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South Florida's Cattle Management for Women

Extension Education

Colleen Larson
Dairy Regional Specialized Agent
University of Florida


Women are taking a greater role in the decision making and management of cattle ranches.  However, during traditional Extension livestock programs, it has been noted that female participants tend to wait until the end to ask questions privately or do not ask at all. In response, the South Florida Beef Forage Program agents held a pilot program in 2019 to address the educational and participation gap between women and their male counterparts.  The program focused on subjects such as animal handling, beef quality assurance, forages, nutrition, record keeping, reproduction and handling the media.  Class size was limited to allow for interaction with participants.  After the 2019 program, the committee reviewed the survey data and realized this type of program was needed and effective.  In 2021 the Cattle Management for Women program was developed using input from and information requested by cattlewomen.  The programs focus was on cattle pen design; forage and grazing management; soil, tissue, hay and water sampling; alternative enterprises for ranchers; EID and benefits of use; calf care; weed identification; beef quality assurance and best management practices; record keeping; sprayer calibration; media training; and dystocia.  The average participation is 30 attendees to allow for small group learning and hands-on activities.  Observational evaluation indicated that female participants were more engaged for this program than when participating in traditional programs.  The overall knowledge gain for this program is 54% with the highest gain found in the question-and-answer session for uses of Electronic Identification and Weed Identification at 69%.  The behavior change was 79% with changes in the areas of sampling, weed control, record keeping, calf care and herbicide application.  With women’s involvement, ranches could increase profitability by having someone in management who understands, and is able to implement best management practices and see strategies from a different view.  Women traditionally take on roles dealing with the record keeping and financial management of the business.  Today, more are in the field working alongside their husbands, brothers, and paid workers holding the same role as their male counterpart.  This program has assisted in providing these women with the resources and tools needed to be successful.   

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: Colleen Larson, Laura Bennett, Lauren Butler, Sonja Crawford, Christa Kirby, Bridget Stice, Lindsey Wiggins
  1. Larson, C. RSA and Dairy Extension Agent II, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida, 34972
  2. Bennett, L. Livestock Extension Agent I, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida, 33525
  3. Butler, L. CED and Livestock Extension Agent III, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida, 34972
  4. Crawford, S. 4-H and Livestock Extension Agent III, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida, 33935
  5. Kirby, C. Livestock Extension Agent IV, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida, 34221
  6. Stice, B. Livestock Extension Agent IV, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida, 33830
  7. Wiggins, L. Multi-County Livestock Extension Agent III, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida, 33935