Twenty-three women from across the area took part in a six-week Women in Agriculture series that concluded recently at the CTI meeting room in Concordia. Attendees ranged from those just getting into the industry by inheriting farmland, to those marrying into a farm family, to women who have been active farm operators for many years. A committee of six women from the River Valley Extension District, local Farm Service Agency office, Citizens National Bank, AgMark and Kansas Farm Bureau planned and implemented the series.
During the six, five-hour sessions, women listened to speakers and completed hands on activities to learn about a variety of farm management topics. At the first session, Meagan Cramer, of Kansas Farm Bureau, presented information on Ag Advocacy. Libby Curry from extension led the group through the True Colors personality profile. At the second session, Mark Nelson from Kansas Farm Bureau spoke on grain marketing, risk management and crop insurance. Nick Hansen of AgMark LLC spoke on cost of production and Carrie Williams, also of AgMark LLC, instructed the class on the global agriculture economy. At the third session, Kelsey Hatesohl, River Valley Horticulture Agent, talked about vegetable gardens, lawn care and tree pruning. Tyler Husa, River Valley Crop Agent, spoke on dicamba regulations and farm technology. Emily Allen and Brandon Wilson of the Farm Service Agency discussed their program opportunities. Terry Alstatt with the Natural Resources Conservation Service spoke on cost sharing opportunities. For the fourth session, participants engaged in hands on training with laptops to learn how to keep farm records with Quick Books led by Kara Mayer with K-State Research and Extension. Carrie Fraser, with Citizens National Bank, talked about how to work with your lenders. At the fifth session, the group learned about developing equitable leases and understanding Kansas lease laws, presented by Mykel Taylor from the K-State Agricultural Economics Department. Katelyn Brockus, River Valley Livestock Agent, talked about the results of the River Valley Lease Survey. Justin Wagoner with K-State Research and Extension spoke on stockmanship.
Members of the group were encouraged to bring their spouse or other family members involved in their operation to the final session. Forrest Buhler, staff attorney at Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services, shared information on farm succession and estate planning with the group. Duane Hund, KSRE farm analyst, presented the ‘Twelve Steps to Keep the Family Farming.’ To cap off the event the participants were awarded certificates of completion following a social hour and a meal prepared by the American Legion Post 76.
Participants not only learned a lot during the sessions, but also developed relationships with others in the ag industry throughout the area. Members on the planning committee for this event were Stacey Forshee, Tamie Buckley, Carrie Fraser, Tatum Couture, Katelyn Brockus and Kelsey Hatesohl. The event would not have been successful without the generous assistance from these local sponsors including AgMark LLC, Citizens National Bank, Kansas Crossroads RC&D, The Cloud County Cooperative Elevator Association Inc., Concordia Terminal LLC, Tallgrass Veterinary Hospital, Clay Hills Ag, Wilbur-Ellis, Nelson Seed Sales, Farm Management Services Inc., Cloud County Farm Bureau, CTI John Deere, MultiMin and K-State Research and Extension. This farm management series rotates throughout the River Valley Extension District on an annual basis. This area includes Clay, Cloud, Republic and Washington Counties. Next year this series will be held in Republic County. For more information, contact a River Valley Extension District office.