Wednesday, January 16, 2019

WSDA partners with Oregon and national agriculture group to support women in agriculture

Laura Raymond
WSDA Regional Markets 

A prize of as much as $20,000 is waiting for a woman in the agriculture industry, the top prize in the new Women Farm to Food Business Competition. The competition, which closes Jan. 31, is sponsored by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), and is one way it is promoting a new program to help women in agriculture launch or boost their farm businesses.

Both WSDA and the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) are partnering with NASDA in the effort. In addition to the competition, NASDA is launching a new business accelerator program for women and conducting a survey to learn more about the business needs of women in agriculture.

The competition - The 2019 Women Farm to Food Business Competition is open to women-owned food and beverage businesses in Washington and Oregon. Advantage will be given to farm-based businesses that grow their own ingredients and businesses that source their ingredients from Washington or Oregon agricultural producers. Applicants must complete an on-line application and submit a video of 3-minutes or less pitching their business. A $20,000 grand prize will be awarded, as well as a $10,000 prize and two $5,000 prizes.

The business accelerator – Currently under development is the NASDA Women Farm to Food Accelerator Program, scheduled to begin later in the year. It is a 90-day program of training, skill building and networking tailored to the needs of women in agribusiness.

The survey – The Women in Agriculture survey is meant to help NASDA develop the accelerator program so that it best meets the needs of women in agriculture.

More information - Visit for links to the contest application, the survey, or more information on any of the three initiatives.