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WVU Extension Service to offer education and community to state’s female farmers through online curriculum

Black chalkboard that reads "Welcome WV Women in Agriculture" with fall gourds displayed in front.

Women farmers from across the state have come together each fall for the last seven years to participate in the West Virginia University Extension Service Women in Agriculture program’s annual conference, sharing knowledge and networking. Even though this year’s in-person conference has been canceled, learning opportunities and community building will continue with a unique online educational program developed to keep the state’s women farmers, innovators and entrepreneurs informed and connected.

Beginning on October 12, a six-part, online Annie’s Project short course will be available, offering female farmers and agribusiness owners a chance to learn more about holistic business planning and risk management in a flexible, virtual format.

Though the course is a self-paced, independent study, one online module will be released each month through April, encouraging participants to focus on one topic at a time. Participants also will be assigned a WVU Extension Service agent to serve as their regional advisor to answer questions and provide support.  

The online course will be accompanied by monthly virtual meetups in November through April, which will include learning opportunities, such as farm tours and Q&A sessions with industry experts, as well as a chance to interact and share best practices with their peers. Each virtual meetup will coordinate with the most recent module topic, offering participants a chance to dive deeper into each subject.

“One of the most unique advantages of our Women in Agriculture Conference is the ability for women to meet and reconnect with other like-minded women in the agriculture industry, so we wanted to make sure we were still providing our female farmers with enough opportunities to lift up and learn from one another,” Dee Singh-Knights, WVU Extension Service agribusiness economics specialist, said. “Coupled with the monthly virtual meetups, this educational course will allow women to receive useful training and build those valuable connections.”

From managing finances and taxes to diversifying operations and exploring specialty products, this educational program has something to offer every female farmer at an affordable price. And, the modules and meetups can be completed from anywhere.

The cost of this online Annie’s Project short course is $15, which includes access to the monthly virtual meetups. Those interested can register to participate now at https://epay.wvsto.com/WVU/WVUANREvents/Default.aspx.

The WVU Extension Service Annie’s Project program is part a national curriculum designed to provide female farmers with the training, skills and support to build a successful agricultural business.

For more information, contact Dee Singh-Knights, WVU Extension Service agricultural economics specialist, at 304-293-7606 or dosingh-knights@mail.wvu.edu.

-WVU-

hb/09/28/20

CONTACT: Hannah Booth
Communications Specialist
WVU Extension Service
304-293-8701; hannah.booth@mail.wvu.edu