Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Carol Cumber


This research evaluated women in agriculture training programs regarding their role in empowering farm and ranch women in South Dakota. The overall objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of women in agriculture training programs in South Dakota. South Dakota women in agriculture participated in Sustainable Annie's Systems in South Dakota for Years to Corne (SASSY) training. There has been no formal evaluation of women in agriculture training programs in South Dakota, and past evaluations were in the form of feedback notes and comments from end-of-class assignments and home assignments. Formal evaluation was therefore important to provide feedback information on the impact of SASSY training. Pre and post training surveys were constructed, and administered in October 2009 and April 2010 respectively. The post training survey areas covered how women find balance in their farm and/or ranch operations; goals, goal setting, and goal prioritization; planning for the future; marketing; financial planning and budgeting; sustaining women in agriculture information needs; and demographic information. Sixty women in agriculture responded to the post training survey, representing a 50 percent response rate. After SASSY training, respondents indicated that record-keeping was most important for preparation of tax returns, financial statements, and monitoring business progress. Although 15 percent of the participants already had marketing plans, SASSY training enabled an additional 42 percent of the participants to develop marketing plans for their agricultural production enterprises. As a result of SASSY, the ease of carrying out financial calculations improved, as 58 percent no longer had difficulty in carrying out financial calculations after the training. Sixty-seven percent of the participants said they would adopt immediately skills and knowledge acquired in SASSY training. The research found that family plays an important role in relation to women involvement in agriculture in terms of family goals, sharing of goals, and financial information. After the training, 95 percent of the participants said they would share their goals in the future. Eighty-nine percent of the respondents would share goals with their spouses and 74 percent with family members. Despite the above findings, 33 percent said a complicated family situation was a barrier to goal accomplishment. Empowerment was identified through improved and increased participation in decision-making. The high percentage increases in recognizing the importance of record-keeping for changing production, monitoring production, and monitoring business progress, reflected increased awareness. These findings provide positive feedback on the role of SASSY training in achieving set goals and objectives. Based upon survey results, the majority of SASSY participants want more training sessions and networking opportunities in the future to sustain and further develop their knowledge of agricultural practices.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Agricultural education -- South Dakota
Women in agriculture -- South Dakota




South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright