With an emphasis for empowering women in rural Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Extension Service, OSU Agriculture Economics Department and partnering sponsors are excited to bring back the Oklahoma Women in Agriculture and Small Business Conference on August 5-6, 2021 in Oklahoma City.

This year’s conference will open with Kelli Payne, the first female President for the Oklahoma National Stockyard and a 5th generation farmer. She will share her experiences as a female leader in the agriculture industry and share her commitment for economic development and growth in Oklahoma agriculture.

Oklahoma Farm Bureau is sponsoring Michele Payn, Connecting Gate to Plate with her dynamic luncheon keynote presentation “Take Food Bullying By The Horns” along with a signed copy of Michele’s book by the same title. During this thought-provoking program, Michele will bring many, in-person or online examples of marketing tactics for food bullying. Payn illustrates how trends in neuroscience and psychology are changing perceptions about farming, ranching, and agriculture as a whole. She also takes a lively look at where these trends have led to bullying within agriculture and how we can be more compassionate in our business. 

Day two opening keynote Brian Whitacre, OSU Extension Specialist for Rural and Economic Development, will speak about rural broadband internet in the wake of COVID-19 with insight into current and future programs and trends.

Closing luncheon keynote is Amanda Radke, Beef Magazine “Dynamics of Multi-Generational Family Agricultural Businesses”. Working alongside family can be a true blessing, but it can also be a curse. By sharing specific examples of success stories and of extreme failures, Radke’s speech is to help farming families stay in business, avoid pitfalls and love each other through good times and bad.

“This conference draws women from all backgrounds and we want to give them insight and tools they can use to improve their operation and wellbeing.,” said Sonya McDaniel, Oklahoma State University Extension Educator and conference coordinator. “The interest for connecting farm to food, communicating with consumers and continuing the legacy of farming families is of great interest across our state.”

The conference will feature four educational tracks: Agricultural production, alternative enterprises, business and finance, and the beginning farmer. Attendees can choose what best meets their need and interests from 22 workshops over the two-day conference.

Visiting a variety of exhibits providing helpful resources designed to enhance attendees’ farming or small business efforts, as well as network with other women in agriculture will round out the conference providing a great mix of education and social interaction.

“I consider myself a farmer, not a ‘farm woman,’ so for years I didn’t see the need to attend a conference targeted at women. But, after attending these conferences, I realized there is so much value,” said Karen Eifert-Jones, a farmer near Waukomis, Oklahoma, who also is a member of the conference’s organizing committee. “What is unique about the Women in Ag and Small Business Conference is the camaraderie; the drive to build one another up and the excitement that comes from seeing other women succeeding at their business.”

This long-running annual event was postponed for a few years, but very excited to be back at a new location in Oklahoma City. The conference will take place at the Champion Conference Center at 803 S. Meridian Ave. Special room rates are available at the Hilton Garden Inn located directly in front of the conference site. To reserve a room simply contact the hotel at (405) 942-1400 and tell them you are with the Women in Agriculture Conference.

Lock in the early bird registration fee of $75 before July 26, 2021. Registration raises to $125 after July 26, no refunds. Registrations can be made online by visiting the conference website at extension.okstate.edu/events/women-in-ag

“The conference planning committee is very excited to bring back this conference, especially after quarantines and the craziness of the past year”, says McDaniel “We hope to provide a great educational experience, but more importantly a place where women in agriculture can feel empowered and supported.”

Oklahoma State University, as an equal opportunity employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Oklahoma State University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate based on race, religion, age, sex, color, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, or veteran status with regard to employment, educational programs and activities, and/or admissions. For more information, visit https:///eeo.okstate.edu

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