Opportunities for Women Farmers

Kristin White, Short Stock Farm

Kristin White, Short Stock Farm

Did you know that Oregon has more women involved in farming than the national average?

According to the latest national statistics, nearly 40 percent of Oregon’s farmers are women, working more than 7 million acres of land. The United States Department of Agriculture reports that about 31 percent of the country’s farmers are women.

Oregon’s numbers, according to the USDA:

  • 22,772 women in agriculture
  • 39 percent of all farmers are women
  • 7.3 million acres farmed
  • $263.4 million impact

Help is Available to Support Women Farmers

Leah Rose Rodgers, Indigo Gardens PDX

Leah Rose Rodgers, Indigo Gardens PDX, Photo by Studio XIII Photography

Research has shown that women entrepreneurs face significant challenges to funding, training, and business support across sectors. To help bridge these gaps in agriculture, the Oregon Department of Agriculture is partnering with the NASDA (National Association of State Departments of Agriculture) Foundation and the Washington State Department of Agriculture to help.

Their three-part project consists of a survey, a competition, and business accelerator program. The goal is to offer a hand up so women-owned, farm-based businesses in Oregon can succeed.

Survey

To determine what women entrepreneurs in Oregon and Washington need, the NASDA Foundation launched an online survey on December 2, 2018. The responses to this survey will inform the training and the development of a women’s business accelerator program due to launch in the fall/winter 2019.

If you know a woman who owns a farm-based food business in Oregon, please share the survey link. The survey is open through January 31, 2019.

2019 Women Farm to Food Business Competition

Margo Liszka, Naked Acres Farm

Margo Liszka, Naked Acres Farm

In an effort to recruit women entrepreneurs, the NASDA Foundation is sponsoring a Women Farm to Food Business Competition. Women entrepreneurs from Oregon and Washington will compete for a total of $40,000 in start-up funds. If you know a woman looking for funds to grow her food or beverage business, please share the link to this online application.

The competition opens January 1, 2019 and all submissions must be made by January 31, 2019. Finalists will attend the NASDA Winter Policy Conference February 26 and 27, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia.

Women Farm to Food Accelerator Program

Both the survey and the competition will help launch the NASDA Women Farm to Food Accelerator Program later next year. This is a 90-day program that will offer training, skill building, and networking – all tailored to the needs of women.

For additional information, please contact Amy Gilroy at the Oregon Department of Agriculture by email at agilroy@oda.state.or.us or by phone at 503-872-6600.

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