Three of the biggest indicators of success for beginning farmers are: on-farm experience, farm business planning, and a supportive network. Women in our program benefit from all three.
We pair women who want to farm with women who are already successful farmers for on-farm mentorships. Participants are matched with mentors who are involved in the type of farming that they are interested in embarking upon, and get hands-on experience.
Our successful women farmers who act as mentors first receive training on being effective mentors, and this training also helps them take on other employees and expand their farm businesses. Mentors often stay in touch with their mentees, continuing to offer advice and support as their mentees become farmers.
To help our participants create farm businesses that are financially sustainable, we offer them intensive business training. The goal of our business training is for participants to create a draft plan for their farm, addressing cash flow, marketing, legal requirements, employees, and future expansion.
To show women aspiring to farm that they can become farmers and that there are many women just like them, we hold Beginning Farmer Learning Circles. Learning Circles offer women an opportunity to learn and ask questions in a supportive environment, share their dreams about farming, meet women just like them, and learn about the next steps to take to make their dreams a reality.
Our biggest networking opportunity every year is our annual WFAN Conference, where women in agriculture from across the country gather to learn, share, and celebrate.
We also provide a listserve for women in agriculture to ask questions and share information