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Minnesota Agri-Women's Annual Leadership Conference set for April 13

Conference in Chanhassen closes with networking and an optional wine and cheese tasting.

March 13, 2016

2 Min Read

Registration is open for the 18th annual Minnesota Agri-Women’s spring leadership conference set for Wednesday, April 13, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen.

The theme of this year’s event is “ActivateHer” – and will offer sessions on leadership, current events, issues in agriculture, and skill-building opportunities.

The conference draws attendees from all aspects of agriculture, including farmers, agribusiness  representatives, college and high school students, FFA members, lending institutions, government agencies and academia. Interested attendees do not need to work in the field of agriculture.


The conference opens with a panel discussion focused on ways to motivate attendees to get involved with and advocate for agriculture. Panelists are Briea Schleiss, partner, Faegre Baker Daniels; Emily Wilmes, Extension educator - Livestock, University of Minnesota Extension; and Juanita Reed-Boniface, educational consultant and partner, Boeckenhauer Cattle.

The day-long event will cover a wide variety of topics, including:

• The 5 Common Mistakes in Grain Marketing--Ed Usset, grain marketing specialist, University of Minnesota Center for Farm Financial Management

• Starting the Succession Planning Conversation--Emily Wilmes, Extension Educator - Livestock, University of Minnesota Extension

• The Use of Drones in Agriculture and the Proposed FAA Regulations--Sarah Jewell, associate attorney, Reichert Wenner PA

• Recruiting Talent--Leigh Taylor, director of Talent Assessment, FCC Services

• FFA Chapter International Adventure--Dassel-Cokato FFA chapter members and Eric Sawatzke, agricultural education instructor/FFA adviser

• Habitudes – Habits and Attitudes About Money and Spending--Amy Durand, manager-AgStar EDGE, AgStar Financial Services

• Small Farm Business Feature--Lynne Reeck, owner, Singing Hills Dairy

• Women in Farm Credit, Celebrating 100 Years--Lisa Lacey, insurance specialist, AgCountry Farm Credit Services; Staci Martin, director of legislative affairs, AgStar Financial Services; Deb Rath, VP Financial Services, United FCS; moderator Stephanie Smith, relationship manager - leasing, CoBank

• Promoting Ag in the Classroom--Sue Knott, education specialist, Minnesota Ag in the Classroom

• Team Building--Juanita Reed-Boniface, educational consultant and partner, Boeckenhauer Cattle

• Panel Discussion: Ag Policy on a National Level--Amber Hanson, associate director of public policy, Minnesota Farm Bureau; Thom Peterson, government relations director, Minnesota Farmers Union; moderator Sarah Dornink, executive director, Minnesota Ag Education Leadership Council

• Tips and Tricks for a Successful Farm Blog--Sara Hewitt, crop farmer/blogger, hewittfarmsinc.wordpress.com; Wanda Patsche, hog and crop farmer/blogger, mnfarmliving.com

New this year is an optional wine and cheese tasting and networking opportunity for attendees from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

The conference begins with registration at 8 a.m.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is located at 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska.

Register on the conference website at www.womensagleadership.org.

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