Harrisburg – Women involved in Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry are invited to attend the seventh “Women in Agriculture” conference from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11, during the 2011 Pennsylvania Farm Show.
The conference will be held in the VIP Banquet Hall of the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center on North Cameron Street in Harrisburg.
“Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s number one industry, and the business enterprises are extremely diverse, ranging in size, production practices and products grown,” said Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding. “Nearly 30 percent of farm operators in Pennsylvania are women and this conference is designed to address the issues specific to helping them operate profitable, viable businesses.”
Themed “Education, Information and Networking,” the conference will offer agricultural women access to available resources for operating and growing a business.
The agenda includes initiative updates from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture about risk management, marketing and grant opportunities, farm succession, conservation programs, social media opportunities and food safety issues.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Richard J. George of Saint Joseph’s University Department of Food Marketing, will share “Ten Rules for a Winning Marketing Strategy,” an interactive program highlighting ways to add value to existing farm products and tips for marketing products.
Penn State University associate equine science professor Dr. Ann Swinker will discuss opportunities for women working within the equine industry.
Panel discussions are set during the program with Penn State Cooperative Extension and U.S. Department of Agriculture. The extension panel includes:
• Lynn Kime, senior extension associate at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center, will discuss Annie’s Project, a women’s curriculum featuring marketing strategies;
• Raechel Sattazahn, AgChoice Farm Credit, will discuss the AgBiz Masters and SmartStart programs for new or beginning farmers;
• Lynda Farrell, Blue Heron Consulting, will discuss the role of Pennsylvania Women’s Agricultural Network, or PA-WAgN, in supporting women working within the industry and;
• Mary Ann Oyler, extension family living educator, will discuss “Strong Women,” a health education program for mid-life and older women
The USDA panel includes:
• Rebecca Csutoras, Pennsylvania Farm Service Agency, will highlight agricultural assistance programs like SURE, ACRE and NAP;
• Gwendolyn Crews, resource conservationist with Natural Resources Conservation Services, will provide information about high tunnels;
• Jana Malot, state grassland conservationist with Natural Resources Conservation Services, will discuss conservation practices; and
• Tiffany R. Lutz, farm loan officer with Farm Service Agency, will discuss available loans through the agency
Registration for the conference is requested, but not required. The first 100 registrants will receive a free lunch. Contact Karen Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-705-9511 to make a reservation.
The 2011 Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 290 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 8-15 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10. Visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us for details.