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Abstract

In the fall of 2006, the Center for Rural Studies (CRS) and Women’s Agricultural Network (WAgN) piloted a curriculum for agricultural entrepreneurs interested in incorporating e-commerce features – e.g. email lists, Web sites, online marketing, online ordering – into their operations. This broad definition of e-commerce reflects the integration of information technology and the Internet into business and marketing planning. The workshops were held from 2006 to 2009. Each of the cycles provided insight into how to make future sessions more beneficial to participants. Offering the course even once/year during a period of rapid change in the available technology guaranteed that significant adjustments had to be made to the content each session. This working paper addresses why we took on this challenge, why women farmers became the target audience, how the course was structured, and an overview of the results of the classes to date. Also included are lessons learned from the experience and next steps.

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