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Extension Education

Heather Neikirk
Extension Educator
Ohio State University Extension


The Stark County Women in Food, Agriculture and Environment Networking (WFAEN) Forum is a direct result of 2007 USDA Census data, showing that the number of women farm operators is significantly large for our area of the state.  Stark County was one of four counties regionally and nine counties in the state identified with over 600 women farm operators.  Based on this need, an advisory team comprised of eleven local women farm operators and stakeholders convened to plan a “pilot” educational networking forum focused on Stark County women and young women interested, involved, or wanting to become involved in food, agriculture, environment, or small business. The leadership planning team set a 50 participant goal for the inaugural forum.  Forty-three women/young women registered, with thirty-eight attending the event.  Participants engaged in a daylong program offering open networking with other participants; learned about one local woman’s journey in building her agricultural business; and gained practical connections and knowledge with sessions on finance and planning, food, health, marketing, leadership, advocacy, cottage foods, value added production, sustainability, conservation, and balancing work and family.  A demographic/evaluative assessment survey was conducted with all participants using clicker technology.  Evaluation survey results identified two key motivations for attending as increasing networks (45%) and increasing knowledge (31%). Additionally, 87% of participants were interested in opportunities to engage in group/networking meetings and informational/educational sessions, with 100% of participants supporting the creation of a Stark County network for women in food, agriculture and environment, and the need for an annual event.






Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

A poster file has not been provided

Authors: H. Neikirk
  1. Neikirk, H. Extension Educator, OSU Extension Stark County, Ohio, 44646