One of the benefits of technological advances on the farm is that more women are physically capable of joining the ranks of America's farmers.
The 12th annual Women Managing the Farm Conference will be Feb. 5 and 6 in Manhattan, providing women with the tools they need to remain sustainable as they increasingly move into an industry traditionally dominated by men.
About 300 women are expected to attend the two-day conference, learning more about managing finances, estate and tax planning, farm safety, soil and crop rotations, water rights, production agriculture, legal matters, human/personal issues, work ethics, farm bill, nutrition, long-term care insurance and how to get organized.
Optional preconference sessions begin on February 4 with choices of attending "Amazing Grazing II: Meat Processing and Marketing for Optimal Sales" or a tour of the KSU Grain Science Complex. The conference begins February 5 with begin with a keynote from Judi Adams, president of the Wheat Foods Council, followed by networking sessions tailored to agricultural partners, independent producers, helpers, absentee landowners, industry career women, business managers and women with family in the military. Thursday will be filled with speakers and breakout sessions on topics ranging from the farm bill to succession planning to marketing.
Commodity Classic overlap
Sessions on Friday will begin with a welcome from Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey and will overlap with the Kansas Commodity Classic, giving attendees the opportunity to interact with other producers from around the state.
Speakers at the Kansas Commodity Classic include Chris Standlee, Executive Vice President of Global Affairs for Abengoa Bioenergy, Rod Snyder, President, Field to Market, The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, and Darrell Holaday, of Country Futures in Frankfort, Kan.
Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh, will be the featured keynote speaker at a joint luncheon with the Kansas Commodity Classic and Women Managing the Farm conference attendees. He will present, "Lessons Learned from the 3-year Debate on the 2014 Farm Bill." Dr. Flinchbaugh is an acknowledged expert on agricultural policy and an award-winning professor of agricultural economics at KSU. He has been a long-time advisor on ag policy to politicians of both parties. Drawing on his authority and expertise, Dr. Flinchbaugh will bluntly look at lessons learned from the historically long debate on the 2014 farm bill.
According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, the number of women who were the principal operators of a farm or ranch decreased slightly from 2007 to 288,264 operators. A principal operator is termed as the person in charge of the day-to-day decisions for the farm or ranch. Women are 14 percent of principal operators but 30 percent of all operators of the nation's 2.1 million farms. In Kansas, women are the principal operators of 6,783 farms, and there are 25,611 total women farm operators in the state.
The early bird registration fee for Women Managing the Farm Conference is $145 prior to January 21. After that date, the registration fee will be $170. Registration is available on the Women Managing the Farm website.