Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Project Overview

Project Type: Enhanced State Grants
Funds awarded in 2016: $52,533.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2017
Grant Recipient: Oregon State University
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
Maud Powell
OSU Extension


Not commodity specific


  • Farm Business Management: agricultural finance
  • Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life, leadership development, local and regional food systems, quality of life, social networks

    Proposal abstract:

    The Oregon State University Center for Small Farms is seeking a Western Region State Enhancement Program grant to help host the 5th National Women in Sustainable Agricultural Conference in Portland, Oregon in November, 2016. A steering committee of twenty-two agricultural professionals and producers from around the country are meeting by conference call on a monthly basis to organize the conference. Based on prior conferences, 350 women producers and agricultural professionals are expected to attend, with approximately 200 of those from the Western SARE states. The conference will include a one-day train-the-trainer session for agricultural  professionals on developing educational  programs for women farmers and ranchers; one day of tours of sustainable farms;  and one and a half days of workshops, intensives, keynote speakers and panel discussions. There will be a total of 42 ninety-minute workshops on topics in sustainable agriculture, taught by both professionals and producers. Additionally, food safety trainers will provide two half-day intensives on navigating the Food Safety Modernization Act; GAP certification; harvest and post-harvest handling; and developing a food safety plan. Two of the workshops offered will address cost analysis and profitability. Fifty agricultural professionals who attend the train-the-trainer session will reconvene on the last day to evaluate teaching methods used during the conference. Evaluations will be collected upon completion of the conference. Additionally, participants in the train-the-trainer conference, food safety intensives and cost analysis workshops will be surveyed six months and one year after the conference to determine mid-range  impacts and  behavior changes resulting from the conference.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    April- November 2016: Conference organization including program development; recruitment of keynote speakers, panelists and workshop presenters; outreach to agricultural professionals and producers; securing sponsorships and conference vendors; arranging and finalizing venue details; organizing farm tours; preparing curriculum  for train-the-trainer one day event, Cost Analysis and Profitability workshops and  Food Safety  intensives; and managing registration.

    August- October 2016: Recruit two women sustainable agricultural professionals from each of the Western States to attend conference who will receive attendance and travel stipend. Recruitment will happen with the cooperation of SARE state coordinators.

    November 2016: Fifty agricultural professionals will attend one day train-the-trainer workshop which provides technical assistance to professionals interested in developing and delivering programming to women producers.

    November 2016: Two hundred agricultural professionals and producers will attend a day-long tour of sustainable farming operations in Northern Oregon. Participants will choose between five tour options which will highlight orchards; food hubs; research farms; urban farms; and CSA vegetable farms.

    November-December 2016: Three hundred and fifty agricultural professionals and producers will attend conference with two keynote speakers; forty-two workshops on sustainable agriculture; a panel discussion; and opportunities for networking.

    November-December 2016: One hundred and ten agricultural professionals and producers will attend two half- day intensive on Food Safety. Topics include updates to the Food Safety Modernization Act; GAP certification, including group GAP training fur small producers; and best practices for harvest and post-harvest handling. Fifty of those agricultural professionals and producers will attend both intensives and receive a certification for completing one day of food safety training.

    November-December 2016: Eighty agricultural professionals  and  producers will attend  two workshops on Cost Analysis and Profitability. Workshops will highlight enterprise budgets; relative cost of production; and how to increase profitability.

    December 2016: Conference organizers will evaluate the conference through surveys of participants. Surveys will help determine short-term impacts of the program including information learned and intentions for adopting new practices.

    May 2017: Conference organizers will conduct an online survey of participants of the Food Safety intensives. Surveys will collect information on the mid-range impacts of the intensives, including how many agricultural professionals have gone on to provide educational programming in food safety and how many producers have written a food safety plan.

    November 2017: Conference organizers will conduct on-line surveys of participants in the Food Safety Intensives, train-the-trainer session; and Cost Analysis and Profitability workshops to determine long-range impacts including adoption of enterprise budgets; passing third party audits; and offering educational workshops for women farmers and ranchers.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.