STILLWATER – Women play a vital role in production agriculture in Oklahoma. In fact, according to JJ Jones, an agricultural economist at Oklahoma State University, more than 50 percent of farms and ranches in Sooner State are run by women, and about 40 percent are owned by women.
A “Cattlewomen’s Boot Camp” scheduled for June by the OSU Extension is planned to help women who are critical to the success of an industry uniquely tied to the state’s history and which continues to represent tens of thousands of jobs and billions of vital dollars, especially for counties and rural communities.
According to an OSU extension report, in recent years, Oklahoma agriculture, defined as the production and processing of commodities in addition to agriculture-related services, has directly contributed at least 175 000 jobs and over $6.7 billion in economic value to the state’s economy.
Boot Camp, scheduled for June 6-8 at the Grady County Fairgrounds in Chickasha, will include hands-on demonstrations and activities as well as more traditional classroom exercises. Among other things, participants will be able to delve into or perhaps learn more about farm business planning, financial record keeping, marketing and facilities management. Topics will also address the specifics of livestock management, touching on such things as livestock evaluation and selection, breeding management, herd nutrition and vaccinations.
“We’ve taken elements from our popular Oklahoma ranching boot camps and combined them with Annie’s project teaching method to deliver this program designed specifically for women in agriculture” , said Jones. “There are approximately 30 hours of instruction and hands-on activities in this three-day workshop. That’s why it’s called boot camp.
Registration is $100 and the training camp will be limited to 50 participants.
Donna Patterson, agriculture educator for Rogers County OSU Extension, said women have always played an important role in agriculture and ranching, albeit often behind the scenes.
“We think outside the box and we care for women and provide them with a place where they feel safe to be in a group with other women,” she said. “I hope they all go home with a great deal of knowledge, but even more so, with confidence in their knowledge and knowing that they play a major role in running their farm or ranch.”
The OSU Extension has partnered with the Oklahoma Cattlewomen’s Association, Oklahoma Women in Agriculture, Oklahoma Women Veterans Program, and Southern Extension Risk Management Education to deliver the program.
For more information, contact Jones at 580-332-7011 or email [email protected]