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Women Managing the Farm Conference announced


The 2011 edition of the Women Managing the Farm Conference will be held Feb. 11 to 12 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Wichita, Kan.

The annual conference is recommended for women who are independent agricultural producers, farm and ranch partners, managers or record keepers, agribusiness professionals, and agricultural helpers, said Helen Norris, chair of speaker committee for the conference.

Norris, who grew up in Wichita and married into farming, attended her first agriculture conference for women in 2006.

"I've learned so much," said Norris, who considers the conference "a must because it touches on many aspects of agriculture and, also, allows time for networking with others who share similar challenges and concerns."

The 2011 conference will feature four keynote sessions:

--Stewart Kennedy, an agriculture educator, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, will present "Thinking Outside the Jar," with an emphasis on cultivating creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit important to building a successful business.

--Dr. Ashley Simmons will present "Change of Heart" and introduce new heart health programs and tips for early detection and reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease.

--Anne Burkholder will present "Sharing Your Personal Story of Agriculture--How to Do It and Why It Is So Important" and explore how agriculture producers can make the connection with consumers.

--Ed Bell, a strawberry grower, will present "Dealing With Change and Other Four Letter Words" and offer tools for meeting challenges and overcoming adversity.

Break-out sessions will complement keynotes and social/networking opportunities, Norris said.

The cost to attend the 2011 Women Managing the Farm Conference is $125 if registering before Jan. 28, 2011, or $150 after. Registration includes conference sessions, materials, socials and most meals. A limited number of scholarships will be provided by a Kansas Soybean Commission grant.

More information about the conference, including scholarship applications, is available at www.togpartners.com/wmf. A limited number of hotel rooms are available at the conference rate ($94 plus tax for single/double occupancy, and $94 for triple/quadruple occupancy). For hotel reservations or more information, call 888-421-1442.

According to Norris, the low cost for the conference is made by possible with the help numerous sponsors, including the Kansas Soybean Commission, Kansas Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, Kansas Wheat, Kansas Agri-Women, USDA Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Kansas State University College of Human Ecology, School of Family Studies and Human Services, and K-State Research and Extension.

"Early registration is recommended," said Norris, as the conference typically draws more than 300 women in agriculture and is expected to fill quickly.

"Attending empowers women to become more confident leaders and more active in agriculture," she said.

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