With more than 9,000 female farmers in West Virginia, West Virginia University Extension Service acknowledges and embraces the large impact women have on the state’s agriculture industry.

In an effort to equip female farmers with the tools they need to succeed, WVU Extension Service is hosting the second annual Women in Agriculture Conference, Oct. 23—24, at Canaan Valley Resort in Davis, West Virginia.

The conference provides the state’s female farmer population the opportunity to gain valuable industry knowledge through networking, informational workshops and leadership development opportunities.

“Women farmers in West Virginia are crucial in preserving small farms, improving the local food system, and enhancing rural economic and social development,” said Doolarie Singh-Knights, WVU Extension Service agricultural economics specialist and co-coordinator of the West Virginia Women in Agriculture team.

WVU Extension Service’s Women in Agriculture Conference helps women farmers develop entrepreneurial skills today, while WVU Extension’s Agriculture and Natural Resources and 4-H Youth Development programs work cooperatively to help secure the future of West Virginia’s farm industry through agriculture education and services.

“As women continue to be an integral part of agriculture and agribusiness in West Virginia, WVU Extension Service is committed to meeting the needs of this growing demographic as we strive to transform farms into viable and profitable agribusinesses,” said Singh-Knights.

WVU Extension Service’s Women in Agriculture conference offers a variety of sessions that cover topics like farm business marketing and finance “best practices,” agritourism, government relations and niche farming areas.

Singh-Knights said that female farm producers can benefit significantly from attending the conference because it covers a vast array of relevant subject matter to help cultivate a bright future for their farm enterprise.

With four conference education tracks—livestock, horticulture, farm finances and farm niches, and a dozen sessions—participants can tailor their conference experience to their specific farm enterprise needs.

There will be a pre-conference farm tour on Friday, Oct. 23, which visits several local farms that incorporate food and hay production, showcase effective marketing strategies and much more. Cost for the tour is $35 and includes dinner. Participants can opt for the networking dinner only for a cost of $25.

The farm tours and conference give farmers and farm service providers the opportunity to gain valuable insight and skills from local experts with real world experience—and to use that knowledge to build and improve their own farm operation through effective management practices.

Early bird conference registration ends Oct. 1 and offers discounted rates of $35 for the pre-conference farm tour, $35 for the conference or $55 for both. Registration fees after Oct. 1 are $45 for the pre-conference farm tour, $45 for the conference or $75 for both. Current students can participate in the conference for $20. The conference registration deadline is October 23.

Lodging is available for $109 per night by calling Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center at 800-622-4121 before Sept. 23. Attendees should mention the conference when booking.

Youths, age 5-18, can participate in daytime hands-on educational activities that engage and educate about agriculture and natural resources related areas. Cost per child is $15.

To learn more or register, visit http://anr.ext.wvu.edu/ag-women/wia-conference.



CONTACT: Cassie Thomas, WVU Extension Service
304.293.8735, Cassie.Thomas@mail.wvu.edu

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