We’ve just tabulated more results of our Beginning Farmers & Ranchers: Women in the Northeast & Texas program. These are from the 2013-2014 season in Massachusetts. This program, funded by a grant from the USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmer/Rancher Development Program was coordinated by Devon Whitney-Deal of Community Involved in Supporting Agriculture. This group finished their Holistic Management learning sessions in May and have final farm mentor visits to complete in July. Lead instructors were Holistic Management Certified Educators Phil Metzger and Calley Hastings. Additional instructors included Missy Bahret, Crystal Stewart and Jessie Schmidt. Mentors for the program were Brittany Sidway, Chanya Sae-Eaw, and Sonya Harms.
“This training has increased my ability to make decisions.”
“It gave me a better network of people!”
“The program gave me a chance to meet other farmers and extension agents who are valuable resources.”
“This training provided a deeper sense of support and sense of possibility. It provided contacts we can use to grow enterprises (like honey/beekeeping)”
“I bought tools from a fellow student and used the expertise of a few other students for advice. I may pasture the livestock of another fellow student.”
- The average years of farming was 4 years (range: 1 – 9 years)
- The average acres under production was 18 acres (range: 0.25 – 205 acres)
- The average age was 41 years old (range: 26 to 73 years old)
- The types of farm operations were as follows:
- Cattle/Cow/Calf (4), Vegetable/Fruit/Produce (12), Pigs/Hogs (2), Sheep (1), Goat (1), Honey (1), Dairy (2), Herbs (4), Cheese (1), Hay (1), Flowers (3), and Agritourism (1).
- The total customers of all participants: Retail – Average 213 (total 1,915); Wholesale – Average 43 (total 259)
- 89% of participants intend to continue farming
If you are a beginning women farmer in the Northeast, or know someone that is, be sure to check out our 2014-2015 enrollment page as we are now accepting applications for the upcoming season.
You can find out statistical details from the program here.
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