Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Women in Agriculture conference set at Moscow


January 9, 2020

On Jan. 25, the 2020 Women in Agriculture Conference will offer women in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska the opportunity to gather in 34 different locations for a one-day event featuring knowledgeable speakers, inspiring stories, networking with other producers and practical advice for learning new skills.

This year’s conference theme, “Healthy Farms,” covers the topic of cultivating personal resiliency to handle all the “ups and downs” as a woman farmer. It is no secret that things can be tough for farmers, whether it is things that can be controlled or issues farmers try to control when they can’t, according to Margaret Viebrock, WSU Douglas and Chelan County Extension Director and chair of the conference.

The stress in farming has always existed, but the levels soar during times of high costs and low returns.

Locally, the conference will be in Moscow at the University of Idaho in the Ag Science Building Room 62, 875 Perimeter Drive. For details about the conference and registration visit the website at http://www.womeninag.wsu.edu.

The conference will motivate women in agriculture to develop a self-care plan and realize the connection between a healthy person and a healthy farm. The format of this conference enables us to offer our headline speakers at all locations, while still tailoring the conference content for each region, Viebrock added.

“Last year, nearly 500 women attended,” said Viebrock. “Many attendees reported it is the best conference for women producers because it presents practical information they can use right away.”

The lineup for the day includes Brenda Mack, a third generation farmer in Minnesota who is also a behavior and wellness professor with Bemidji State University, and Shauna Reitmeier, also a third generation farmer who specializes in behavioral health with the Northwest Mental Health Center in Minnesota. Together they will help women farmers strengthen their personal health care to reduce the effects of stress, worry and exhaustion.

Sue Schneider, Colorado State University Extension, will teach women how to make mindful farming and personal decisions without reacting to negative thoughts, emotions and judgements.

Each location will have a local panel of women farmers who will explain how they have developed their own self-care plan to deal with day-to-day events and make mindful decisions that helped them be successful in farming.

Gabrielle McNally, who represents the Women for the Land: American Farmland Trust’s Initiative will explain their program that engages women farmers on topics of conservation, farmland preservation and land access. A partnership with this Initiative can implement peer-to-peer learning circles in local areas.

This conference is designed for women who are farming, as well as new and aspiring farmers. Supporting spouses, students, interns or people who own an agriculture-related business are also welcome.

The conference registration fee is $35, but people who register between now and Jan. 17 will receive the early bird special of $30. The conference registration fee includes the workshop, light breakfast, lunch and conference materials.

For more information about the Moscow site, call University of Idaho Extension in Latah County, 208-883-2267 or WSU Whitman County Extension, 509-397-6290.

This site is jointly hosted by University of Idaho Extension, USDA-NRCS, and Washington State University Extension.

Persons with a disability requiring special accommodations while participating in this program may contact Janet Schmidt at 509-397-6290 or Margaret Viebrock at 509-745-8531, at least 10 days prior to the event. Extension program and employment are available.


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