Assessing Risk Management Needs for Iowa Women in Agriculture

Steven Johnson, farm and ag business management field specialist, central Iowa


The majority of financial, marketing and risk management educational efforts are targeted at producer audiences, composed primarily of males.  However, the 2002 Census of Agriculture indicated an increase of 12% in women that were primary operators of their farms over the previous five years.

Women also own 47% of all Iowa farmland, a trend that is not expected to change as women typically outlive their producer husbands.  In addition, much of Iowa’s land is inherited by the next generation, increasing the likelihood of more women owning or being involved in farmland ownership.


ISU Extension created a strategic partnership to address issues of “Women in Agriculture: Managing Farm Risks.”  Partners included the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, USDA Farm Service Agency and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.  A grant to the USDA Risk Management Agency was submitted by the partnership and $75,000 was received.  Activities included the following:


More than 100,000 visitors observed the Women in Agriculture display featured at the Iowa State Fair, Farm & Field Fest and the Farm Progress Show during August 2004.  More than 500 women participated in a “Managing Farm Risks” needs assessment that featured a touch screen computer system that recorded responses.  Information collected from these women will be used to design informational and educational venues in 2004-05.  The USDA Risk Management Agency will provide a second year of funding totaling $70,000 that will be used to expand the outreach efforts beyond Iowa’s borders.

August 2004
104 – Ag Financial and Risk Management


Page last updated: July 8, 2006
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