LINCOLN — Women in the agricultural industry looking to increase their business management skills are encouraged to register for the 2018 Women in Agriculture Conference organized by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The annual conference will be held Feb. 22 – 23, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, 110 S. 2nd Ave., Kearney, Neb.
The Women in Agriculture Conference is one of the longest-running women’s conferences of its kind in the country that allows women to build relationships with each other, attend workshops and gain valuable knowledge that will help them support their own farms and ranches. The theme for this year’s conference is, “Growing our future, valuing our traditions.”
Over 30 concurrent workshops will be hosted over the two-day event that focus on production risk, market risk, financial risk, human risk and legal risk. Anita Keys, a rancher from Cherry county said, “When you look at the workshop assortment, there are a lot of choices, which is really nice.” She feels as if she has gained a lot of really great resources through the Women in Ag conference and her husband, Kerry, agrees, “She challenges me with the information that she brings and so we take that information and begin to incorporate it into our ranching operation.”
In addition to the opportunity to grow market, financial and overall ranching knowledge, the opportunity to connect with other woman producers is what brings most women to the conference.
“I started 12 years ago and I fell in love with it,” says Linda Barrett, a producer from Banner county. Barrett has now started bringing her granddaughter, Kurstin, with her to the conferences. “Women in Ag is really cool because it lets you know that you’re a super vital part of every operation,” says Kurstin. “There’s a bunch of women there realizing that we’re really important in what we do.”
Participants will have the opportunity to hear from three women who have made their livelihoods in the agricultural industry. Ruth Hambleton, the founder of Annie’s Project, will speak on empowering and educating women producers. Ann Finkner, Farm Credit Services of America senior vice president chief administrative officer, will share resources to help women recharge while dealing with complexity, stress and multi-tasking in agriculture. Lastly, Leslie McCuiston, who was selected as America’s Pig Farmer of the Year in 2017, and will share her story.
Registration is available online at wia.unl.edu. Paper registration forms can be requested by calling 402-472-1576. For more information about the Women in Agriculture conference, including the conference proceedings, go to wia.unl.edu.
Early registration, due by Feb. 4, is $125. Registration after Feb. 4 is $150. Fees include all workshop materials, registration, meals and breaks. Any student attending 4-year college/university, 2-year college, vocational/technical school, or a 4-H or FFA member can apply for a scholarship to attend the conference. Additional details on the scholarship can be found on the conference website at https://wia.unl.edu/#tab3.
The conference is hosted by Nebraska Extension and the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
— Bethany Johnston
University of Nebraska Extension Educator
Panhandle Research and Extension Center
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