Beverly Peters, Franklin County Extension Education Director and Carol Peterson, Winnebago County Extension Education Director, Northeast Area
Women who farm or are directly involved in farming need resources and information that can help them better understand farming today. Women in agriculture also are without a network to support them.
ISU Extension formed a staff team of 4 County Directors and the Farm Management Field Specialist then recruited a committee of women from different agriculture backgrounds and different communities to plan a 1 day conference for women who farm or work in the agriculture industry. The program started on a Friday night with a keynote speaker and workshops, and continued through Saturday with workshops and a lunch speaker. 27 workshops were offered on 21 topics. 110 people attended from across the state. Opportunities were provided for time to network among the participants.
Those completing the evaluation rated the conference a 4.7 on a scale of 1-5 (poor to excellent). Both keynotes received an almost unanimous 5. Comments both on the evaluation and to the committee were to continue the conference, and included thank yous for providing this opportunity. Comments filled 4 typewritten pages and all were extremely positive. The market classes helped me to understand more about marketing which will help me make better marketing decisions. I need to make plans for succession and the session gave me some ideas and I now know why its important to get it done as soon as I can. I hope to learn to use some of the farm freeware to help me understand my costs of operation better. We are trying to get our estate planned, so I learned we need to get at it NOW! Over $15,000 was raised from donors to support the conference and keep the registration to $50. Donors expressed a need for this type of conference and were extremely supportive. In addition, a number of banks paid the registration fee for their customers who attended. The conference will be continued in 2008.
122 Women Decision Makers and Leaders
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September 28, 2007
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