One in three Iowa farmers are women, owning nearly half of all Iowa agricultural land, according to USDA's 2012 Census of Agriculture and the Farmland Ownership and Tenure in Iowa 2012 report. Madeline Schultz, coordinator of women's agriculture education with ISU Extension and Outreach says that's why new courses have been developed specifically for women. The ISU Extension courses provide practical information for managing human resources and grain marketing risks on family farms.
"Iowa women are at the heart of family farms and have significant ownership, management and employment in their operations," says Schultz. "Post-planting season is the perfect time for Iowa farm women to get together and learn more about these complex aspects of farm business."
New ISU Extension courses for women in agriculture
Heartbeat of the Farm: Human Resource Management is a new four-session course. Farm women are often called upon to care for the human resources side of the business, whether recruiting and motivating family and non-family employees or taking steps to avoid hearing loss and keeping everyone healthy. Instructors will help women develop effective strategies to manage these human resources: employee supply, hiring, management and retention; tax and labor laws; interpersonal communications; and health, stress and well-being.
Locations, times and dates for the "Heartbeat of the Farm: Human Resource Management" sessions are:
Carroll: Carroll County Extension Office, 1205 West U.S. Hwy. 30, Ste. G. Tuesday classes on May 5, 12, 19 and 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. A light meal is served at 5:30 p.m. The cost is $75.
Grinnell: Drake Community Library, 903 Park Street. Monday classes on June 1, 8, 15 and 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. Light meal served at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $75.
The Women Marketing Grain course is being offered in central Iowa as more women are taking up the challenges of marketing grain. The goal of this program is to improve the participants' price risk management skills through knowledge of marketing principles and risk management tools. Participants will learn about grain marketing from ISU Extension specialists as well as local experts from ag businesses. Course participants will also engage in hands-on activities and discussion to help them develop a grain marketing plan. Location, dates and time of Women Marketing Grain course is:
West Des Moines: DMACC West Campus, 5959 Grand Avenue. Thursday classes on June 4, 11 and 18 from 6:30 9:30 p.m. A light meal is served at 6 p.m. The cost is $50.
Advanced registration is required: Registration for Women Marketing Grain and Heartbeat of the Farm: Human Resource Management Enrollment can be made online at aep.iastate.edu/annie/. Registration fees cover a light meal, class materials and professional development. Advance registration is required to attend.A current listing of educational opportunities for women in agriculture is available at aep.iastate.edu/annie/. The listing is updated as new courses are added.