West Virginia’s female farmers are about to get a boost to the skills and knowledge they need to efficiently run their farms through the West Virginia Women in Agriculture conference presented by the West Virginia University Extension Service.

Now in its third year, the conference increases individual learning and creates a strong, supportive network of female farmers around the state that forms a comprehensive approach to back an increasingly prevalent segment of West Virginia agriculture.

Women who are interested in attending should make plans to join fellow female farmers at the Glade Springs Resort in Daniels Nov. 4 and 5. The events begin at noon Friday and continue through 5 p.m. Saturday. Registration and additional details can be found here.

“The conference supports the women who are proud to be the future of West Virginia’s agricultural and economic future — women now operate 30 percent of the farms in the state,” said Doolarie Singh-Knights, WVU Extension specialist. “The rate of women who enter into farming or have a significant hand in farm operations in West Virginia is three times the national average, so it’s important they have access to the latest knowledge and a strong support system to push them in running profitable farms.”

According to organizers, the conference is anticipated to draw more than 200 producers and agribusiness professionals from West Virginia and surrounding states and is unlike the typical conference experience.

“We offer a distinct blend of mentoring, networking and hands-on tours,” said Singh-Knights. “We’re invested in the peer-to-peer learning model. Previous attendees have given us positive feedback about the effectiveness of learning from other women who have the same goals and aspirations as they do.”

Friday afternoon is dedicated to farm and agribusiness tours and culminates with a local foods networking dinner. Saturday offers 16 breakout educational sessions, more than 20 exhibition booths, producer spotlights and hands-on workshops.

Children’s activities will be available to engage younger youths in agriculture-based fun, allowing mothers to participate in the whole conference without the hassle of arranging for child care.

This year, a youth conference track dedicated to inspiring and growing the next generation of farmers throughout the state was also added.

Glade Springs Resort is offering special lodging rates for conference participants. For more information on accommodations, please contact Glade Springs Resort directly at 866-562-8052 or visit www.gladesprings.com. Mention the conference to receive the preferred rates.

Scholarships to attend are available on a limited basis. Those interested can contact Singh-Knights directly at 304-293-7606 or dosing-knights@mail.wvu.edu or fill out the form at www.surveymonkey.com/r/WVWIA2016.

Connecting the people of West Virginia to the University’s resources and programs is the primary goal of WVU Extension Service and its 55 offices throughout the state. Local experts, like WVU Extension’s agents and specialists, work to help improve the lifestyles and well-being of youths, workforces, communities, farms and businesses through trusted research in the counties in which they serve.

To learn more about WVU Extension programs, visit www.ext.wvu.edu, or contact your local office of the WVU Extension Service.



CONTACT: Zane Lacko, WVU Extension Service,
304.293.8986; zlacko@mail.wvu.edu

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