Oklahoma women in agriculture conference will be Aug.9-10 in Oklahoma City

By Leilana McKindra

Oklahoma State University

Producers and business owners should plan now to attend the 2018 Oklahoma Statewide Women in Agriculture and Small Business Conference Aug. 9 to 10 in Oklahoma City.

“The focus of the two-day conference is to assist women and producers in successfully managing risk for their agricultural enterprises or small businesses,” said Sara Siems, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension assistant specialist and conference coordinator. “The conference offers timely information to empower women in their farm, ranch and business endeavors.”

Keynote speakers for the popular two-day event include journalist Rebecca Long Chaney, meat scientist and blogger Janeal Yancey and training and development specialist Marcy Luter.

An award-winning writer with more than 1,000 articles published, Chaney is the author of the book, “A Peek at the Past and a Preview of the Future,” which traces the 150-year history of the Ayrshire and Brown Swiss dairy cattle breeds in Maryland.

Luter, the management development training coordinator at Meridian Technology Center, is a certified facilitator and trainer for FranklinCovey, Gallup’s StrengthsQuest assessment and Myers Briggs Type Indicator.

Currently a meat scientist at the University of Arkansas, Yancey launched the blog, “Mom at the Meat Counter” in 2011 after talking with other mothers about the meat industry.

Other conference highlights will include four educational tracks: Agricultural production, alternative enterprises, business and finance and beginning farmer.

Exhibitors will be on hand providing helpful resources designed to enhance attendees’ farming or small business efforts, while vendors will be selling their Made in Oklahoma products.

There also will be an optional conference social and needle felting craft activity during which participants will create a farm scene using dyed alpaca and sheep wool.

“I have attended and helped to coordinate the Oklahoma Women in Ag Conference since returning to our family farm over 10 years ago. I am always amazed by the women who feel supported, enlightened and empowered by the conference in ways they haven’t been at other meetings,” said Karen Eifert-Jones, a producer near Waukomis, Oklahoma. “The planning committee works hard to ensure we have a mix of quality programming and socialization activities. This year, I am most excited about our evening social activity. I’m sure hoping I’ll meet lots of new friends there.”

This year’s conference will take place at a new location, the Embassy Suites Oklahoma City-Downtown/Medical Center, 741 N. Phillips Avenue.

Registration before Aug. 3 is $50 and $25 for college-aged students and younger, while anyone registering after that date will pay $60 or $35, respectively. There is an additional $20 charge for the optional conference social and craft activity.

All meals and refreshments are included in the registration fee.

For more information about the conference or to register for the event, visit OKWomenInAgAndSmallBusiness.com.

“Our goal is to make sure participants feel like the conference is well worth their time and I think past evaluations indicate we’ve been doing a good job so far,” Siems said. “There’s something for everyone at this conference so I encourage anyone with an interest in agriculture or small business to join us.”

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