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The Women in Agriculture and Small Business Conference will bring together women in the agricultural industry for learning and networking opportunities.

STILLWATER – Empowering women and providing educational tools to help them succeed in their agricultural endeavors is the goal of the upcoming Women in Agriculture and Small Business conference slated for Aug. 4-5 in Oklahoma City.

“Women in the agricultural field usually don’t have a lot of local counterparts,” said Sonya McDaniel, Oklahoma State University Extension educator and director of the Pottawatomie County OSU Extension office. “This conference will bring together women who walk the same walk they do.”

The $75 registration fee increases to $125 after July 13. The full agenda is available online.

Four educational tracks have been developed, including agricultural production, alternative enterprises, beginning farmer and business and finance. The tracks will feature a total of 24 informative breakout sessions on everything from record keeping, farm to food production and farmers markets to building healthier soil, preventing plant diseases and estate planning.

Feedback from previous events indicated the participants found it beneficial to have time to network with others.

“We’ve built in a lot of time for networking and for the women to be social and build connections with other women in agriculture across the state,” McDaniel said. “We also have several inspirational speakers who will talk about the influence women have in the agricultural industry in communities in Oklahoma. Simply because you’re a producer from a small area doesn’t mean you can’t have a big impact in the agricultural world.”

Courtney Bir, OSU Extension farm management specialist, 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 beginning farmers/ranchers to established operators,” Bir said. “We’ll talk about traditional topics and enterprises, such as cattle, as well as diverse enterprises and new ways of interacting with customers.”

Typically seen as a male-dominated industry, women are coming to the forefront in agriculture, and roles are changing.

“Women have always been involved in agriculture, but now more women own their own operation or have official management roles in a larger family operation,” Bir said. “We hope this conference will help these women answer questions and spark new ideas.”

For additional information, contact McDaniel at 405-273-7683 or sonya.mcdaniel@okstate.edu.

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