10 a.m., March 22 at 1 p.m. and March 29 at 7 p.m.
You're invited to join us for a four-week webinar series to learn more about how to manage the day- to-day stress of rural life.
Rural Resiliency: Caring for You and Yours
You're invited to join us for a fun webinar series where you'll learn everything you need to know about getting your garden ready for the season! You'll have the opportunity to learn from a variety of WVU Extension agents and specialists each week.
Online Pesticide Recertification Training videos are now available through our
WVU Extension Online Learning Community
Due to the video nature of these programs, quality internet is highly recommended. If this is an issue for you, please reach out to Karen Cox for assistance.
Each winter, WVU Extension brings education, know-how and research right to your community through a series of educational dinner meetings. Though we couldn’t gather in person this year, those across West Virginia joined us virtually for the 2021 agriculture webinar series!
Participants had the same opportunity to learn from WVU Extension specialists and industry experts about relevant topics to help you improve your own agricultural operations.
West Virginia producers, gardeners and service providers are invited to join other Mid-Ohio Valley producers for AgZoom Thursdays at 6 p.m. This series uses a virtual platform known as Zoom to deliver educational content for producers and pesticide applicator credits as well as other continuing education credits (CEUs).
The schedule, speakers and topics are as follows:
WVU Extension, Northeast SARE and the West Virginia Agritourism Initiative have partnered to bring you the West Virginia Agritourism Classroom on Wheels bus tour. Join us on a tour through West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky to learn about best practices in agritourism and direct marketing.
This tour is for aspiring, beginning and mid-level agritourism and farm-based education operators. The stops on this tour will give you a first-hand perspective of how successful operations combine agriculture, education, entertainment and economics on their operations to improve their profitability and cash flow positions.
The course is for growers and processors who manufacture, process, pack, hold, or import human foods and would like to understand and establish a Recall Plan. This is an integral of food safety compliance. Learn the difference between traceability and a recall plan. Participants will learn about recall definitions, establishing a recall team, recall plan elements, communication, working with regulators, handling returned product, and more. Participants will also receive a recall plan template.
In February 2019, all states were notified that the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services is changing the Scrapie tag protocol for sheep and goat producers.
APHIS will provide up to 80 free plastic flock ID tags to producers who have not previously obtained free tags from the USDA and will continue to provide free metal tags to markets and dealers through September 30, 2020.
Farming and agribusiness are deeply rooted in our West Virginia communities. In addition to the services and resources provided by WVU Extension, there are a number of organizations and resources to help grow, expand and assist your business.
WVU Extension is proud to support our farmers and agribusiness owners through education, outreach and face-to-face interaction. Through partnerships and collaboration, we offer courses, training and other information to help you and your business be successful, while staying up to date on the latest policy and business news for the agricultural community.
Food safety is serious business. And while growers are responding to consumer demand for more local, distinct foods, the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR) is going to be a game changer in terms of how we will be growing produce in West Virginia. The FSMA puts greater emphasis on preventing food-borne illness from farm to table. The reasoning is simple: the better the food system handles producing, processing, transporting and preparing foods, the safer our food supply will be. With an average of 48 million (one in six Americans) getting sick, and 3,000 Americans dying from food-borne diseases annually, the FDA is clear about one thing - to keep consumers safe, the food industry needs to shift its focus from reactive to preventive. Every year, 12.3 percent of all food safety outbreaks are traced to fresh produce, and two percent are traced to practices on farms – that’s 960,000 illnesses per year traced to on-farm practices or conditions (Family.farmed.org).
Understanding the difference between GAPs certification and the PSR will be essential for growers. Simply put, GAPs are a voluntary food safety program driven by buyers’ requirements, whereas the PSR is law. The FSMA’s PSR establishes, for the first time, science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption, which some produce growers must adhere to. The PSR does not require a food safety plan, while GAPs certification does. Even if a farm is FSMA compliant, chances are a buyer maintaining higher food safety standards will require farms to have a third-party GAPs certification in order to sell to them. Buyers strictly define their requirements, so it is best to identify the buyer and know what their standards are before undergoing a GAPs audit. Contact Dee Singh-Knights for additional documentation regarding this topic.
By: Dee Singh-Knights, Ph.D., WVU Extension Specialist – Agribusiness Economics and Management, West Virginia University Extension Service Agriculture and Natural Resources
More and more producers, especially women, are recognizing the opportunities inherent in agritourism and farm-based education. They see it as an extended growing season, where visitors yearning for fresh recreational, educational and social experiences, are ripe for the picking.
By: Alexandria Smith, WVU Extension Agent, Hampshire and Hardy counties
Farming is a risky business. We hear it over and over again when talking to our peers about our plans to farm.
By: Brandy Brabham, WVU Roane County Extension Agent
The last month provided a lot of temperature extremes. While plans for the 2018 garden season should be taking shape by now, a good production risk management strategy is to consult notes from last year as a starting point. What areas were planted with what plant families and varieties and what areas should be rotated to a different crop this year? If this is a first year for production or notes are incomplete, plan organization strategies to make this year’s records provide the detail needed for next year’s planting.
Women in Ag Facts
According to the Census of Agriculture, published by the National Agricultural Statistics Service in 2017, here are facts about women farmers in West Virginia that may surprise you.
35.2% of WV farms
35.2% of West Virginia farms are operated by women.
Farm 1,042,313 acres
Women farmers operate 1,042,313 acres in West Virginia.
Average size 125 acres
The average farm size primarily operated by a woman in West Virginia is 125 acres.
West Virginia women farmers sold more than $202 million in products in 2017.
$51M in crops
Crop sales totaled $51 million in 2017 for West Virginia women farmers.
$151M in livestock
Livestock sales totaled $151 million in 2017 for West Virginia women farmers.
$24,360 per farm
Average sales totaled $24,360 per farm for West Virginia women farmers in 2017.