Posted February 19, 2020
Trade issues, natural disasters, record precipitation, price downturns—2019 was representative of a perfect storm for agriculture and many producers are optimistic for a better year ahead. At last week’s Women Managing the Farm Conference, 270 women came together to learn more about tackling tough issues.
“I appreciate listening to other women and their ideas,” Esther Gardner of Jefferson County, Kansas commented. She has attended the conference for three years.
Women from various agriculture backgrounds attended the two-day conference, including farm or ranch partners, managers, landowners and representatives from ag businesses. They heard from local and national experts on relevant topics such as land transition, crop insurance, ag laws, the 2018 Farm Bill, social media, health and wellness, organic farming, cattle nutrition and reproduction and food preservation.
“It’s great to see a conference originally seeded from a USDA risk management grant in 2005, continue to be successful through so many years” said Charlie Griffin, one of the original founders of the conference. Griffin joined a panel of experts addressing opioid addiction and other health concerns in rural communities.
Women attending the conference had the opportunity to network with peers on topics that affected their unique relationship to agriculture. For many, this provided one-on-one engagement and understanding on similar issues, plus where they could find support, whether from the person sitting next to them or an already existing resource.
Gardner was able to learn about a group app that already exists on her cell phone. “It has the ability for first responders to look up emergency contacts, so family members can be reached right away.” Gardner plans to share this knowledge with her family so they can all use the app.
Women Managing the Farm is organized by a committee consisting of members representing many public and private agricultural sectors. Next year’s conference will be February 11-12, 2021 at the Manhattan Conference Center in Manhattan, Kansas.