Penn State offering 'Gender Fellow' role in agriculture program

Leif Jensen, the principal investigator for the program, suggested that the initiative is concerns "promoting gender equity in agriculture."

Pennsylvania State University is offering an initiative to doctoral students, through which they can examine relations between gender and agriculture.

Penn State announced Wednesday that it will allow selected doctoral students to study the roles of women in agricultural enterprise, as well as how gender in whole affects agricultural production.

Students chosen to be “gender fellows” would study the role of gender in the agricultural sector and its ties to global agricultural production, according to a Penn State news release. Members of the program would specifically study gender equality in subjects such as plant science, rural sociology, and entomology as part of the university’s “International Agriculture and Development dual-title degree program” which provides students with international knowledge.

Gender fellows will examine the role of women and men in global food systems, as part of USAID’s 2018’s “Feed the Future Learning Agenda,” which focuses on eight key areas, including gender and women empowerment, in an effort to alleviate global hunger and poverty.

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”This student cohort will look at unexplored areas to yield insight into how to improve the lives of women around the world by supporting their participation in agricultural enterprise,” Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Assistant Dean Deanna Behring said in the announcement.

The gender fellow program will be funded through the “Gender Equality Through Agriculture Research and Education (GEARE)” initiative at Penn. 

“We research innovative and sustainable gender integrated development practices,” the initiative says in its mission statement. “We build gender-focused capacity of scholars, practitioners, and producers.”

”This Gender Fellows program is an exciting next step for us.” Leif Jensen, principal investigator for the gender fellow project, said in the news release. “We are so looking forward to bringing together an interdisciplinary group of young scholars who will go on to be tomorrow’s leaders in promoting gender equity in agriculture.”

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Jensen did not respond to requests for additional comment. Campus Reform also reached out to the Penn State College Republicans, but did not receive comment in time for press.

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