With a focus on empowering women in rural Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Extension Service, OSU Agriculture Economics Department, and partner sponsors look forward to hosting the Oklahoma Women in Agriculture and Small Business Conference August 5-6, 2021 in Oklahoma City .
This year’s conference opens with Kelli Payne, the first female president of the Oklahoma National Stockyard and fifth generation farmer. She will share her experience as a female executive in the agriculture industry and share her commitment to economic development and growth in Oklahoma agriculture.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau is sponsoring Michele Payn, Connecting Gate to Plate with their dynamic luncheon keynote presentation “Take Food Bullying By The Horns” along with a signed copy of Michele’s book of the same name. During this thought-provoking program, Michele will share many personal and online examples of food bullying marketing tactics. Payn illustrates how trends in neuroscience and psychology are changing the perception of agriculture, ranching, and farming as a whole. She also takes a vivid look at where these trends have led to agricultural bullying and how we can be more compassionate in our business.
Day Two Opening Keynote Brian Whitacre, OSU Extension Specialist for Rural and Economic Development, will talk about broadband internet in rural areas in the wake of COVID-19 with insights into current and future programs and trends.
The keynote at the closing dinner is Amanda Radke, Beef Magazine “Dynamics of Multi-Generational Family Agricultural Businesses”. Working with the family can be a real blessing, but it can also be a curse. By sharing concrete examples of success stories and extreme failures, Radke’s speech is designed to help farming families stay in business, avoid pitfalls, and make love in good times and bad.
“This conference attracts women from all backgrounds, and we want to give them insights and tools they can use to improve their operations and wellbeing,” said Sonya McDaniel, Oklahoma State University Extension Educator and conference coordinator. “The interest in connecting the farm with food, communicating with consumers and continuing the legacy of the farming families is of great interest in our state.”
The conference will include four educational pathways: Agricultural Production, Alternative Enterprises, Business and Finance, and the Beginning Farmer. During the two-day conference, participants can choose from 22 workshops that best suit their needs and interests.
Visiting a variety of exhibitions that provide helpful resources to enhance participants’ efforts in agriculture or small business, as well as networking with other women in agriculture complete the conference and provide a great mix of education and social interaction.
“I see myself as a farmer and not as a ‘farmer’s wife’, so for years I saw no need to take part in a women’s conference. But after attending these conferences, I realized there was so much value, ”said Karen Eifert-Jones, a farmer near Waukomis, Oklahoma who is also a member of the conference organizing committee. “What’s unique about the Women in Ag and Small Business Conference is the camaraderie; the urge to build one another and the excitement that comes with seeing other women doing well in their business. “
This long-running annual event has been postponed for a few years but is very excited to be back in a new location in Oklahoma City. The conference will be held at the Champion Conference Center at 803 S. Meridian Ave. Special room rates are available at the Hilton Garden Inn just outside the conference site. To reserve a room, simply contact the hotel at (405) 942-1400 and let them know you are at the Women in Agriculture Conference.
Earn the $ 75 early bird registration fee before July 26, 2021. Registration increases to $ 125 after July 26, no refunds. Registrations can be made online via the conference website at extension.okstate.edu/events/women-in-ag
“The conference planning committee is excited to resume this conference, especially after last year’s quarantines and madness,” said McDaniel. “We hope to provide a great educational experience, but above all a place where women in agriculture can feel empowered” and supported. “
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