By Chelsea Clodfelder
Women in all sectors of agriculture will be offered educational and networking opportunities at the 15th Annual Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference.
The Feb. 17-18 conference will return to the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, 2480 Jonathan Moore Pike, in Columbus, Indiana.
A preconference program, "Leasing Land on a Tight Margin," will be 1-4 p.m. Feb. 17, also at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center. The preconference seminar will cover calculating cash lease amounts and valuation of property, long-term cash rent decisions, flex leases as an alternative to cash renting, communication for landowner and tenant relationships and the legal aspects of leasing.
"The committee has been working hard to provide a program to fit the needs of women in all sectors of agriculture and in different phases of their life," said conference chair Kelly Heckaman, Purdue Extension agriculture and natural resources educator in Kosciusko County.
Some of the 20 session topics of the conference are on improving farm financial management skills, educating people on modern agriculture, protecting profit margins in an unstable market, addressing meat controversies and retirement programs and farmstead planning.
Key speakers and their topics:
* Jolene Brown, farmer, author and professional speaker: "If We Huff and Puff, Will We Blow Your House Down?" and "Who’s Hiding the Humor?"
* Kenzie Kretzmeier, Indiana FFA state president: "Realizing a New Vision for Agriculture."
* Karen Plaut, senior associate dean for research and faculty affairs for Purdue's College of Agriculture: "Creating Effective Linkages with Campus Research Communities and Cooperative Extension."
Registration for either Wednesday or Thursday costs $80, or $90 for both days, if received payment is received by Feb. 3. Checks should be made payable to the Purdue Education Fund and sent to Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference, Kosciusko County Extension Office, 202 W. Main St., Warsaw, IN 46580. A $10 handling fee will be assessed on all refunds, and there will be no refunds after Feb. 3.