Suzanne’s Project - Turkey

Inspired by the early success of Annie's Project New Jersey, Rutgers University partnered with Akdeniz University in Turkey to develop Suzanne’s Project in the Antalya province of Turkey.

Suzanne's Project Goals are to develop the technical and managerial capacities of Turkish women farmers through education, while supporting the region's economic advancement toward sustainable agriculture and gender equality. The objective is to examine the participants' socio-economic status, obtain a better understanding of their farming system and determine their level of interest in improved production technologies, business planning and management strategies. This also includes demonstrating new tools for best farm practices, building a sense of community and ultimately, empowering the women.







Sebahat Kilinc, a farmer in the village of Elmali, Turkey, is interviewed by Rutgers professor Dr. Robin Brumfield and Dr. Burhan Özkan of Akdeniz University, Turkey. Photo Credit: Mick Minard 

“Women currently account for approximately 45% of Turkey's agricultural workforce, we implemented Suzanne’s Project in recognition of women farmers as critical agents for enhancing agricultural and rural development and food security in Turkey.” Dr. Brumfield

turkey woman farmer

Suzanne's Project Timeline

Kumluca, Turkey - beginning

    2011 - August - Suzanne’s Project was inaugurated in Akdeniz Turkey
    2011 - October 24-November 18 - First Suzanne’s Project Pilot Program in Kumluca, Turkey with 40 Turkish women farmers (Program Agenda)
    2012 - February 16-March 6 - Second Suzanne’s Project Pilot Program in Elmali, Turkey with 20 Turkish women farmers 
    2012 - September 24-October 5 - Third Suzanne’s Project, Duzce University, Turkey 
    2013 - January 21-29- Fourth Suzanne’s Project, Korkuteli, Turkey with 20 Turkish women farmers and five Rutgers Study Abroad students
    2013 - May 20-3Empowering Women Farmers in Turkey. Boztepe, Turkey with 13 Turkish women farmers and five Rutgers Study Abroad students - Study Abroad Syllabus

    In 2011, Professor Robin Brumfield and Burhan Özkan conducted a needs assessment and feasibility study to identify priority needs, interests and capacities of women farmers in Turkey. The team interviewed Extension educators and female farmers in three villages, using the results to develop a pilot 28-hour course to train 40 farmers from Kumluca, Turkey. The course was offered to small-scale citrus and greenhouse producers. Training included computer literacy, technical citrus and greenhouse production, and business management. Technical topics included greenhouse construction, ventilation, soil productivity, plant nutrition and irrigation, pesticide safety, plant protection, biological insect and disease control, sustainable production, and protection of resources.

    Women farmers were encouraged to pursue opportunities and start new ventures, upgrade or improve existing businesses, expand their customer base or enter new markets. The women developed a business plan for their farms and crafted a mission statement by the end of the course.The women in the pilot project renamed it Suzan’ın Projesi (Suzanne's Project) in honor of Dr. Brumfield's daughter who inspired her to take the project to Turkey.

    As a result of the successeful pilot program, the municipality of Elmali funded a second pilot (2012), followed by Duzce University that funded a third Suzanne’s Project. A joint venture with the Korkuteli Vocational School; the Municipality of Korkuteli; Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; and Akdeniz University, Turkey was soon to follow, where fourth Suzanne’s Project was conducted (2013) to train approximately twenty small-scale Turkish women farmers who grow mushrooms in Korkuteli, Turkey.Finally, thirteen Turkish women farmers participated in Suzanne’s Project in Boztepe, Turkey with five Rutgers Study Abroad students (2013)

    Why Suzanne's Project?

Suzanne’s Project, or Suzan’ın Projesi is named after Suzanne Brumfield Yavuz, a passionate advocate for education, sustainable food, farming and gender equality,very much like her mother, Robin Brumfield, Ph.D.

Suzanne's Project


Suzanne has roots in Turkey and in the state of New Jersey, and will one day inherit a farm in Kentucky that used to produce tobacco. Her father is Turkish and her mother is American.

Suzanne grew up in New Jersey, visited her two sets of grandparents every summer in rural Kentucky and urban Istanbul, and speaks English, Turkish, and French. While a sophomore at Westfield High School, she created and taught an English course to children from earthquake ridden Duzce, Turkey.


Photo Credit: Christina Gouliamberis

    Suzanne's Project for Enterprising Women Farmers


    Professor Brumfield and Mick Minard, photographer and communications strategy consultant with an expertise in reporting on the impact of market-based strategies for social change, formed a partnership with Akdeniz University in Antalya, Turkey. This partnership adapted the Annie’s Project model to train Turkish women farmers on the basic skills and best practices necessary for them to sustain and scale profitable agricultural businesses.

    Written, Narrated and Photographed by Mick Minard:


Woman Farmers in TUrkey



Suzanne's Project