Larson, C. C.1; Bennett, L.H.2; Butler, L.D.3; Crawford, S.C.4; Davis, T.P.5; Kirby, C.L.6; Stice, B.C.7; Wiggins, L.F.8
1Dairy Regional Specialized Agent, UF IFAS Extension, Okeechobee, FL, 34972
2Extension Agent, UF IFAS, Pasco, FL,  
3Livestock Extension Agent, UF IFAS, Okeechobee, FL, 34972
44-H Extension Agent, UF IFAS, Labelle, FL, 33935
5Livestock and Natural Resources Extension Agent, UF IFAS, Sebring, FL, 33870
6Livestock Extension Agent, UF IFAS, Manatee, FL, 34201
7Livestock Extension Agent, UF IFAS, Bartow, FL, 33830
8Livestock Multi-County Extension Agent, UF IFAS, Labelle, FL, 33935


Womens' roles on cattle ranches, dairies, and small farms have expanded and evolved over the past several years. Women are emerging as decision makers on cattle operations that have traditionally been managed solely by males. While some women have the educational or experiential background to fill these roles and attend traditional trainings, others need a more tailored approach to match their level of knowledge and style of learning. The 1st Cattlewomen’s College was offered in south central Florida after several agents interacted with women who were not comfortable participating in hands-on activities or asking questions with their more experienced male colleagues present.   The workshop included hands-on training for cattle processing, beef quality assurance and health, dystocia and reproduction, nutrition and forages, financial management, and media training. Participants were divided into smaller group sizes that rotated through workshop stations to optimize hands-on participation. All classes were taught by women in the industry or extension and class size was limited to ensure participants were able to receive ample hands-on experience. Participants were asked to evaluate their knowledge gain and anticipated effect on their operation as a result of attending the workshop. 77% of participants indicated that this training would help them become more profitable, with 86% of participants planning to implement something new they learned at the training. Knowledge gains were realized across all subjects taught and reached apogee in the areas of beef quality assurance (+45%), nutrition (+44%), and dystocia (+44%). Knowledge increases in the areas of cattle processing (+37%), financial management (+31%) and media training (+23%) were also realized. Based on feedback from participants, the program will be repeated with more advanced training. 41% of participants indicated that the program exceeded their expectations and 55% stated that their expectations were met. Participant feedback will  be used to determine how to improve the quality of the program for future workshops. 

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