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Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference

February 8, 2019

Two nationally recognized speakers who are active proponents for telling the story of agriculture will keynote the 2019 Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference, Feb. 20-21 at the Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Indiana.

The conference agenda has programs on farm financial planning, telling your story and building a social media network. There are also breakout sessions on farm production, diversifying your operation, building an online business presence and utilizing resources available on the farm.

"We build the conference around our mission, which includes addressing the personal, family and farm issues that affect women's lives, their families and farm businesses," said Beth Vansickle, Purdue Extension-Madison County educator and one of the conference organizers. "Our objective is to build a network of support for the emotional well-being of farm families and their operations' profitability. We address a wide variety of topics and also create an environment that lets women know they are alone in their farming endeavor."

The keynote speakers are Kim Bremmer and social media star Michelle Miller, who is also known as "the Farm Babe."

Bremmer will share stories and offer ideas to help conference attendees build confidence in how they deliver their message in everyday conversations. She is a nationally recognized speaker who started Ag Inspirations to inspire farmers to tell their stories, connect people to where their food comes from and represent the success of American agriculture. She grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm and has a passion for teaching the story of sustainable agriculture and the role of science, technology and innovation in how we grow and raise food.

Miller will discuss how those involved in agriculture can better tell their story to consumers, many of whom don't know farmers and are several generations removed from any ties to the farm. She is an Iowa-based public speaker and writer who works on the family farm, which grows row crops and raises beef cattle and sheep. She believes in using education and humor to reach consumers and has been featured in Forbes as among the most reputable and followed farmers on social media. She also is a weekly columnist for AGDAILY.

Miller also will be speaking during the conference at the Young Ladies of Agriculture event, which is from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Feb. 20. The cost is $10 per person, and registration information is available at the conference website.

Pre-conference programs on Feb. 19 will be on mental health first aid and Produce Safety Rule training. Mental health first aid is an eight-hour training to teach how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance-abuse disorders. The Produce Safety Rule Training is to help growers, packers, processors or sellers of fresh produce prevent microbial contamination and reduce food-borne illnesses associated with fresh produce.

The cost for the pre-conference seminar on mental health first aid is $50, or $35 with conference registration. The cost for the Produce Safety Rule Training is $100, which includes lunch and a certificate of completion.

There also will be a number of informational sessions on Feb. 20 and 21 headed by experts from Purdue Extension and ag industry. Details of the entire Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference agenda are available in the conference brochure.

The cost for one day of the conference is $125 and $175 for both days. A significant registration discount is available for high school and college students.

For more information or to register, go to the conference website at https://ag.purdue.edu/extension/WIA/Pages/default.aspx

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