Skip to main content

Women in Agriculture

WVU Extension Service is growing an inclusive network of empowered women who can skillfully manage finances, production and technology for their farms.

Annie's Project

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.

Register Now for the 2019 Conference

woman tending to lettuce plants

November 15-16
Stonewall Resort, Roanoke, WV

WVU Extension’s Women in Agriculture is proud to support this statewide conference to promote leadership development, and provide production and marketing education for agricultural producers and service providers. We have a great weekend planned, so be sure to check out our list of speakers and activities and register to join us for this event.

Doolarie Singh-Knights

Women in Agriculture Newsletter

Tri-state agritourism bus tour to visit West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio

Bus tour participants listening to a guest speaker

WVU Extension Service, 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.

Read Tri-state agritourism bus tour to visit West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio

Food Grower, Processor Training

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.

This is a two-day course on July 8 and 9, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Get online directions to the Bridgeport Conference Center at 300 Conference Way, Bridgeport WV, 26330.

Read Food Grower, Processor Training

Animal Health Division Bulletin to Sheep & Goat Industry Stakeholders

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.

Read Animal Health Division Bulletin to Sheep & Goat Industry Stakeholders

2019 Agriculture Educational Dinner Meetings Announced!

Read 2019 Agriculture Educational Dinner Meetings Announced!

West Virginia Farm Resources

Farming and agribusiness are deeply rooted in our West Virginia communities. In addition to the services and resources provided by WVU Extension Service, there are a number of organizations and resources to help grow, expand and assist your business.

Read West Virginia Farm Resources

Women in Ag Briefings

WVU Extension Service 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.

Read Women in Ag Briefings

Food safety is serious business - Food safety training team can help

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 (

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.

Read Food safety is serious business - Food safety training team can help

Growing agritourism and farm-based education in West Virginia

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.

Read Growing agritourism and farm-based education in West Virginia

Risky business: Tips for controlling your financial risks

By: Alexandria Straight, 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.

Read Risky business: Tips for controlling your financial risks

Preparing for early garden production

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.

Read Preparing for early garden production

Minimize legal risk to you and your farm

By: Emily Wells Morrow, WVU Extension Agent, Jefferson County

When you run a small farm, business structure is usually the last thing on your mind. Is it even worth bothering with all the extra paperwork and hassle to set up anything other than a sole proprietorship? In short, the answer is yes.

Read Minimize legal risk to you and your farm

Women in Ag Facts

According to the Census of Agriculture, published by the National Agricultural Statistics Service in 2012, here are facts about women farmers in West Virginia that may surprise you.

An outline of a woman

12.6% of WV farms

12.6% of West Virginia farms are operated by women.

An outline of the State of West Virginia

Farm 336,900 acres

Women farmers operate 336,900 acres in West Virginia.

An outline of a barn

Average size 125 acres

The average farm size primarily operated by a woman in West Virginia is 125 acres.

West Virginia women farmers sold a total of $62.5 million in products in 2012.

An outline of produce in a basket

$15M in crops

Crop sales totaled $15 million in 2012 for West Virginia women farmers.

An outline of livestock

$47.4M in livestock

Livestock sales totaled $47.4 million in 2012 for West Virginia women farmers.

An outline of a money bag

$23,091 per farm

Average sales totaled $23,091 per farm for West Virginia women farmers in 2012.

Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service