Beverly Peters, CEED, Franklin County and Carol Peterson, CEED, Winnebago County
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. North Central Iowa lacked an opportunity to meet this need.
Participants at the 2007 conference in Clear Lake requested that the conference be continued in 2008. The ISU Extension team of 4 County Directors and the Farm Management Field Specialist and a committee of women from different agriculture backgrounds and different communities met to plan a second 1-1/2 day conference for women who farm or work in the agriculture industry. The program started on Friday afternoon in Clear Lake with a pre-conference workshop on “Developing Your Marketing Plan,” followed by a keynote speaker, Paul Lasley, and 5 workshops, and continued through Saturday with workshops and a lunch speaker, Karey Klaghorn. Twenty-nine workshops were offered on 23 topics. 105 people attended from across the state, with 34% attending for the second time. Opportunities were provided for time to network.
Those completing the evaluation rated the conference a 4.6 on a scale of 1-5 (poor to excellent). Comments both on the evaluation and to the committee were to continue the conference, and included thank yous for providing this opportunity. Comments and suggestions filled 7 typewritten pages and all were extremely positive. “This conference has inspired me to keep learning. As a young wife and mother, I depend on my husband to take care of farming and planning. After attending this conference, I realize I need to learn about these important issues that directly affect my family’s livelihood.” “I plan on discussing what I learned with my husband and hope to help keep track of markets when he’s too busy with fieldwork.” Four of the first year sponsors contributed $4,200 to continue the conference. Carryover funds helped keep the registration to $55. Several banks and an elevator paid the registration fee for their customers and staff who attended. Plans are underway for 2009.
122 Women Decision Makers and Leader
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August 25, 2008
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