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Equipment WISE (Women Increasing Skills and Education)

Extension Education

Amy Byington
Extension Agent, ANR
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Pennington Gap


The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported 7,653 farms, totaling 780,688 acres, were run by a female principal operator in 2012. These numbers have increased to 16,456 farms in 2017, farming 2,043,877 acres. During a post program survey of the 2021 Cattle WISE (Women Increasing Skills and Education) program, attendees stated there was a major need for equipment-specific programming. The 2018 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the agricultural sector is still the most dangerous in America with 574 fatalities, including 19 fatalities in Virginia’s agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sectors. The program team chose to expand the program into two full days of programming; one day dedicated to Equipment WISE and another for Cattle WISE.  Equipment WISE was designed to focus on: tractor operation, maneuvering trailers, proper tie down of loads, ATV safety, sprayer calibrations, small engine troubleshooting, and chainsaw operations.  At the conclusion of the Equipment WISE program, participants were surveyed about their experience. Over 95% of participants stated that the Trailers: Backing and Driving, Securing Your Load and Tractors: Driving and Operation, PTO’s and Implements either met or exceeded their expectations and ranked the information provided as excellent. These types of results showed the planning team the value of adding Equipment to the already established Cattle WISE programming. Furthermore, over 88% of participants stated that the Chainsaw Station was beneficial and informative. Finally, 92% of individuals stated that their confidence level in the given topic areas had increased due to the programming provided during Equipment WISE. One individual stated that she was “excited to show off to my dad!” and “I’ll be promoting others to participate in future events.” 

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.

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Authors: Amy Byington, Becky Roberts, Cynthia Martel
  1. Byington, A. Extension Agent, ANR, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia, 24277
  2. Roberts, B. Extension Agent, ANR, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia, 24531
  3. Martel, C. Extension Agent, ANR, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia, 24151