USDA Risk Management Agency has granted the Farmer-Veteran Coalition (FVC), help from Annie's Project of Iowa, the funds to host the "Empowering Women Veterans: Success in Agriculture Business and Well-Being" conference in Davis, Calif. in July of 2012.
This conference, the first of its kind, aims to bring women veterans together in an environment that is specifically designed to address their unique experiences and needs in agriculture.
Women veterans are an underserved and underrepresented growing population, according to FVC. The 2006 American Community Survey states, "As a proportion of the veteran population, women went from nearly 4 percent in 1980 to.6 percent in 2003.and projected to increase steadily: 8 percent in 2010.and 10 percent by 2020." Upon entry into the civilian population, women veterans face high unemployment rates as do their male veteran peers. This conference will bring women leaders in business and agriculture to speak to the veterans about the challenges faced by women in these sectors and the programs that are available to specifically help women succeed.
"FVC sees the importance of women veterans making connections with other women veterans," says FVC Fellowship Fund Director Tia Christopher. "This opportunity will raise awareness of the attendees' national and local benefits and resources and will address their needs both as veterans and as farmers. These powerful women will have a chance to learn about and take with them valuable resources which will support and ease their transition into agriculture." At the conference, expert instructors will provide seminars on creating a successful business plan, as well as on agriculture specific topics and how to mitigate the major risks associated with farming.
The Farmer-Veteran Coalition seeks to mobilize our food and farming community to create healthy and viable futures for veterans on America's farms.
Annie's Project is an educational program dedicated to strengthening women's roles in the modern farm enterprise.