University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture
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Abstract

Participants of the 2005-2007 Arkansas Women in Agriculture conferences were surveyed for this study to identify recent changes in their roles on and off the farm, the factors important to their success, and the problems they face in their businesses. Respondents were broken into two groups—Farm (women owner-operators of farms, ranches, or agribusinesses) and Non-farm (women working in supporting agricultural industries)—for comparisons and responses were also analyzed across years. Farm women most often reported problems keeping good employees each year, while Non-farm women often reported having problems with being respected as a female business person. For Farm women, the factor most often cited as important to success in their business was being able to pass the business on to family; for Non-farm women it was being able to apply their talents and skills. These results suggest that different types of agricultural women hold different attitudes about business and face different challenges. Results across years suggest that successes and problems may change over time. This marks some of the first research on the roles, challenges, and attitudes of Arkansas’ women in agriculture. Based on the results of this research, educational efforts are underway across the state to assist Arkansas’ women in agriculture. However, given the small sample of women surveyed, further research is still needed to fully understand the roles, challenges, and attitudes of Arkansas’ women in agriculture.

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