OKLAHOMA CITY – Empowering women and providing educational tools to help them succeed in their agricultural ventures is the goal of the upcoming Women in Agriculture and Small Business Conference. The event is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, August 4 and 5 at the Champion Convention Center, 803 S Meridian Avenue, Oklahoma City. Registration will take place from 8:15 to 9 a.m. on Thursday.
The welcome keynote will be “Current Trends and Impact Affecting Livestock Markets and Agriculture,” by Kelli Payne, General Manager of Oklahoma National Stockyard.
“Women in agriculture typically don’t have many local counterparts,” said Sonya McDaniel, an Oklahoma State University extension educator and Pottawatomie County OSU extension office director. “This conference will bring together women who walk the same way they do.”
The $75 entry fee increases to $125 after July 13. The full agenda is available online.
Four educational programs have been developed, including agricultural production, alternative businesses, the beginning farmer, and business and finance. Programs will include a total of 24 breakout sessions on topics ranging from record keeping, agricultural production to food production and farmers markets to building healthier soils, plant disease prevention and to estate planning.
Feedback from previous events indicated that attendees found it beneficial to have time to network with others.
“We’ve scheduled plenty of time for networking and for the women to be social and connect with other women in agriculture across the state,” McDaniel said.
“We also have several inspirational speakers who will speak about the influence of women in the agriculture industry in Oklahoma communities,” McDaniel added. “Just because you’re a producer in a small region doesn’t mean you can’t have a big impact in the agricultural world.”
Courtney Bir, agricultural management specialist with OSU Extension, said the planning committee worked to create a learning opportunity that would appeal to women involved in all aspects of the agricultural industry.
“There will be something for everyone, from first-time farmers/herders to established operators,” Bir said. “We’ll talk about traditional topics and businesses, such as livestock, as well as diverse businesses and new ways to interact with customers.”
Generally considered a male-dominated industry, women are coming to the fore in agriculture and roles are changing, according to Bir.
“Women have always been involved in farming, but now more women own their own farm or have formal managerial roles in a larger family farm,” Bir continued. “We hope this conference will help these women answer questions and spark new ideas.”
Special guest speakers will include Brandi Busea rural life blogger from Buzzard beat. She will discuss “Making Your Own Luck”. A working rancher, mother and wife for more than a decade, Buzzard has been a passionate advocate for agriculture, while helping others share their agricultural story, the press release reads.
Sponsored by Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Brooke Clay Taylor, with Rural Gone Urban, will present on how to live the life you want, professionally and personally, despite obstacles and challenges.
The two keynote speakers will deliver a breakout session during the conference focusing on marketing, how to tell your story and sell your brand.
The opening session of the second day will feature Joni Nashdiscussing “Being a leader for rural development in your community.”
For more information about the Women in Agriculture and Small Business Conference, contact Sonya McDaniel at 405-273-7683.