2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The goal of this project is to provide outreach and support of providing new and beginning farmers, including women, with relevant knowledge and tools to operate efficient and sustainable farms and ranches through the support of the 2013 Arkansas Women in Agriculture Conference.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
We will accomplish our objective by supporting the Arkansas Women in Agriculture Organization, a private non-profit organization identified in the primary grant award, in their 2013 annual conference. The goal of this conference is to provide programs and support for women involved in agriculture in Arkansas.
Arkansas Women in Agriculture held its 8th statewide conference on March 14-15, 2013 at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock, Arkansas; 125 people attended, with the majority being women and a large portion being new and beginning farmers. Conference participants were able to choose between three tracks of breakout sessions on the following: production agriculture, risk management, and personal/health. A total of 21 breakouts sessions were offered in addition to two general sessions and an exhibit area with 17 vendors.
The breakout sessions included: Community Gardens, Controlling Resistant Pests, USDA Rural Development REAP Grants, Cattle Emergency Techniques, Soil Health/Forages and Grazing Management, Farm Safety, Poultry, the Farm Bill, FSA Programs, Estate Planning, Landowner Liabilities, Crop Insurance, NRCS Conservation Programs, Financial Statements, Cooking with AR Products, Money Matters, Making Products from Goat Milk, Dressing Your Best, Heart Health in Women, Sticky Styles Projects, and the Master Gardener Program.
Exhibitors included those from USDA agencies (ARS, FSA, NRCS, NASS), the Small Business Administration, Farm Credit Services, the National Agricultural Law Center, University of Arkansas Center for Rural Sustainability, Agrability, Market Maker and Forest Resources Center as well as several women-owned small businesses and other agencies. General session speakers included Butch Calhoun, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture; Becky Cross, AR NASS Director; Dr. Jennie Popp, University of Arkansas Agricultural Economics Professor/UA Center for Rural Sustainability Director; and Brandy Carroll, Board Member of AR Rice Depot (a statewide food bank.) For the conference service project, participants brought food items to donate to AR Rice Depot for their Backpack for Kids program, which Mrs. Carroll accepted on behalf of Rice Depot.