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Ag conference for women scheduled Feb 8-9

The 2008 Women Managing the Farm Conference is scheduled Feb. 8-9 at the Grand Prairie Hotel and Conference Center in Hutchinson, Kan.

Titled "Celebrating Ag Women," the conference is designed for women who are sharing agribusiness decisions with their farmer or rancher husband and for women who have either inherited - or are purchasing - a farm or acreage or choosing agriculture as a career, Kristy Archuleta, conference coordinator.

The women´s conference concept provides educational opportunities in an environment that fosters understanding of agribusiness and opportunities to network with others who face similar challenges and decisions, Archuleta said. The conference is the fourth in a series for women in agribusiness.

This year´s conference keynote topics and their speakers include:

* "Surviving Family Farming Whitewater," presented by Don Jonovic, a business consultant who frequently speaks on farm business management and guiding transitions for family farms. Jonovic has more than 30 years of experience in advising business owners, and has established his own professional consulting practice, Family Business Management Services in Cleveland, Ohio.

* "Celebrating Ag Women," presented by Elizabeth Kinney, a KTUL television news reporter in Tulsa, Okla. Kinney, a former Miss Oklahoma, was raised on a farm, and has been active in farm-youth organizations such as FFA. She is pro-active about agriculture and its future.

* "Relax! Your Most Important Management Skill is Self Care," presented by Charlie Griffin, an associate professor in the School of Family Studies and Human Services in the College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University. Griffin is the director of Programs for Workplace Solutions and the Kansas´ Rural Family Helpline. He is knowledgeable about crisis and stress management, and, earlier this year, was among the first to begin helping residents in storm stricken Greensburg, Kan.

The conference also will include a resource fair and 20 concurrent workshops on topics such as planning and managing a family business meeting; evaluating insurance needs; bio-economy; creating educational opportunities for agriculture in the classroom, and food, nutrition and health tips for busy agribusiness professionals. Early registration for the two-day conference is $75 and due Feb. 1, 2008; registration after that date is $90. A partial (one-day) registration is $50. Registration includes conference sessions and materials, meals (two lunches, a dinner, and a breakfast) and refreshment breaks.

A block of rooms at a conference rate ($71) is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The conference has grown steadily and early reservations are encouraged, Archuleta said.

Funding for the conference comes from the U. S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership Program and support from local sponsors, who include: Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association; American Farmers and Ranchers; USDA Farm Service Agency; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services; Kansas Soybean Association; Kansas Rural Center; Kansas Department of Agriculture; Kansas Agri-Women; Kansas Association of Wheat Growers; Kansas Corn Growers Association; Kansas Beef Council; Kansas State University Research and Extension; Kansas Rural Family Helpline; Kansas Department of Commerce; Kansas Agriculture Mediation Services; Kansas Farm Bureau; Frontier Farm Credit; Farm Credit of Central Kansas; Farm Credit of Ness City; High Plains Farm Credit; Farm Credit of Western Kansas; Farm Credit of Southwest Kansas; Kansas Cooperative Council; and the Kansas Wheat Commission.

Registration and more information on the conference and a limited number of scholarships are available on the conference Web site: and by calling 1-866-FARM-KSU or 1-866-327-6578.

Hotel reservations can be made by contacting the Grand Prairie Hotel and Convention Center, 1400 North Lorraine St., Hutchinson, Kan at 1-800-362-5018 or 1-620-669-9311.

Limited exhibitor space is available for $50, but does not include conference workshops or meals. Exhibitors can display educational materials, sell products and provide demonstrations. Exhibitor applications can be downloaded from the conference Web site.

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