Idaho Rep. Maxine Bell of Jerome, a veteran legislative leader and advocate for agriculture, will be the keynote speaker at the first Idaho Women in Agriculture Conference planned for March 2 in Twin Falls.
Idaho state Department of Agriculture Director Ceclia Gould and University of Idaho Extension Director Charlotte Eberlein will join Bell in address the changing roles of women in agriculture.
The conference on March 2 in the Taylor Building on the College of Southern Idaho campus begins at 8 a.m. A $28 registration fee will include lunch. More information is available on line at idwomeninag.wordpress.com.
The 2007 Census of Agriculture conducted by USDA shows that 30%, more than 1 million, farm operators are women, up 19% from the 2002 Census.
Cindy Williams, a UI Extension educator in Latah County, says the conference goal is to give women farm operators a chance to meet and share their experiences, and learn about opportunities. Williams and Kelly Olson, Idaho Barley Commission administrator in Boise, organized the conference.
"We see in the profession that there are an increased number of women working in agriculture in universities, agencies and in different agricultural organizations," says Williams.
Conference speakers will address marketing trends and tools, agritourism, loans, and other creative financing and successful social media strategies.
"We wanted to help women in agriculture get together, celebrate commonalities and get to know each other," Williams adds. "We're going to have a wide diversithy of speakers from agencies, the university and producers. We do have some really good programs scheduled.."
The conference is supported by a grant from the Western Center for Risk Management and hosted by the Idaho Barley Commission and UI Extension Service. More information is available from Williams or Kaycee Royer at the UI Latah Extension office in Moscow at (208) 883-2267.