Project: Research project

Project Details


Women comprise a significant and rising share of the agricultural workforce domestically and worldwide as farmers, farmworkers, policy-makers, and extension professionals. In the U.S., women participate in farm decision-making on 56% percent of all farms (USDA 2019). Yet, systematic gender bias persists in agriculture due to discriminatory policies, practices, and norms in rural areas (Sachs et al, 2016). Employers of food and agricultural sciences (FAS) graduates have increased their demand for job candidates with training and experience in the area of gender and agriculture to support the vitality and success of the agricultural sector. Yet, university curriculum in the FAS have been slow to provide such educational and workforce development programming, often due to the difficulty of addressing sensitive cultural norms around gender equity and women's rights in the classroom.This Standard Grant proposes a three-year interdisciplinary program to prepare students for future work supporting gender equity and diversity in agriculture. Fifteen students (total) will be placed in internships with six partner organizations who are recognized local and global leaders in gender and sustainable agriculture research and programming (Pennsylvania Sustainable Agriculture, Penn State Extension, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) USA, Oxfam America, and Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA). The program has three workforce development components: (1) Weeklong pre-internship training covering gender equity issues in agriculture and professional development for non-profit work; (2) Summer internship program that enables students to develop and apply their problem-solving and cultural awareness skills while helping advance the gender equity work of partner organizations; (3) Creation of a new course on Gender and Agriculture that will utilize products generated by students during internships as curricular materials. Altogether, 15 students will participate in summer internships, and up to 75 students will participate in the Gender and Agriculture course, over the three-year lifespan of the project.The main goal of our program is to equip students for future careers in farming or agricultural research, education, policy, or extension with the competencies needed to address gender equity concerns in the domestic and international agricultural workforce. This aligns with HEC Program Goals #1 and #7.
Effective start/end date1/1/2312/31/25


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $149,000.00


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