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American Farmland Trust and Research and education in sustainable agriculture published information, guidance and tools for effective engagement for online education, including hybrid environments for women on farms and ranches on topics related to farm viability, resilience and conservation in “Reaching Women in Agriculture: A Guide to Virtual Engagement”.
The guide explains that one of the reasons for creating women-focused and women-only events, virtual or otherwise, is to establish a comfortable space for people who identify with women to find and access resources, information and networks to which they generally do not have easy access. in the world of agricultural services. The goal is to create a safe space where women can learn from each other and gain confidence, rather than excluding men.
“Orientation in Reaching Women was born from AFT Women for the Land the initiative and the learning circle model, which grew out of early partnerships with the Women Food and Agriculture Network,” said Gabrielle Roesch-McNally, Ph.D., author of the guide and director of AFT Women for the Land. “Learning circles, where women learn from other women in a setting with no visible hierarchy, have proven to be effective in engaging women landowners and producers in conversations about land management, particularly regarding the best agricultural practices for soil health and water quality. The guide provides best practices for doing this work in a virtual environment.
Reaching Women incorporates both the characteristics of high-quality programs for women in agriculture and emerging best practices for adapting farmer education and networking events to virtual platforms. It shares innovative approaches and lessons learned from AFT’s and our partners’ efforts to engage women in agriculture amid social distancing requirements associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This work will continue to be critically important to outreach as we continue to integrate virtual engagement into the work we do, even as we move beyond the acute impacts associated with the pandemic. Rurality, large geographic expanses, expenses associated with child care and transportation make virtual options to meet a continued need for women’s engagement in agriculture.
Download or order your free printed copy of Reaching women in agriculturehere.Reaching women in agricultureis available in quantity free of charge to educators for use in workshops, classes, or educational tours.