Florida Women in Agriculture Association

A new association for empowerment is in Florida! Extension professionals from the University of Florida and Florida A&M University have come together to create the Florida Women in Agriculture Association. The group is still in the development process, but the organizers hope to bring it into action in 2024. Read more to find out what this association is all about!

Here is Prissy Fletcher at the Hastings Agriculture Extension Center. A perfect example of a woman in agriculture and Extension (UF/IFAS Photo taken 10-16-23).

Where did the Florida Women in Agriculture Association come from?

The Florida Women in Agriculture Association (FWIAA) was the product of a session at the 2023 Extension Symposium. Dr. Marilyn Swisher created a session for Extension professionals to learn about updates and resources for women in agriculture in Florida (and more broadly). Those in attendance had A LOT of thoughts on barriers women face and ways to better support our community. Right then and there a TEAMS group formed. We discuss what can be done to dissolve barriers and support women in agriculture.

What is the FWIAA Planning?

Vision Statement

The University of Florida’s Women in Agriculture Association (WIAA) envisions a thriving, global agricultural sector where women’s abilities to make strategic life choices and put them into action are strengthened, supporting them to become visible leaders of change and influence.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to collaboratively build a network that amplifies the voices, knowledge, and contributions of women in the agricultural sector. We strive to increase the capacity of Extension to cultivate the leadership potential of women farmers, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders. Through Extension, we will provide targeted education, resources, mentorship, and tailored support. Ultimately, we hope to empower women in agriculture through a comprehensive and inclusive approach, fostering gender equity, resilience, and sustainable growth.

Women aren’t new to agriculture. Some of the barriers to our success have existed for a long time, while other challenges are relatively new. (Photo from the Smather’s Archives).

Who will be Involved?

The FAO defines agriculture as encompassing crop and livestock production, aquaculture, fisheries, and forestry for food and non-food products. Any individuals who have stakeholders in these areas, or work in these areas themselves, will be welcome to participate. We also hope to include existing statewide and community organizations that support women in agriculture. Working with groups that already have resources available, sharing those resources, and identifying areas where resources are lacking will ensure the associations’ goals are best achieved.

What’s Next?

The FWIAA organizers are still working on the formalization of the association. It is important to get the basic structure of the association formed before we gallop ahead. In the meantime, we will be putting out updates and resources through blogs with the tag “Florida Women in Agriculture Association”. It may be optimistic, but we hope to open membership by this fall, August of 2024. We hope you are all as excited as we are about this effort to support and empower Florida women in agriculture!

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Posted: January 11, 2024


Category: AGRICULTURE, Professional Development, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Agriculture, Extension, Florida Women In Agriculture Association, Women


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