Workshops will focus on helping women in farming manage risk

Workshops will focus on helping women in farming manage risk

Four workshops sponsored by Kansas Rural Center will highlight opportunities, challenges for women managers.

Registration is open for the first in a series of four "women only" Women in Farming Risk Management Education workshops to be hosted by the Kansas Rural Center during the spring and summer of 2015.

All four of the workshops in KRC's "Women in Farming" series will highlight the opportunities and the challenges women face as they implement new enterprises on existing farms, begin farming or take over family operations, or just try to adopt new practices and enterprises with their families.

Workshop dates and locations:

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES: Workshops in the "Women in Farming" series will highlight opportunities and challenges women face as they implement new enterprises on existing farms, begin farming or take over family operations, or adopt new practices and enterprises with their families.

• The first workshop will take place on Saturday, March 14, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 pm, in Lawrence.  It will focus on specialty crop production with a particular emphasis on the unique opportunities and challenges for women farmers.  The morning portion of the workshop will be held at the Dreher Building, Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper Street, Lawrence.  An afternoon farm tour will be held at women-owned Red Tractor Farm, south of Lawrence.  Cost to attend the workshop is $15, which covers a catered lunch, snacks and materials.

To register, please visit the KRC website.

The morning portion of the workshop will include a presentation by Douglas County Extension Agent, Marlin Bates, on food safety.  Bates will offer an in-depth explanation of the importance of food safety, from keeping your customers safe to opening new and larger markets for your produce. He will offer participants detailed information on how to create their own food safety plan, taking a common sense approach that is self-regulatory. 

Representatives from Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Douglas County Conservation District, and Kansas Farm-to-School Program, will provide information on the services their agencies provide, including services specific to women farmers and land owners. Information on crop insurance for specialty crops and whole farm revenue insurance will also be provided.

Lunch will be provided by caterer Raven Naramore, and will feature local produce and proteins, with meat and vegetarian options. 

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The afternoon portion of the workshop will take place at Red Tractor Farm, south of Lawrence, featuring a farm tour with owners Jess Pierson and Jen Humphrey. They will discuss their farm operation and share their experiences on topics such as organic certification, high tunnels, vegetable production, livestock management (goats and chickens), pollinators, soil fertility, business management, product diversity and insurance. For more information on Red Tractor Farm, go to kansasruralcenter.org and scroll to the bottom of the page to the video under the title "Why KRC?"

To register for the March 14, 2015, workshop, please visit the KRC website.  Please register by Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in order to ensure an accurate lunch count.

• The second workshop in KRC's "Women in Farming" series will be held in Northwest Kansas in Bird City, on Saturday, March 28, 2015. It will also focus on specialty crop topics including high tunnels, season extension, food safety, organic certification, pest management, cooperative marketing, and specialty crop insurance. The morning portion of this workshop will take place at the Bird City Senior Center, followed by a farm tour of Y-Knot Farm and Ranch, which includes 960 acres of certified organic wheat, forage, and pasture, and whose products include free-range eggs, grass-fed and grass-finished Belted Galloway beef, and produce from their gardens and high tunnel. Y-Knot Farm and Ranch are members of the High Plains Food Co-op. Registration and more details for this workshop will be announced soon at the KRC website.

• The third workshop in the series will be held on Saturday, May 9, at the America Legion in Linn, and will include an afternoon farm tour of conservation practices including cover crops and no till, and cattle management for women on Lucinda Stuenkel's farm near Palmer.  The morning portion of this workshop will focus on business, financial, and legal risk management,  featuring Duane Hund, Kansas State University, on basic financial and business planning, and Mykel Taylor, Kansas State University, on land price trends, leasing and tenant issues.

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• The final workshop in the series will take place on July 11, 2015, in Emporia, and will focus on Soil Health, Cover Crops/ and Integrated Crop and Livestock Farming with presentations on building soil health, organic farming practices, cover crops, and integrating crops and livestock into the operation. The morning portion of the workshop will take place at Flint Hills Technical College in Emporia, and an afternoon farm tour will be held at Gail Fuller's farm outside of Emporia.

More details and registrations for these workshops will be available at the KRC website as they become available.

Women-only workshops
Women farmers, including those looking into "alternative" enterprises, often find that typically available educational opportunities and services do not meet their unique needs – including the need for women-only workshops, where women may be more likely to feel engaged. Research has shown that women learn differently than men, responding positively to a participatory approach over typical classroom lectures.

KRC's "Women in Farming" initiative will provide women farmers with the information and tools needed to reduce of avoid financial, legal and production risks on their farms, in an educational setting and style tailored to their specific needs. With support from USDA's Risk Management Agency, this initiative will lead to the production of a risk management guide for women in agriculture, in addition to the four different women-only workshops across the state.

For more information on the initiative, contact Joanna Voigt at ?866-579-5469, or [email protected].

Since 1979, the Kansas Rural Center has promoted the long-term health of the land and its people through community-based research, education, and advocacy that advances economically viable, ecologically sound, and socially just food and farming systems. More information about the Kansas Rural Center and its work is available at www.kansasruralcenter.org.

Source: Kansas Rural Center

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