Women in Agriculture

Class Descriptions

WV Producers’ Tell Their Stories – One of the best ways to learn is by networking and learning from other producers. Participants will choose one of the four sessions to learn about what another woman producer is doing to make her mark on West Virginia Agriculture. Learn from experienced operators the up and downs that they have encounter, and how they overcame obstacles to make their agriculture business what it is today.

Sustainable Production and Management

Ag Mechanics 101 – Whether you have never picked up a screwdriver or are already a Rosie the Riveter, Dave Bourgeois’s Ag Mechanics session will provide practical information on basic mechanical repairs anyone can benefit from mastering. Topics such as adding baling twine, winterizing equipment, changing oil, and how welding works will be discussed.

Managing Liability on the Farm – Liability concerns can be overwhelming for many producers, and neglecting to cover these risks can leave your farm vulnerable and unprofitable. Carrie and Chris will define liability and discuss common types of liability on West Virginia farming operations, as well as provide practical solutions to assets and mitigating these liability risks on your farm.

Direct Marketing and Creating a Good First Impression – You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Dee will discuss why a first impression is so important for your operation. She will also highlight common tools used to showcase your farm’s best assets, and discuss the benefits of direct marketing and how you can make the process work for you. Examples of other production scenarios that are making the process work will be provided, along with key collaborators that you may want to have involved in the process.


How to Interpret a Soil Test – Are you overrun with soil test paper work and trying to figure out how to improve your soil? Ed Smolder will teach you how to interpret the numbers and values on your soil test, and what those numbers mean in terms of soil fertility. Learn how to read a soil test and how to pull those important numbers so that you can improve your soil and farm management.

Diversifying with Heirlooms and Specialty Crops – Are you looking to diversify your operation? Lewis Jett will be discussing ways to diversify your crop rotations with heirloom fruits and vegetables and other specialty crops that might be the next big thing. Learn about how some heirlooms and specialty crops might yield you a larger return when planted and harvested at the right time of the year.

Pest-Be-Gone – Tired of dealing with all those profit robbing pest? Let Rakesh, Daniel, and Mahfuz teach you how to prevent and reduce the profit robbing from all the insects, weeds, fungus and bacteria. This session will give you an overview of some of the most troublesome pests that farmers deal with in fruit and vegetable production. Learn about prevention, signs and treatment of a number of pest.


Out of Season Breeding and Starting a Small Ruminant Marketing PoolsMarlon Knights will discuss how you can improve profits with your small ruminants by breeding out of season. Learn about the methods and best practices in out-of-season breeding, and how you can implement it into your farming operation. He will also lead a discussion about small ruminant marketing pools and how these can improve profits to your operation.

Multi Species GrazingTom Basden and Lily Parker will discuss grazing multi-species and how this can efficiently work on your farm. They will further discuss the research that they conducted on Lily Parker’s operation and how it has benefited management of her grazing areas.

Protecting Your Livestock: What vaccinations should I be using?Darin Matlick will discuss the benefits of vaccinating your livestock. Learn how vaccinations protect livestock from serious diseases and viruses. Whether you’re already vaccinating or trying to figure out what vaccinations you should be administrating, this discussion will leave you with a list of recommended vaccinations for beef cattle and small ruminants to assist you in keeping your investments alive and healthy.

Technology Use on the Farm

Making your Website Work for you – Do you currently have a website or in the process of developing one? Let Greg and Lindsey Estep of Little Fish Design Company help you improve your website. They will be discussing tips on how to drive traffic to your website, selling products on the web, uploading videos and many more tips that will expand the reach of your website.

What’s so great about social media: Connecting your social media accounts – Do you tweet, have Facebook, or use Pinterest or Instagram? Is all this social media overwhelming you and taking up all your time? Matt Browning and Stacey Herrick will help you become more efficient when it comes to social media. This session will teach you what social media has to offer and how you can connect accounts to limit the time you spend updating your social media sites.

Apps to Make Life on the Farm Easier – Smart phones and tablets can be a wonderful tool to improve your management and record keeping. Becky Osborne will speak about apps that can be used to make life on the farm easier. Whether you’re an expert or a novice with your smart phone, learn how to put it to work, to reduce your work.