Women in Ag and Farm Management Team Response to COVID-19

Women in Ag and Farm Management Team Response to COVID-19

By Madeline Schultz | July 20, 2020

Our work in Extension and Outreach is done a little differently these days. The COVID-19 pandemic sent many of us home to work, shifted some of our priorities, and created new opportunities. One thing that has not changed is our eagerness to support farmers, farm families and everyone in agriculture. Iowans can reach out to ISU Extension and Outreach Farm Management Team members to get answers to questions on farm management topics. We are here for you. Find contact information for Field Specialists and State Specialists at www.extension.iastate.edu/ag/farm-management.

This article highlights a few of the educational programs and online web resources the ISU Extension and Outreach Farm Management Team is working on through the COVID-19 global pandemic.

As part of the team’s overall work, they are developing new online learning opportunities. Many of these are being created for the audience of women in agriculture. Visit the ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag Program website,  www.extension.iastate.edu/womeninag, for women-centered news, stories, and upcoming events.

We are partnering with the Iowa Women in Agriculture non-profit organization to virtually host the 14th Annual Iowa Women in Ag Conference on July 3oth. Registration is free and available at http://iowawomeninag.org. The three-hour event will feature a discussion of the agricultural economy, the interconnectedness of human and animal health, and women’s leadership in rural and urban communities.

The team first developed the Heartbeat of the Farm: Human Resource Management small-group course in 2015. Now, we are creating an online self-paced course. The new human resource course will roll out in September. Using experience gained with this course, we plan to develop other online courses. Throughout the next several months, the farm management team will offer a variety of face-to-face,  web-based, and combination learning opportunities as we continue to strive towards meeting the educational interests of women in agriculture.

Next December 1st, the ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag Leadership Conference is moving online. The full-day virtual conference will feature presentations, workshops and networking sessions. The advisory committee is busy planning an online forum that includes crisis management, leadership in a changing world, communicating with the public, and diversity and inclusion in agriculture.

The Ag Decision Maker website, www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm , continues to be a key component of the farm management team’s outreach. In addition to typical farm management topics, the team prepared several new resources to assist with managing through COVID-19. The team is currently focusing on developing new articles and tools to help manage agricultural risks including financial, human resources, legal, market, and production risks. Visit the COVID-19 Resources page, https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/covid19/, for guidance on workforce and market disruptions along with other COVID-19 topics.

This summer’s Farmland Leasing Meetings will be a combination of face-to-face and virtual programming. Stay up to date with what is happening by checking the meeting webpage often:  www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/info/meetings.html.

The ISU Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation works closely with the farm management team. The center provides up-to-date information for farmers, legal and tax professionals, and others. The center’s COVID-19 Resources page offers a replay and application resources for the USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. To learn more, visit www.calt.iastate.edu/covid-19-resources.

The farm management team collaborates with ISU Extension and Outreach to Human Sciences to support mental health. Since 1985, Iowa Concern Hotline (800-447-1985 or www.extension.iastate.edu/iowaconcern) has provided services 24 hours a day, 7 days per week at no charge. Iowans can call or text for emotional support, and get connected to legal, financial, stress, and crisis/disaster services. Our team also helps teach Mental Health First Aid courses, which will soon be offered virtually as well as face-to-face. Sign up at www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/MHFA.

The Disaster Recovery Resources website, www.extension.iastate.edu/disasterrecovery/covid-19, is a place where Iowa State University Extension and Outreach gathers many different programs and information to assist Iowa’s citizens with managing through the pandemic and other types of disasters. The website is a good source of research-based information and program updates.  

As Iowans do the best they can to navigate through the changes brought about by the pandemic, the farm management team is open-for-business and ready to learn, share and support good farm and agribusiness management decisions.


Slide presentation from WFAN webinar: